On our most recent trip to NYC, I stopped into one of my very favorite supply warehouses for one of a kind jewelry components, CJS Sales. This time last year I was posting about the liquidation sale in preparation for their big move — well, they’ve just opened the doors to a newly opened location and I couldn’t wait to check out the new space.
Today I’m excited to share pics of the vintage treasures I brought back home, along with a peek into the new suite for anyone thinking about making a visit.
Wholesale vintage lockets, CJS Sales

When I used to live in the city and make jewelry full time, the world of wholesale jewelry supply warehouses quickly became a fascination and regular destination on my weekend agendas.
CJS is my very favorite to visit, because they specialize in buying out entire closeout businesses, meaning the majority of what you’ll find isn’t being manufactured anymore and comes in limited quantities. This is why buying in a bulk, wholesale format makes sense — if I have a gut sense that I can make something special for my shop, the chances are I won’t be able to find the pieces again, so purchasing the entire lot not only helps save money but supplies me with a truly limited run of jewelry. For any designer looking for inspiration or truly limited components, this place is worth a trip in my book.
There is usually a mix of both new and old, but the vintage stock is what keeps me coming back. I know I can count on boxes of vintage beads, lockets, and chains on any given visit, and there’s always something new to find. I could go on and on but think the pictures can speak best for themselves, so with that — here’s a virtual trip to what I consider one of New York’s best-kept secrets for creatives…
The new location is right on 5th Avenue, still in Midtown, and situated amidst the cluster of fabric and bead shops that make this area so inspiring to visit. Upon entering, the stacks of boxes bring an immediate sense of familiarity from the previous space, coupled with the exciting heart palpitations that indicate good things are in store…
Carl Schimel, CJS Sales
I loved getting a chance to see and speak with Carl (who owns and manages the space) all about the move and his recent purchases. I quickly learned that now is a good time to stop in since the majority of previous merchandise was liquidated during the move and Carl is now in the process of purchasing new old stock and vintage pieces to fill in the new space.
There are about 5 spacious rooms in the new location and I spent the majority of the time this trip sifting through the vintage brass, beads, lockets, and chains. That said, there’s a lot more to look through — think rhinestones, pressed glass cabochons and stones, findings, filigree, wood, plastic beads, bakelite chips, chain, lucite, Swarovski, cameos and seed beads. There’s also an entire section of closeout new manufactured goods for those interested in resale.
As I’ve shared in previous posts about CJS, they don’t sell online so it’s a bit of a thrill of the hunt destination and I like to take my time while there to make sure I’ve seen as much as possible.

After this trip, I returned home with a hefty collection of sweet little lockets and much more I’m excited to be making jewelry with in the coming months. Just look at these treasures:

All in all, I was so pleased to see this favorite spot open again and all the “new” vintage finds. I’ve included all the details for the new CJS location below in the event you’re planning an upcoming trip or in the area. We hope you’ll tell them we sent you and that we say hello from Richmond!

Contact Info:
CJS Sales Ltd.
390 Fifth Ave, New York, 10018
Entrance between Fifth & Sixth Avenues
Suite 411
Phone: (212) 244-1400
Hours: M-F 9am-4:30pm

Tip: Most everything is sold by the bag or lot and charged by weight or piece. There is a $100 minimum total spend and you’ll need to purchase onsite in wholesale format, meaning you’ll need a tax ID from any state, federal EIN number or international proof of business in order to shop at CJS. If you run an Etsy shop or online business (like us!) and are curious if you qualify, give Elyse a call or send an email and she’ll be happy to walk you through the details on a personal, step by step basis.

CJS Sales – The Big Reveal – 390 Fifth Ave NYC


CJS has moved into our new space!!!!! 390 Fifth Ave, NYC! Suite 411. Come check out our new digs! And be ready to hunt for treasure…we brought in new dead stock from our basement and barn as well as from our old warehouse! Wholesale Only! Must have a Tax ID, Fed EIN, and/or Intl Proof of Biz. $100 min. M-F 9am to 5pm.

CJS Sales is having a “floor sweeping” SALE!


At CJS Sales, buyers will find rhinestones, pressed glass cabochons, vintage chain, cameos, and seed beads next to finished costume jewelry from the early 1960s. Photography by Nina Duncan

“To fit into their new space, CJS Sales is having a “floor sweeping” sale to clear out their warehouse.  Merchandise they will not be able to bring with them will be sold at discounted prices. The sale will run until the end of July when they will be in their new home.

