Roman® was founded in 1963 with humble beginnings by Ronald Jedlinski. He and his wife, Diane, started the business in the back of Ron’s father’s store, Roman’s Art and Gift Shop. What began as a religious articles business grew to an award-winning manufacturer and distributor of Christmas items and inspirational products while still keeping its religious articles base.
Roman is dedicated to offering a unique selection of products to help people celebrate everyday joys and the special occasions in their lives. Roman is so grateful for outstanding employees, customers, suppliers, artists and friends, many of whom have been around for decades. The company continues to be family owned and operated with Ron and Diane’s daughter, Julie, and her husband, Dan Loughman, at the helm.
The family patriarch and company founder Emanuele Fontanini, embarked on his career of figurine crafting in 1893 as a talented 13-year-old apprentice to an artist in Bagni di Lucca, an area of Tuscany known for its great arts and crafts. Fontanini expanded his knowledge and skills in art through travels to European cities. He returned to Bagni di Lucca to launch his company in 1908, using money earned from the sale of his wares throughout the continent.
In 1973, Roman, Inc. became exclusive distributor for Fontanini® Heirloom Nativities®. Already a world famous name in Italian craftsmanship for 65 years before the Nativities became widely available in the United States, the much sought-after collection was prized for its lifelike sculpting, meticulous hand painting and attention to detail. The partnership with Roman has made Fontanini® Heirloom Nativities® the most popular in America for more than 45 years.
Nineteen years ago, we met a young artist named Joseph whose sculpting ability was unlike anything else we had seen. He could capture the two-dimensional art found in classic Renaissance paintings and sculpt them into three-dimensional figures so well, it was destined to be one of the most successful product lines Roman has ever brought to market. What started out as a few garden figures has blossomed into hundreds of subjects in the Joseph’s Studio line.