The holidays are our favorite time of the year. It gets a little chaotic, and extremely busy with our small team, but our customers make it worth it. We thought we would try something new this year, take you behind-the-scenes to highlight some of our top picks for the season
Meet the people who design, consult, produce, create, and carefully pack all the pearls you see. We do everything in-house from start to finish. If you need inspiration or guidance, our team has different styles, personalities, and preferences—we’re confident we’ll be able to select something perfect for everyone.
The best part? Every “Paradise Pick” will be specially discounted to 25% off for the season. Check it out below. We’ll be featuring a new staff member every couple of days.
Jeremy Shepherd, CEO
The story starts with a trip to China, while Jeremy was still a flight attendant in his early 20s. During the trip, he wandered into an exotic pearl market. There, he was drawn to a strand of the beautiful gems, which he handpicked by instinct. Back in the States, a jeweler told him they were worth twenty times the price he originally paid. Jeremy immediately cashed in his entire paycheck and returned to Asia to buy every pearl he could afford - never looking back on his bills or his job. Thankfully, his risky venture paid off. And thus Pearl Paradise was born.
Over the next eight years, Jeremy visited Asia more than two hundred times, eagerly learning everything there was to know about pearls. He studied their cultivation process from beginning to end, and developed friendships with the people who farmed them.Shop Jeremy’s Picks
Hisano Shepherd, CCO
Born in Japan and growing up between Tokyo and Los Angeles, Hisano Shepherd found her inspiration for jewelry at a young age.
While visiting grandparents in Tokyo she would scour the bead stores to spend her allowance making friendship bracelets for her classmates. Her true calling was found when she took her first metalsmithing class in high school. From there she went on to obtain her BFA from California State University Long Beach and her MFA from SUNY New Paltz in upstate New York.
Working from the ground up, from jewelry repair shops polishing rings and fixing costume jewelry to becoming the head sample maker for a fashion jewelry company, Hisano leads as Pearl Paradise’s Chief Creative Officer and runs her own branded line, Little H.
Mia Mesa, Sr. Product Specialist
Mia grew up in San Diego, California and graduated at the top of her class as her high school valedictorian. She went on to receive her college degree from the University of California, San Diego in Theatre Costume Design with Cum Laude honors. Her interest in jewelry design led her to study pearls and pearl grading with the Gemological Institute of America where she received her diploma in Pearls.
As Pearl Paradise’s Sr. Product Specialist, Mia sorts, processes, and styles the pearls that we offer on our website.Shop Mia’s Picks
John Dwight, Lead Designer
John Dwight (Jr.) was born in Cleveland Ohio, and later moved to Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, where he attended high school and college. Starting at the early age four, he spent his summers taking art lessons at the Cleveland Museum of Art, and always found himself particularly drawn to the ancient jewelry exhibits. By the age of 18, he was making his own jewelry and selling in art galleries and high-end boutiques across the country. In his early 20’s, he collaborated with renowned bridal designer Tomasina, and a line was created which was adorned with John’s handmade jewelry and sold nationally at Saks Fifth Avenue. John moved to Los Angeles over ten years ago and has worked with jewelry companies specializing in high-end diamonds and cultured pearls.
John is also an accomplished DJ, and has performed in such prestigious venues as the world famous Apollo Theatre in Harlem, The House of Blues in Los Angeles, and the Allenby 58 in Tel Aviv Israel.
At Pearl Paradise, John manages the in-house production of new jewelry designs to add to the site, as well as developing and managing new marketplaces for Pearl Paradise’s pearl jewelry to be sold.team