A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY
After 18 years of competitive amatuer golf, 49-year-old Ann Gregory was tired of seeing mass-produced golf jewelry in golf shops and receiving golf charms as prizes that bent as if made out of tin.
As the owner of five-year-old Elegant Secrets, Gregory sat down with her goldsmith, Ted Herzog, and started a limited line earlier this year of 14-karat gold jewelry designed with golf bag, ball and tee motifs. Each piece — tie tacks, cufflinks, necklace charms, earrings, bracelets and pendants — is hand made, polished and assembled by Herzog. Some pieces feature man-made colored gemstones, Russian processed cubic zirconia, or precious stones including emeralds, rubies, sapphires and diamonds. Retail prices start at $180.
“Basically, I bridge the gap between fine and costume jewelry,” says the Dayton, Ohio-based Gregory. “The mountings are fine; we use 14 karat-gold, mostly solid, not hollowed out like some jewelers do. This is more sophisticated than anything else out there.”
Until now, Gregory had been selling pieces to friends and acquaintances, including a healthy number of LPGA players. Early next year, Gregory hopes to have the line distributed to resort golf shops, starting in Florida.
GOTTA HAVE IT
The vest is turning out to be next year’s must-have item in the women’s arena, especially in resort climates. Versatile in its ability to create a sportswear look on the golf course, vests are also the cover-up of choice when jackets just aren’t required. Says Mindy Fiddler of Marcia Originals, “Reversible vests are proving to be the best value for the customer,” but the sportier knit vests are best-sellers too.