Owen Schwartz, President
As head of one of the leading casting houses in the country,
how did your journey begin?
Well, I started back in 1969 as a bench jeweler
for my father's company, Montreaux Jewelry, which at the time was
very successful. I was an apprentice, and I learned the trade from
the ground up. But in addition, I took instruction in
diamond-setting after hours, from the great Teddy Einhorn, and I
acquired a rich knowledge of the technical and creative aspects of
During that first five or six years in the
industry, I developed a strong interest in the business side of
things. I wanted sales, I wanted account management, and general
management as well. My brother, Eric, was also in the business and
he had decided to get into casting as an independent. So, in 1975,
I made "the big decision" and I left Montreaux to join Eric. Eric
had set up shop in the same building we are located now, and I went
right out there, selling casting services door-to-door for the new
company. Joel Weiss was working over at Hamilton, which was where
Montreaux had its casting done - and I had been in contact with
Joel on a daily basis for years. He joined Carrera as well, and
before I knew it, we had the makings of a very talented team.
What lessons did you learn over the years that led to your
Earning the trust of the customer is certainly
at the top of the list. For our customers to be successful in the
marketplace, they need to keep their designs completely
confidential. Over the years, we have built a solid reputation on
that front - so when a customer walks through our doors, they can
rest assured, no one else gets to see their designs, and we go to
excessive lengths to make sure it stays that way.
Next, I would say, interactivity with the
customer - building solid relationships that can last for decades -
is crucial. We want to be there for them, we want to give them the
right advice and we want them to succeed in what they are doing -
not only because it helps us, but because it helps them - and it
helps the industry. Our customers like us - even love us - they
trust Carrera Casting, and they know we're working hard to make
their journey a profitable one.
Lastly, a long time ago, I learned from my
father - and the way he ran his business - that you can't do
everything yourself. It's just not possible. So you have to
surround yourself with the most talented people to satisfy the
exacting demands of customers. And that is what we have done at
Carrera. Our three partners are highly talented in what they do -
the managers are some of the best and most dedicated people in the
industry - and I can confidently say the same about everyone in
You have been in the casting business for over 35 years. What
drives you to get up in the morning and come to work?
A number of things. First, it is very exciting
to have built a casting house that attracts the best and most
demanding jewelry designers, makers and marketers in the industry.
Each design that is brought to us is unique in the challenges it
presents in terms of casting and allowances for finishing. It is
really our customers that make us who we are. We are dedicated to
quality and satisfaction, whether it is a longer production run or
a single piece. I find that exciting, and it motivates me to come
But equally important, at this stage in my
career, it's important to be developing and reaching out to the
generation of jewelry designers. That is why we invite students to
come here to learn about casting. Teaching young people how we do
things helps maintain a thriving industry. And perhaps some of
these students will come to work here someday, or even become a
customer. That is terrific, to be able to do that for them.
Above all, I continue to be very interested in
our business and in our customers. As a partner here for over 35
years, it would be so easy to delegate my responsibilities and hide
in my office behind closed doors. Instead, I make it a point to be
out there on the floor every day, to detect and solve problems, to
make sure we incorporate the latest technology, and discover how we
can do things better.
So even now, working at Carrera Casting is
absolutely one of the great joys of my life.