G&S Jewelry Mfg in Albuquerque, New Mexico, meets the needs of designers and manufacturers as they work from design through finished jewelry, whether for a single piece or thousands. Mary Ann Wityak, president of the company, and George Wityak, her husband and the technical sales manager, are both third-generation professionals working in the jewelry industry.
The company was founded in the 1970s, and the couple purchased it in 2013 after decades of working in jewelry. Marisa and Colin, two of their three children, are also part owners and work in the business.
The television show The World's Greatest recently highlighted G&S Jewelry Mfg. The program, which airs on ION Television network, explores behind the scenes at interesting companies.
The majority of G&S Jewelry Mfg's work is centered around vacuum investment casting. They can work from a hand-drawn sketch, a 2D drawing or a full 3D CAD drawing. "If the work isn't yet in CAD, we can use FaceTime as we work in CAD so the customer can see what we're doing in real-time," George says. "This helps to keep the customer immersed in the whole process."
Then the project comes to life through in-house 3D printing or milling, molding, casting, and finishing. A piece may also have customization with laser welding or laser engraving.
Before purchasing the company, George and Colin worked for a manufacturer that supplied raw materials to both G&S Jewelry MFG and Rio Grande. Their long relationship with Rio Grande has become even closer now that they're business owners. The Wityaks inherited two of Rio Grande's Neutec casting machines when they purchased G&S and have added two more Neutec JZP Autocast machines in addition to other purchases, including a parts separator, a LIGHTScribe™ laser engraver, a Riace wax injector and a B9 3D printer.
"Rio Grande is important to our business," George says. "We look at them as part of our family because they support our efforts for success so very well. We've recommended Neutec to others. We try to give credit where credit is due."
Colin, the operations manager, works to embrace new technologies. "We interact with the talented team at Rio to address all of the opportunities for innovations and evaluate based on our view of our customer landscape, our bandwidth and budget constraints," he says.
After realizing some of their methods were more time-consuming than they needed to be considering the new technologies available on the market, Colin pushed for a 3D printer. They hesitated because of the cost for a jewelry-quality model but tested the process with an inexpensive printer. "When we saw what we could do, we stepped up and got a B9 model from Rio Grande," Colin says. "That's just done wonders for us as far as the quality of those prints."
"Neutec products deliver terrific value to our company," George says. "The team at Rio always delivers excellent sales, service and support. We've never had any sort of difficulties or issues with Rio."
G&S Jewelry Mfg serves many small designers, and their team enjoys working with those who are seeking a one-on-one service. They've also found a niche with designers who make "Made in the USA" products and, since they are majority-owned by women, with other women-owned businesses.
They can cast in a wide range of metals—all karats of gold in all colors; regular sterling and tarnish-resistant silver alloys; four types of bronze; and lead-free pewter. A surprising sideline is that they also make objects for galleries, such as statues, and reproduce parts of antique vehicles.
G&S Jewelry Mfg not only makes jewelry for other companies, they also have their own line of Southwest and biker jewelry, some of which has made it onto the big and small screen. Bikers on the Outlaw Bikers TV series wore their jewelry, automobile appraiser Donald Osborne on Jay Leno's Garage wears a lapel pin they make, and some pieces have been worn in films.
When asked why their company is different, Mary Ann says, "Our talented group of artisans and craftsmen makes us special." They all agree that the best thing about their business is taking ideas and turning them into reality. "It's the process," Marisa says. "Something is drawn up on paper, and we make it into a tangible thing."
G&S Jewelry Mfg manages a wide variety of jobs with different styles and goals and that keeps things interesting. "Sometimes we don't realize jewelry can be done in a certain way until way until we've done it," George says. "Our strength is that we're nimble, able to shift tactics and get the job done."
To learn more about G&S Jewelry MFG, visit www.gsjewelrymfg.com or email [email protected] Neutec casting machines can help improve processes for manufacturers of all sizes. Learn more about how they can improve your casting processes here.