Vintage & Fashion news, pretty vintage items and of course wee bit personal life style ramblings of an eleven year on line vintage clothing seller, avid fashion, antique and vintage lover

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sarah Coventry's Soaring Seventies

The 1970's were an exciting time for me. High school graduation, a wedding, then my first child. It was also the time I went to my first "demonstration". Home parties were extremely popular back then. We were having parties to sell everything from jewelry, to Tupperware to home decor in the comfort of our homes laughing with friends and eating jello salads.

Sarah Coventry was the first "Home Party" jewelry company. I went to a friend's Sarah Coventry party to support her older sister who was the "Fashion Show Director" and by the end of the night I was recruited. I fell in love with the jewelry and the concept!

Charles Stuart founded his company in 1948 using his wife's name, Emmons. In 1949 he incorporated and began Sarah Coventry, named after his granddaughter. They started their company with Home Fashion Shows and continued doing so for almost forty years. The jewelry was wonderful, high quality with precious, semi precious gemstones and very progressive yet timeless designs. The company had a complete line of costume jewelry with something for everyone, from necklaces, key chains, rings, cuff links, tie tacks and even items for "tweens" which they termed back in the 70's . It was exciting that the line was constantly changing and updated. Celebrities endorsed the company and appeared on the catalogues.

We offered holiday, birthstone, monogram, initial pieces and charm collections with themes like "endangered species." Many limited edition items were offered. Each piece had an exotic or fun name and was versatile. As a Fashion Show Director, we were trained to demonstrate this versatility, and show our customers that a brooch would have a fob on back so could be worn as a pendant. Chain necklaces could be worn as a belt, and a dangly brooch like "Fashion in Motion" or an earring could be added to the necklace chain "belt" for a completely different look, and to get the most for your money out of each piece.

Sales campaigns were constant for Fashion Director's. My favorite was "Sarah's Soaring Seventies." Directors that sold a certain amount during this period, were rewarded a circle pin with the number seven, representing the 1970's in the center.

Their Director Award incentives and hostess gifts were always generous; from Regal poly perk coffee pots to golden maiden trophies and of course jewelry. Hostesses' were entitled to select from an exclusive line of jewelry not available to others. Sarah Coventry jewelry is always marked. "Coventry" is one of the earliest marks, as well as the full name "Sarah Coventry." In 1950 they used "SC" for the first time. Approximately 1951 the mark was changed to simply "Sarah" as well as continuing the "SC" mark. In 1960 they began using "Sarah Cov". There are some pieces marked "SAC" from 1950 to the 1960's but I have not been able to substantiate that it is indeed one of Sarah Coventry's.

In 1984, Sarah Coventry was sold, and the line went from home parties to retail stores. Desire to take the company back to its roots resulted in the company going back to the concept of home party sales in 2003. If you are approached to have a home party ~ go for it! You will earn beautiful jewelry, learn unique ways to wear it and have a good time with your friends.

As for me ~ 40 years later I smile when I see my mom or an aunt wear a piece of now vintage Sarah Coventry purchased through me ~ still as beautiful as the day it was created. And I have lots of jello salad recipes from all those parties!

If you are looking for Sarah, its a wonderful investment, beautiful jewelry and will never loose its value, i have a few pieces available.

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