Last updateTue, 22 May 2018 10pm

Collegiate Bead Co. attributes increase in innovation, efficiency to manufacturing in USA


(ROYAL OAK, Mich.) - This spring, Royal Oak, Mich.-based Collegiate Bead Company is rolling out new licensed sorority bracelets, college pendants and hand-finished beads, the product of increased product innovation resulting directly from the company’s decision to bring its manufacturing operations back from China.

Delta Zeta Pearl Bracelet from Collegiate Bead Company is one of many new, innovative products being introduced this spring.
Since forming a manufacturing partnership with Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Terryberry late in 2011, Collegiate Bead Co. sales are up, production volume is increasing and innovation is skyrocketing. Today, all the company’s products are made in America.

Collegiate Bead Co. is owned by Dave Schowalter who is proud to be “the only manufacturer of entirely American-made beads designed to fit Pandora, Chamilia and other popular charm bracelet styles.” Retailers interested in distributing Collegiate Bead Co. products will find information at www.collegebeadco.com or by calling 248-515-2718.

The new Collegiate Bead Co. sorority pearl bracelets feature high quality sterling silver barrel- or oval-style beads bearing the logos of 26 popular sororities and black or white Swarovski pearls.

Scheduled for release in spring 2012, Collegiate Bead Co. pendants will feature the company’s popular sterling silver enameled beads and will be available in either school colors or black and white for more than 75 different universities, colleges and sororities nationwide, with plans to expand the line further as the year goes on.

The company holds licenses to produce beads, bracelets and other jewelry items bearing the logos of nearly 200 United States universities, colleges and sororities.

“We feel no one else is making college and sorority jewelry that fashion-conscious consumers actually want to buy,” Schowalter said. “We’re making products that are in high demand and we’re doing it right here in America. Bringing Collegiate Bead Co. manufacturing back from China to the United States was the best decision I’ve made for my business.”

Since resuming American manufacturing, Collegiate Bead Co. sales are up more than 75 percent, production volumes have increased nearly 120 percent and product innovation is progressing faster than Schowalter ever imagined. Production takes place both in Grand Rapids and in the Detroit area.

Top-selling beads to date include those of the University of Michigan, Ohio State University, Penn State University, West Virginia University, University of Alabama, Virginia Tech University and Washington State University, as well as sororities Delta Zeta and Kappa Delta. Collegiate Bead Co.’s newest licenses include those for Yale University, the University of Hawaii, Boise State University, Loyola University, Eastern Kentucky University and Appalachian State University.

The company also produces beads for popular travel destinations like New York, Lake Tahoe, Washington D.C. and Key West and can produce custom beads in batches of as little as 60 units.

According to Schowalter, growth opportunities for Collegiate Bead Co. could include sports licensing agreements with organizations like the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA).

Retailers interested in distributing Collegiate Bead Company products will find information at www.collegebeadco.com or by calling 248-515-2718.