By: Molly Smith
If your family is anything like mine, then there is a good chance you will inherit boxes of items filled with memories of your ancestors. It is a beautiful idea in theory, but more likely than not, these items will remain in a box in your attic. So how do you properly display and appreciate these mementos?
Enter Jamie Singer. Singer, who has her fair share of hand-me-downs, found a way to give a second chance to forgotten pieces. Her entrepreneurial spirit and fearless commitment to pursue her passions led her to start Crown Control. This jewelry company buys antiques rich in history, reshapes them into modern pieces, and sells them to customers who care about the piece’s legacy.
It all started as a hobby. Singer has been collecting everything from micro mosaics to old medallions since she was a young girl. Some of the pieces have been recreated and sold, but there are pieces she chooses to keep in her personal collection such as hand-me-downs from her great-great grandfather.
Her passion for this work is at the center of the business. Singer jokingly says, “Someone accused me of not actually wanting to sell my jewelry because I’ve loved certain pieces for so long and have a hard time selling them.”
Singer has always been interested in monarchy and royalty, hence the name of the business. The pieces have a deeper meaning than what you see at first glance, and the same goes for the Crown Control business name. The initials “CC” come from the initials of her parents.
Singer has dedicated her time to finding the pieces richest in history. She travels abroad about once a year to meet with vendors and explore shops. And while she does believe that Europe has the best antiques, she’s also a big supporter of purchasing locally. Her solid relationships with vendors all over the world led them to call Singer when new collections come in, prior to putting them on the public market.
There aren’t a lot of craftsmen doing what Singer does, so she has access to the greatest vendors. But that doesn’t leave any room for error; Singer has educated herself on proper pricing for antiques, the era pieces typically come from, and what a piece may have been used for.
Singer’s two business degrees and Master of Liberal Arts with a major in Art History are the foundation of this knowledge. “We can just talk art and art history, the vendors really appreciate that,” Singer says. This leverages Singer and prevents vendors from selling her fake pieces or charging too high of a price.
Once Singer purchases an antique, she ensures its unique history is carried through to the customer. “The pieces are all handcrafted, engraved, and hand stamped, so you’re truly getting a piece that is the test of time,” Singer says.
With every piece she sells, she includes a card that explains its whole story. “When customers understand fullness of the item, that’s when they understand its whole value. They aren’t buying a replicated piece,” Singer says.
Singer is able to see the potential in pieces that would otherwise waste away. She finds the piece’s historic beauty and enhances it with a modern flare. “I want people to understand the story and history of each piece. I want the piece to live again with someone else,” Singer says.
Sometimes it seems like her keen eye for discovering these pieces is a calling from above. One of Singer’s greatest motivators is seeing customers fall in love with her pieces. In one instance, a woman was drawn to a fraternal order piece and could not understand why. As the customer later discovered, her new piece was actually her own grandfather’s fraternal order.
“It’s about getting it in front of the right person who needs it. It’s about finding the piece’s home,” Singer says.