From classic studs, layered chains, to baroque pearls galore; this week we get candid on our jobs, our lives, and our own personal taste for Tahitian pearl jewelry. Featuring a few members of our Pearl Paradise family, and even a few friends- here is how these one-of-a-kinds style their one-of-a-kinds.
Hisano, Chief Creative Officer, Doggy Mom, and our Spiritual Guide
Being from Japan, the home of the Akoya pearls, are there any cultural differences surrounding pearl jewelry in Japan that differ from America?
Yes absolutely. Women in Japan are gifted with pearls for their wedding or when they become twenty years old (which is the becoming of adulthood) and pearls are worn to honor the deceased during funeral services. Japan has beautiful traditions to commemorate the departed loved ones and the purity of pearls takes a great presence.
What motivated you to start little h?
Pearls! I wanted to break the traditional use of pearls in jewelry design. Working with pearls every day and traveling the globe to see how pearls were created attracted me to create beauty with gemstones the way no one has ever imagined.
In what ways do you hope the pearl jewelry industry will change?
I hope to see more efforts in environmental improvements. We can all do our parts to keep the ocean clean and invigorate the biodiversity underwater. Without healthy aquaculture, the mollusks will not survive and beautiful pearls will not be birthed. It starts with our local beaches. If we can clean up our beaches and be grateful for what it offers, it will reach the parts of the ocean where the mollusks strive and grow even more beautiful pearls.
How do you style your Tahitian pearl jewelry?
With tiny Keshi pearls and small size Tahitian baroque and drops. I have few round pairs for earrings but all my necklaces are organic in shape and I love it.
Rebecca, Sales Manager, and World's Coolest Aunt
Baroque, drop, or round pearls, and why?
My personal preference is baroque pearls. I love the uniquely organic shapes, especially when the pearls have deep circles. I am a fairly traditional person in most aspects of my life and my jewelry allows me to show some of my unique characteristics.
When and why did you get into the jewelry business?
I have always loved jewelry! At the age of eight, I started my own denim earring collection. I glued rhinestone-studded denim clusters to post earrings. I thought I was the coolest kid with my Rebecca Jean’s jean earrings. I also have parents who, thankfully, love jewelry and have been fortunate to have been gifted some gorgeous pieces throughout my life.
How do you style your Tahitian Keshi pearls?
I love to layer my Tahitian Keshi pearls. I wear white gold and yellow gold chains as part of my everyday jewelry. I have an 18-inch strand and a 36-inch strand of Keshi pearls that I usually wear together layered with my other chains. Depending on my neckline or the top I am wearing, the 36-inch strand either remains long or is doubled up for a cluster of shorter strands. I am a firm believer in mixing and matching with different gold metal colors and other materials.
I also love to share… my father and my niece have both worn my Keshi pearls too!
Makenna, Customer Service Rep., and Obvious Model
Since starting at Pearl Paradise, has your perception of pearl jewelry changed?
My perception of pearl jewelry has definitely changed since working at Pearl Paradise. From the education I have received about how pearls come to be, to my new view of how precious and unique pearls are, I now understand the true beauty of every single pearl I get to work with.
What is your favorite part about your job?
My favorite part about working for Pearl Paradise is getting to work with our incredible customers. I absolutely love getting to help customers pick out special gifts for the people they love most (or to treat themselves)! I have gotten to know so many of our customers, and I truly look forward to every phone call and email I get. There is something very special about helping people pick out items that they will wear every day, or for those super special occasions.
How do you style your Tahitian pearls?
I love to style my Tahitians with simple gold jewelry to highlight the beauty of the Tahitians. They are so stunning on their own and deserve to shine with just a few accent pieces added in to make them pop.
Eliseth, Production Supervisor, super-Mom, and light of our lives
What attracted you to the jewelry industry?
I always knew deep down that I wanted to do something that has to do with art. I started in the jewelry industry 14 years ago, and I believe this was meant to be my professional path in life. Creating jewelry is something I enjoy doing. Making others happy through creating and putting all my love in one piece, is why I continue to work in the jewelry industry.
You are the happiest, most joyful human we know. How do you maintain such positive energy?
Live, not just survive- and I love to live! Opening my eyes every morning is a win. I also know there will always be a solution for every problem or situation. Where there is life there is hope!
How do you style your Tahitians?
There are so many styles and Tahitian colors that are so hard to choose from, but I will always go with the elegant yet casual combo. A simple pendant with studs is perfect for every day at work.
Cathy D. Boss Lady, and long-time Pearl Paradise Customer
Baroque Circled Tahitian Strands, Pearl Paradise
What advice would you give to the next generation of female business owners?
