By Michelle Graff
Tous produces 30 new collections a year, all based on a singular theme chosen for the entire year. The 2015 theme is Miami. This bracelet from the spring/summer Hand collection is made in gold vermeil over sterling silver with a blue cord.Basel--Tous, a jewelry brand that sells five-micron vermeil, sterling silver and karat gold jewelry, much of which is emblazoned with its signature bear, is searching for a distributor to expand its presence in the U.S. market.
Now under the operation of its third generation, Tous started as a jewelry and watch repair shop in Manresa (Barcelona), Spain in 1920. But it wasn’t until 65 years, and another generation, later that it found the bear that has become its symbol.

As the story goes, Rosa Oriol, the wife of the founders’ son Salvador Tous, saw a shop window full of teddy bears on a trip to Milan in 1985, and started making gold bears for her friends. It was so well-received that Tous started manufacturing jewelry bear en masse for its clients as well.

The bear celebrates its 30th anniversary this year and Tous, which first expanded outside of Spain in 1997 when it opened stores in Japan, has 495 locations worldwide. Its second biggest market after Spain is Mexico.

The brand’s footprint is a mix of standalone boutiques, department store shop-in-shops and wholesale accounts with retail jewelers, said Oscar Santos, the company’s director of expansion and retail travel, in an interview at the brand’s booth at Baselworld.

In the U.S., there are 26 standalone Tous stores already.

In addition, Puerto Rico’s Reinhold Jewelers --which is owned by Marie Helene Morrow, who is known for being the first to carry designers and brands that later become wildly popular--carries Tous, and Reinhold also operates six standalone Tous stores on the island.

The company’s eye on expansion in the U.S. market affords jewelers an interesting opportunity: the chance to partner with a brand that has jewelry in a range of retail price points, starting at $60 and climbing to more than $10,000, and is more than just jewelry.

Like other jewelry brands, Tous has other branded products and, as Le Vian aspires to with the recent launch of its line of accessories, considers itself a “lifestyle brand,” not just a jewelry company.

There are Tous-branded quartz watches (retail $200 to $500), handbags ($150 to $800), wallets, scarves perfume and sunglasses.

Tous designs its collections and produces them at its factory in Sabadell, Spain, and uses external workshops as well. All products go through quality control at its headquarters. 

Retailers that carry Tous jewelry also can carry its accessories.

Editor’s note: This story has been revised to reflect the following corrections: Rosa Oriol was inspired by a shop window in Milan, not Madrid; and Tous has 26 points of sale in the United States, not 20 as previously stated. The company’s manufacturing process also was clarified.  



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