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Singer Cashes In on Jewelry; So Can Buyers

When Donna Knight cashed a $25 unemployment check in 1983, she invested it in jewelry findings.

On scattered gigs singing with husband John Barritt’s band, Metro, she felt that she needed to wear jewelry that made a statement that was slightly outrageous. Because she couldn’t find what she thought her costume needed, she decided to make her own.

Those first earrings were a pair of dice. Friends in the audience wanted to know where she had gotten them, so she made some for them. When they wore them, still others wanted to know the source. Soon Donna was in business, making jewelry at home. She named the company after the band, calling it Metro Fashion Jewelry.

Eight years later, the couple have a full-time manufacturing business making outrageous costume jewelry. Donna does the designing; John handles the business and accounting.

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When their modest Panorama City home couldn’t house the paraphernalia any longer, they moved into an old 5,000-square-foot factory, where they have been ever since.

John still has his band and Donna is still the lead singer. That’s what they do on weekends. During the week, they supervise the products and fill orders from major department store chains and specialty stores throughout the Los Angeles area. Funky and outrageous are in, and Donna’s designs are affordable to her target market.

Metro Fashion Jewelry opens the doors to the consumer several times a year for sales. Saturday is one of those times. But this sale is special.

The couple are relocating to a more modern manufacturing facility, so they are staging their biggest sale ever.

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Usually at their sales, costume jewelry fanatics crowd the aisles for the wholesale prices that prevail, but this time, the price formula is 50% to 70% below wholesale.

Designs that some major department stores and specialty shops sell for $12 to $45 will be selling from $1.25 to $10.

These are overruns and some samples, but all are first quality and current merchandise. Earrings predominate, but there are some bangles and hair clips.

Donna uses a lot of Austrian crystal on base metals with lace and sequins and brilliantly colored stones.

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This jewelry is definitely not for the faint of heart.

Metro Fashion Jewelry, 15825 Stagg St., Van Nuys, (818) 988-1900. Sale date: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Cash or check only.

Geri Cook’s Bargains column runs every Thursday in Valley View. Questions about shopping may be sent to her, in care of Valley View, Los Angeles Times, 20000 Prairie St., Chatsworth 91311. Letters will not be answered individually, but topics of general interest will be discussed in future columns.


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