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History of Seaman Schepps

As a jewelry lover, you might have heard the name Seaman Schepps-styled jewelry. But, have you ever wondered who this Seaman Schepps was? 

Let us tell you.

There are very few people in the world who start from scratch and become highly successful. And, there are even fewer people who achieve great heights, face a severe downfall, and then again build their life from the ashes like a phoenix. Seaman Schepps is one such name that achieved a such rare feat. 

Seaman Schepps was born in 1881 in Manhattan’s Lower East Side into a Hungarian immigrant family. He was the firstborn child of his mother. The legends say that she could see Seeman’s Bank for Savings from the hospital window when she went there for her delivery. The name gave her the feel of richness and hence she named her firstborn son ‘Seaman’.

Growing into a family of immigrants Seaman did not have an affluent life. He had to do many odd jobs from a young age. He was studying and helping his family as well but somehow found some time for his love of arts. He would hang around an academy of music and hear lectures in theaters. 

He traveled from New York to California at the turn of the century as a part of a deceptive get-rich-quick scheme. He earned well as a traveling salesman and collected enough funds for opening a store in Los Angeles. It seemed that the name given to him by his mother was showing its magic. It was 1904 when Seaman opened a store in Los Angeles for selling antiques, jewelry, and other expensive objects. 

In 1914 Seaman relocated to San Francisco with his family. There he opened The ‘Virginia Studios’ after the name of his first daughter. Since he opened his store in 1904 he attracted success and fame. This continued at least for 20 years. This highly successful businessman was covered by big magazines and newspapers. He was even on the covers of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.

Seaman was becoming the synonym for success and money. But, he wasn’t aware of the approaching recession. Due to the stock market crash of 1929, Seaman lost literally everything including his newly established shop at 1066 6th Avenue. At this shop, he was selling clunky jewelry that was getting popularity. The stock market crash was a great setback. But, Seaman didn’t sit and mourn his loss. He just started brainstorming new strategies to build back his business and wealth.

His experience in the market for pieces of jewelry and antiques told him that uniqueness is a feature in the industry that can define anyone’s success. He developed exclusive jewelry designs by combining unique ideas, bold colors, and sharp textures. To keep his jewelry unique, he chose gemstones over diamonds. He would mix varying color combinations and place gemstones in unorganized manners. 

Schepps enjoyed using pastel colors, such as water blue aquamarines, light sapphires, emeralds, and rubies, as well as topaz, citrine, pale pink quartz, and rock crystal. He also found jade, turquoise, and lapis hardstone interesting material to work with. Schepps enjoyed whimsical themes of sea life and animals. His use of ebony, coral, and turquoise created interesting curb-linked bracelets. His work included the use of uncommonly cut gemstones which made his jewelry unconventional and fascinating.

He even provided his customers with the service of designing jewelry exclusively on demand. His unexpected combination of colors and materials allowed him to create designs that no one else would ever imagine. He would mix diamonds, precious and semi-precious stones, and also some man-made materials. In an attempt to delight his clients with the most unique design, he created some of the most popular jewelry trends of the 20th century. 

His special services ensured that he had some very special clients. His list of esteemed clients included President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the Duchess of Windsor, and members of the Du Pont, Mellon, Katherine Hepburn, Anthony Warhol, and Rockefeller families.

Seaman Schepps passed on in 1972 leaving behind a legacy of innovative jewelry design and concept. The business was first taken over by his younger daughter and later sold. But, the important point is that the designs and concepts developed by him are being produced and praised to date. We can still find seaman schepps earrings, seaman schepps bracelet, seaman schepps cufflinks and jewelry of all kinds. In fact, many renowned art collectors like Andy Warhol, Joan Quinn, and Holly Soloman are so fond of his jewelry that they collect it as pieces of art. 



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