One of the things I do for extracurricular activities at the school is prepare my students for a competition called Skills Canada. I have been fairly lucky, a few years back a student of mine- one of the most hard working kids I have ever taught, John Matienzo, competed in the Web Design competition and won first place provincially and then went on to place fourth Nationally.
Last year I brought another group of students to compete- we went as a team with other teachers and students from our board. Gerry Goulding was one of the other teachers involved and he is originally from the Rock. The night before the big competition the team went out to a group dinner and it was then that I noticed Gerry’s ring. It was a beautifully crafted gold ring with the shape of the Island on its face; is bolstered by the Newfoundland flag on both sides. I just had to ask him about it.
It turns out Gerry makes the rings himself:
“I got into the business of rings after I came back from Newfoundland one summer. I had purchased a Newfoundland ring from Trinity, Trinity Bay. It wasn't the nicest designed ring, however, it still caught the attention of any fellow Newfoundlander that happened to be in viewing range of my finger. A few people even asked that I purchase them one the following summer. When I visited the place that I bought the ring from the previous summer I found out that they did not make them any longer. I made a decision right there and then that I would design an even better version of the Newfoundland ring that would be both gold or silver and capture both our Island Map and the flag of Newfoundland.”
It is one thing to come up with a great idea, it is quite another to make it a reality. Gerry comments: “It sounds simple to come up with the idea of a Newfoundland ring, however, there were many design hurdles to overcome before I arrived at the current version of the ring. Finding the right people to cast and mold the design proved to be an eye opening experience for someone who was very green to this type of business. Although I do not come from a business background, I have enjoyed the challenge of designing a product and bringing it to market. “
Until recently, Gerry found the best way to sell the rings was using sites such as Kiijii and Craigslist and had a fairly good response. Recently, he set up a website Home Pride Jewelry which showcases the ring and other products he offers such as versions of Irish County Rings custom jobs. I told Gerry I may ask him to a Newfoundland brooch for my mom, as she collects brooches, he was very receptive. He plans to expand his line to include other items such as pendants, bracelets, and earrings. “One of the driving forces behind my motivation to sell Newfoundland jewelry is that we are definitely a flag waving, proud people and love to let everyone know where we are from: the best place in the world! My ring motto is," Newfoundland....always close at hand!"
Thanks Gerry- now get to work on that brooch there are only 343 days left until Christmas!