The advice I’d give to anyone owning or aspiring to own a business: Never give up. Never quit. Never let anyone tell you “Can’t”. In order to get there, listen and learn from everyone you can, that’s where your knowledge, skills, and confidence base will come from :)
What draws you to the circle pearls?
Circle Pearls … Oh how I love circle pearls; all circle pearls! But especially Tahitian circle pearls. The rings and circles often result in the most brilliant, reflective, and even iridescent bands of changing colors … every one unique.
How do you style your Tahitian pearls?
My favorite pearl style, and one of my first purchases: An investment in 2 strands of Tahitian pearls. Coordinating colors, and strung so they nest neatly at the neck, with compatible clasps. That becomes 2 different length short necklaces, or a double-strand more opulent look, or connected together to make a luxurious rope. Because Tahitians reflect colors like chameleons, you have the basics of a pearl wardrobe that can be worn for a lifetime. I give all credit to the wise advice of our pearl mentor extraordinaire, Hisano Shepherd, for guiding me to this style, which I’ve repeated many times with many types of pearls
Baroque White Tahitians set with tiny silver diamond beads, Pearl Paradise
Susan R. Tahitian lover and Aviation Queen
Being a flight attendant veteran, where is the best place you have traveled?
I have several favorites! However, I love and try to frequently return to one city I love is ‘the city of lights’ .. Paris! The beauty of its architecture, the delicious food, the wine, the museums, and love seeing the style of French women. Wonderful. There is always something new to do, see or experience, regardless of the weather. On a lovely day walking Montmartre, Latin Quarter or the Champs Elysees and when rainy, visiting the museums.
Baroque, drop, or round pearls? And why?
Oh, I really love and own strands of all 3!!! That being said, I do have a fondness for baroque pearls. I find their irregular shapes reflect light at different angles and appear very lustrous.
How do you style your Tahitian jewelry?
I love my Tahitians!! I like to style my pendants and strands with complementary Tahitian earrings and bracelets. In summer when hot, I like wearing my pendants or my tin cup necklaces. Other times I love wearing my strands. Also like pairing a short-length pendant, with a strand of longer in length. And love my Tahitian studs! I wear them all the time. Have several different studs, that are different colors and have different color overtones. Studs are eloquent, simple, and classic!
Jeremy, CEO, and our Fearless Leader
In what ways have you seen the pearl industry change over the years?
I started in the pearl in the mid-1990s. The internet in its infancy stages and information about pearls and the pearl business, in general, was controlled by a few companies and publishers. The traditional way of sourcing pearls was to go direct to producers in Asia and the South Pacific, or to deal with large wholesalers mostly based on the East Coast.
Over the past 20 years with the dominance of the internet, the market has opened up tremendously. Information that was once hard to come by is now at the fingertips of every consumer via Websites such as Pearl-Gudie.com and buyers are now more educated than they’ve ever been. In addition, producers of pearls from around the world have also opened their doors, sharing the stories of the people behind the industry, and making connections with smaller importers and dealers around the world.
Which do you prefer: Baroque, drop, or round pearls, and why?
I prefer non-round pearls, especially baroque pearls. Pearls have a way of diffracting and reflecting light that is unique. Light penetrates layers of pearl nacre and diffracts to create colors that seem to float over the surface. When pearls have non-round shapes, these effects are often amplified and a single pearl can cover many different colors of the spectrum. I also like the true uniqueness non-round pearls. Every pearl is truly as unique as a snowflake, and non-round pearls accentuate their uniqueness.
As someone with a lot of influence in the pearl industry, what do you hope to change for a more sustainable future?
Pollution and climate change is an ever-present danger to our industry. Pearl oysters are the “canary in the coal mine” if you will. They are delicate creatures who only thrive in pristine environments. This means pearl farmers are by default also caretakers of the environment. Some make the environment and sustainability priorities with the future of their business and the planet in mind, and others spend less consideration, focusing only on returns.
Farmers that employ truly green, sustainable farming practices should be rewarded and the pearls produced should be marketed as such. There is no current structure or system in place that identifies where and how a pearl was grown. A lot of tracing strategies and ideas have come forward over the years, but there is not yet an internationally recognized system in place that differentiates. I hope to see this in the near future so companies like ours have the option to choose only pearls that were grown sustainably.
How do you style your Tahitian pearl jewelry?
I like to wear a single Tahitian pearl on leather. I don’t like to wear ties, so this is the perfect tie for me. I have both a large round pearl on leather for formal occasions, as well as a large drop-shaped Tahitian and one studded with diamonds (from my wife’s line – little h)