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Non-Profit

with Doug Napier

 

Many young artists find themselves wanting to “make a difference” in their world or
community, or just a way of expressing themselves through their art, but do not know where to
start. They find themselves without a viable career option and have no direction, no hope, and
suffer from a lack of purpose.
We also know the 4-year schools and universities burden many young people with a
lifetime of debt, and many times don’t fulfill or equip them for their future. We are a Regional
Jewelry Training Facility that gives people a career option and life skills through jewelry
making, without the stressful debt.
We believe life was meant to be shared enjoyed, and with the proper direction, we can
show others how to express themselves through their art and learn a trade they can refine through
their life.

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Introduction

Most jewelry sold in the United States is mass produced in large overseas factories with
no real connection to their customers or the communities. At The DeCory Jewelry Institute, we
focus on teaching the skills of jewelry design and creation, as well as branding, marketing, and
sales, to artists who have a passion for the wearable arts industry. We want our students to
follow their dreams of jewelry making and have a marketable skill they can take with them for
the rest of their life, as well as being proud of the jewelry they make.

What Sets Us Apart

 

As a career-long Technical Model Maker, I (Doug Napier) have been, and am still sought out to work with some of the largest jewelry making companies in the world because of my expertise and understanding of the jewelry making process. I have built and ran model making departments for companies all over the world, as well as trained jewelers in these factories, because of my understanding of the jewelry making process, and my skills as a jewelry maker. I bring all this history into the foundation of what we are building in both our production facility, Jewelry by DeCory, and The DeCory Jewelry Institute. I have also built many relationships with jewelers and jewelry factory owners over my career and have many friends and acquaintances who I can lean on.

In today’s worldwide manufacturing, there are many techniques that involve chemicals and other harmful processes that are used as cost and time saving measures that we don’t use, and we teach effective alternatives. The clients and students that we will be seeking out, and the customers we will connect with, are not as concerned with less expensive product at the cost of their future, but more interested in responsible sourcing of materials and making a positive impact on our environment. Again, we are creating a world class training facility that not only

teaches the creation of quality jewelry, but also quality jewelers, who understand the legacy they are a part of creating and the world they will be leaving behind.

 

Changing Customer Values

 

We believe we are at a turning point in our culture where cheaper is not always better and saving a few dollars to have an overseas company make less expensive products by using underpaid workers is no longer an option. If we can create a quality product that customers and clients believe in, and at the same time provide a quality education in the jewelry trade they can get behind and be a part of making a difference in the lives of others, I believe we are filling a gap in the workforce with artists and creatives. Every day more and more people are waking up and seeing that the simple decisions they make in their daily lives have a larger impact on the future they are setting for themselves and their children. There is a new wave of “makers” doing business in America, and The DeCory Jewelry Institute is focused on providing the education for many who want to fill this gap.

The Location was chosen in Rapid City, SD for several reasons.

First, there is a rich heritage of jewelry manufacturing in this area, and I want to build upon this history and give back to the hundreds (possibly thousands) of families who helped build this legacy. Most of the jewelers who were employed over this time have moved on or retired, but their children and grandchildren are still in the area, and I am sure some would like to tap into their family’s history of jewelry making and learn the craft and take it forward.  

 

Second, the pace of life in Rapid City is more my style, and I would like to build this into the company. I have worked in some large companies around the world in the Dominican Republic, China, and New York City, and the stress and pressure of production is overwhelming, and affects the atmosphere and the workers. Stress is a huge problem to people, affecting their mentality and their health, and although deadlines and problems do come up from time to time, it can be handled in a way that is less stressful and as a team.  South Dakota has an amazing work ethic, which will drive production in and of itself, without the added stress of an overbearing mentality of production at “any and all costs”. We will not be lackadaisical about getting products finished but will work with training and technology to accomplish this in a competitive way.  

Another reason this area was chosen was because Rapid City has a great Business 
Development mindset and will be a great resource to tap into as we continue to grow in the area. As we outgrow our current location in the next year, there are plenty of options to move and grow into, and Rapid City will be helpful in transitioning into a larger facility.

Lastly, my heritage is partly Native American, and I (Doug Napier) am an enrolled

member in the Rosebud Lakota Sioux Tribe, and I have always dreamed of creating a outreach where I can give back to this part of my roots in some way. Native Americans in the area have always been talented artistically, and I hope to be able to provide scholarships to give the opportunity to some so they can rise above their situation and have a viable career option in their lives, to take with them moving forward. My focus is not solely on Native young people, but to all who are a little under privileged or less fortunate, and to be able to give others a future goal

and skill is a driving force behind all we will do as a company. As a child, the 2 people in my life that have impacted me the most were my grandfather Samuel R DeCory because of his work ethic and character, and my uncle Jack DeCory because of his artistic capabilities as an artist and a musician. This is why this Trade School is called The DeCory Jewelry Institute, to pay tribute

to my heritage and family.