To shop at the warehouse, you must have a State Tax ID, Federal EIN, or international proof of business as this is for wholesale only.” Repost from Urban Made Project 

by Nicole Lau
CJS Sales: Crafts, Jewelry, Supplies (Vintage Warehouse)

16 West 36th Street New York, 2nd floor, NY, NY 10018

Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm through end of July

Aug 1, 2017: New Location – 390 Fifth Ave, Suite 411, NY, NY 10018


CJS Floor Sweepings Sale – Need To Clear Out Old Warehouse


Almost All Moved Into Our New Space!  Need To Return Old Warehouse With Clean Floors!


 CJS Floor Sweepings Sale!!!

Take Advantage Of Merchandise We Can’t Fit Into New Smaller Space + Need To Return Keys With Clean Floor!

Must have State Tax ID (from any state), Federal EIN, or International Proof of Buisness
$100 Minimum Total Purchase

CJS Sales: Crafts, Jewelry, Supplies
(Vintage Warehouse)

16 West 36th Street
New York, NY 10018 (through end July)

390 5th Ave
New York, NY 10018

Wholesale Only!
M-F, 9am to 5pm

Moving Sale starts tomorrow June 19 @cjs_sales throughout July or until we have moved snugly into our new space!


Got the new space. Moving Sale starts tomorrow June 19 @cjs_sales throughout July or until we have moved snugly into our new space!

Our new space is smaller than our current space so not all out treasures can make the move with us. Our moving sale to reduce inventory will be at 16 West 36th Street, 2nd fl, NY, NY.

Prices will return to normal after moved to new location so get in and get it out soon!

Must have State Tax ID (from any state), Federal EIN, or International Proof of Buisness
$100 Minimum Total Purchase

CJS Sales: Crafts, Jewelry, Supplies
(Vintage Warehouse)

16 West 36th Street
New York, NY 10018 (through end July)

390 5th Ave (August On)
New York, NY 10018

Wholesale Only!
M-F, 9am to 5pm


Urban Made Project Highlights New York Garment District Manufacturers [repost from the Emerging Designer]

Urban Made Project Highlights New York Garment District Manufacturers [repost from the Emerging Designer]

Nicole Lau knows the importance of New York’s Garment District. For three years, she was involved with Save the Garment Center, a grassroots, community organization that advocates for the preservation of the Garment District as a manufacturing and design center.  She started as an intern during her senior year of college grew into the role of Communications Manager. She is now pursuing an MS in Urban Policy at the New School and her latest endeavor, Urban Made Project is an admirable venture that shares the stories of the people that make the fashion industry thrive.What is Urban Made Project?Urban Made Project’s mission is to educate and inspire discussions on the need for local manufacturing and highlight the challenges in sustaining a vibrant urban manufacturing base. We do this by telling the stories of the people and their trade through written profiles, photography, and video clips, providing an inside look into a part of the fashion industry that is unknown to many.Why did you start it? 

Urban Made Project is a marriage of my knowledge of how cities operate and function, my curiosity for how things are made, who made them, and love for learning about people’s lives.

Starting Urban Made Project made sense. It was the right fit with my education and work background. In high school, I briefly interned for designer Sue Stemp for her Fall 2008 About a Girl collection. Her studio, ironically, was located in the Garment District, although I knew nothing about the neighborhood at that time.

As an undergrad majoring in Urban Studies, I interned at the Skyscraper Museum where I assisted in the research and production of the Urban Fabric exhibition. This led to my involvement with Save the Garment Center where I worked with community members to support the garment manufacturing sector through programs and outreach.

What motivated me to go forth with the idea came down to two reasons, the desire to share what I have seen and learned and the need to participate in the way the city I was born and raised was being shaped.

What I have enjoyed the most about my involvement with Save the Garment Center has been the people. I have continuously been inspired by people I have met, their trade, and their commitment to the community.

What I have enjoyed the most about my involvement with Save the Garment Center has been the people. I have continuously been inspired by people I have met, their trade, and their commitment to the community. When I began telling my friends who are architects, engineers, urban planners, and financial advisors about the people I met, they too were inspired. There are so many good stories that have not been told but would captivate an audience if there was a place to bring them together. Urban Made Project was developed to be that platform, a voice for the garment industry.

Recently, the City of New York unveiled a plan to rezone the Garment District and relocate garment-related businesses to Sunset Park. I have never considered myself as an activist, in the traditional sense, but Urban Made Project is a form of activism. I lead with a firm belief that policies need to be formed in conjunction with the constituents it will effect because their contribution of knowledge and experience, as one reading the profiles will recognize, will ensure the vitality of the industry in the years to come.

