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Custom In The Age Of Mass Production: Naomi Franklin

By September 3, 2020Uncategorized

Custom in the Age of Mass Production


We all know how easy it is to obtain almost anything we want to buy with very little effort: open your web browser, click a few times, receive it two days later (and if it’s late, aren’t we usually upset?). We frequently sacrifice quality for convenience–and for some items, it really doesn’t matter and saves us some money and hassle. We Generation Y and Z-ers use the internet as our default shopping method. Don’t get me wrong–I am thankful for the convenience of online shopping. But if we are being honest, I think we could all admit that the normalization of speed shopping for generic products has made us lose something.

My dad recently told me about growing up on Long Island in the late 1950s. Although all this sounded like a myth to me, just like the thought of a typewriter or a telephone with a real wire attached to it, I have no reason to doubt the veracity of his tale. He told me of days gone by where there was the local iceman, produce man, newspaper man, grocer, butcher, even the local doctor who actually came and saw you if you were sick. My dad’s family had a relationship with every businessman, and nearly every business was locally owned. I am thankful that progress has led us to a wider, cheaper array of goods and services to choose from, but I still found myself feeling a sense of loss when he told me what it was like to have a relationship with your local community businesses. People didn’t feel isolated, because face-to-face interaction was part of their normal, daily routine. Even the telephone was operated by a real person who you could talk to and ask to relay your call!

Not only is in-person shopping becoming a thing of the past, but goods are now being produced in mass quantities. My generation is used to buying generic, cheap goods at the click of a button. We have not, however, given up our desire for quality and individuality. True, we are willing to cut corners on certain items for convenience. But in many ways, we are even more desirous of the unique and well-crafted than our parents’ generation. We have been so bombarded with instant gratification and thousands of cheaply-made options that we long for something that is made specifically and individually for us. Contrary to what our parents’ generation may think of us, we value things that are handmade, individually crafted, forged with genuine quality. I see more and more people in my generation turning from the ostentatious and fake to the tasteful and genuine.

At Ruback, custom-made is our specialty. What we sell is chosen and designed by you (with a little help from us!) and produced especially for you. This is what makes us different from many other jewelers. At Ruback, you become the designer. The piece you create could be as simple as choosing your stone color for a sample band we have on display, or as complex as designing your own pair of gold drop earrings from scratch (I am helping a customer do that right now!). What I love about working here is that I get to establish a relationship with every customer. Unlike an online or chain jewelry store, we get to know all of our customers personally. We get to know your preferences and tastes–how else could we help you design your custom piece of jewelry? Stepping into Ruback is almost like stepping into the past–we are local and personal. But it’s also like stepping into the future, because I really do believe that we will see my generation returning to custom-made pieces that showcase individual taste and personality. We are creating something entirely new and fresh here every single day with the latest technology. We hope you will trust us to help you become your own jewelry designer and create something that has never been created before.