What do you hope to accomplish?

I hope that these stories change the discussion and focus around manufacturing. I noticed that there has been more news coverage of manufacturing trends which provides a good bird’s eye view. But it doesn’t fully capture what is happening on the ground. Numbers, like the number of manufacturing jobs or dollars of economic activity generated, disregards the human and social aspect of the industry which is pivotal to its growth and success. It is why Urban Made Project focuses on the most micro level, the individual.

From a policy perspective, I hope this can add to the discourse of the garment industry as its future is being contested today. As a body of research, it shows the complexity of the industry and its impact on the people it serves.

Richard Korenstein, R Kaye Jewelers
Richard Korenstein, R Kaye Jewelers

What are some of the most interesting stories/learnings from your interviews?

One of the main themes that came up in every profile was the ability to identify a demand in the market that was being unmet and cater to it. The main reason why these businesses continue to operate today is because they are responsive to the market and are willing to adapt as it shifts.

In the Garment District, Carl Schimel and his daughter Elyse run CJS Sales. You walk off the elevator and in every room, there are boxes staked floor to ceiling of vintage deadstock jewelry and accessory making components. The reason why CJS Sales is successful is because they understand how designers work. As Carl described it, a picture of a car in a beautiful champagne mist is different than going into the showroom and seeing it in person. It reflects light differently, it has a different intensity. Designers go to CJS Sales because online, they can’t get the depth of an item exactly. A designer may determine that a turquoise cabochon is alright but the green isn’t. Or that the rhinestone’s purple color actually looks deeper than depicted in the photograph. When talking to a designer, what is important is how a product looks to them.

This echoed what I learned from Richard Korenstein, the owner of R. Kaye. For the first 21 years, R. Kaye made custom buttons, dye to match buttons, covered buttons, and casted metal buttons, which are widely used by the military, and belt buckles. His clients would search his mold books would find that his belt buckles were a good fit for shoe buckles and his buttons could be turned into earring pieces. Realizing this potential, Richard opened a custom jewelry division four years ago which allowed clients to cross reference items from the button and buckle line and convert them to jewelry pieces.

It was fascinating for me to learn about the business aspect. The common thread in news articles about New York City’s garment industry references the businesses closing its doors, which unfortunately is the current state of the industry. But I found myself wondering, who is succeeding and what can we learn from them? When developing the concept for Urban Made Project, that is one of the themes I wanted to address and communicate in the profiles.

Any interesting facts that you have learned from these manufacturers?  

Adam and Warren Brand, M&S Schmalberg
Adam and Warren Brand, M&S Schmalberg, photo credit: Elisa Deljanin Padula 

It is uncommon nowadays for someone to remain at one job for more than 10, even 5 years. But for those in the garment industry, the “garmentos,” it is a job for life. Warren Brand, the co-owner of M&S Schmalberg, told his son Adam that he graduated on a Tuesday from college and came in the factory on a Wednesday, working full-time from then on.  Adam went on to describe how sometimes, when his father is in bed, he’ll think of a new flower that can be made by pairing together their 1,500 petal and leaf molds. When you listen to the stories of these people, you realize it isn’t a job, it’s really a life-long passion and commitment that is admirable and I think even bit envied.

During my visit to AGH Trimsource, Bob Sadin and Dave German entertained me with the story of Liz Claiborne who would go to their office twice a week to match her suits with their zipper colors. When she first started in the 70s, it was just her, her husband, and two partners. One of the lessons Bob and Dave learned was that when Liz Claiborne’s husband wanted something done, he would say, this is what I want, and people would tell him it is impossible. To which he would reply, it is not impossible. Just tell me how much it is going to cost and long it is going to take. This is one of the stories I recount to people because it captures the spirit of the garment industry. As Bob has said to me, if you can envision it, it can be created.

Dave German and Bob Sadin, AGH Trimsource, photo credit: Elisa Deljanin Padula 

What types of companies do you feature? 

We feature garment-related companies, manufacturers and supply stores. In the past, we have featured a vintage warehouse for jewelry suppliers, a fabric flower manufacturer, a zipper supplier, and custom jewelry manufacturer, so it a wide range, which is really great because it shows the diversity of the industry. Our focus right now is New York City but we hope to expand to other cities in the future. It would be fascinating to compare how the garment manufacturing landscape compares from coast to coast.

Learn more at Urban Made Project. 

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