Waking up on Thanksgiving in the beautiful back country of Mendocino County was lovely.
Wifi is shaky in the country,
but I was able download the blog post from Passage des Perles , and warmed me like none other.
Last Spring when I visited with La Duchesse and her lovely family in Montreal, she handed me a gorgeous necklace of lustrous near round fresh water pearls that were dear to her heart, but said that she didn't wear that length much anymore.
Her account of what these pearls meant to her is a story that makes what we do worth it!
(really any account by La Duchesse is worth the read, we read them aloud in the studio, and you can sign up for her blog to be emailed to you too!)
I love bringing special pearl pieces back to life, giving them a current appeal while retaining the memories they hold for the owner.
It was an honor to rework these pearls for her.
Thankful for the ladies who trust us to handle their treasures.
We love what we do, we laugh, we play, we work with beautiful material, your stories and photos of how these pieces touch your soul and bring smiles to your faces is SO much a part of what gives us the steam to keep going all these years.
For the circle of friends and family we have created world wide, each one of you:
a pearl in the greatest strand ever!
Thank you all.
Exactly a month ago, we jetted off to Hong Kong to shop the famous pearl show. Jet-lagged but fueled with coffee and laughter we poured over the best pearls the world has to offer for four days straight.
We bought treasures galore and are busy dreaming up new designs!
I'm very excited to work with these natural pearls from the pteria penguin!
They were wild found, and are extremely rare!
I chose each one specifically for a one of a kind collector's piece.
Next stop was Hanoi. It was a joy to have 36 hours in this rich city, so full of life.
Probably the best moment from our short stay in Hanoi was when our office manager ran out of a temple to grab me and show me her favorite part; it was a shaft of light.... that light really seemed to like her too! #kojimagoddess
After a decade away from Ho Chi Minh City, it was so thrilling to see my friends again.
This is Co Bay, she was my neighbor so many years ago. When I showed up at her gate (unannounced after a decade), she wasn't surprised at all, and acted like I was right on time. She is a testament to prayer and clean living. This woman means SO much to me, seeing her again brought me to tears.
Laughing with old friends is the best laughter.
After all the visiting, we jumped head long into preparations for a pearl lecture and trunk show at the Circle of Love in District One, HCMC.
We were prepped for the TV cameras and thirty reporters who showed up for the show!
It was a great time, the shop was gorgeous and the reporters asked really great questions.
Click here for an article in Vietnamese about our visit to Circle of Love.
We spoke mostly about Japan Kasumi pearls. We discussed the history, integrity with which they are farmed and the value of these dear fresh water pearls from Japan.
It was our pleasure to introduce Japan Kasumi pearls to Vietnam !
Thank you Tam Mavroudis and Circle of Love for the opportunity and hospitality!
Directly following the trunk show, we jumped on another flight to Hong Kong, resumed pearl shopping, processed the shipments and then made sure to get in a bit of clothes shopping. :)
Neither these options ended up coming home with us, but the temptation was real.
A day after landing into the peace and quiet light of California, I headed up to Mendocino County for a family reunion.
This pot of gold was the perfect balance to the hectic pace of big Asian cities.
Unfortunately, the peace and calm of our state didn't last long and now we are deep into the worst fire season in California history.
We are hunkered down in the studio by day and reaching out and caring for our friends and family in need by night.
We as a company will be donating to the victims and evacuees of these fires.
The California fires are only one of the MANY disasters humanity is facing right now.
May we all BE and SEE the helpers right now!
We're home for the next couple of months prepping for our Holiday Sale which will start right around Thanksgiving and we have tonnes of pearl designs up our sleeves!
Cheers, Sarah and the KojimaPearl team
Making this very special piece was a journey.
I chose these micro mabe pearls from the farmers of Sea of Cortez pearls in Guaymas, Mexico one by one.
The Cortez pearl farm is the ONLY saltwater pearl farm in North America...and as you have probably guessed by now...we are in LOVE with their magical colors. Grown in the Pteria sterna oysters in the flourishing and protected waters they are also known as "rainbow lipped oysters"
Micro mabe pearls are appx. 8-9mm in diameter and are hand cut one at a time at the farm on Bacochibampo Bay.
At the center of this 19" long necklace hangs a 2.5" detachable pendant of graduating sizes of mabe pearls with a gigantic gem of 1.5" in length.
We hand set each of these mabe pearls on a sterling silver seat, and each one is bezel set with 14K yellow gold.
The clasp is made of 18K yellow gold and the necklace can be shortened or lengthened as suits your style.
It is a testament to the wide world of pearls to be able to work across a border to create such a stunning piece.
From a sustainable farm in Mexico to the hands of our jeweler here in San Rafael California...this piece took many months to produce.
For more information on Cortez Pearls please see our about the pearls page.
(last photo credit goes to the wonderful Wendy Fairchild)
With only 9 days between getting home from Tucson and leaving for Asia on a pearl buying trip… I barely had enough time to unpack, get a cold, have a birthday, fill the orders from Tucson, sleep and pack again… but by the grace of pearl fairies everywhere we made the flight! Tokyo is always fun, bright lights, quirky and polite people, and fantastic food. On our second day in Japan, we went to see our dear friends, the farmers at Lake Kasumi ga Ura. We spent the day with them, talking about their latest harvest, drinking tea and of course looking at pearls. Please stay tuned in the coming weeks for the addition of new Japan Kasumi pearls to our website. We had a lovely mini vacation in Japan. We accompanied Fuji to his childhood home in Miyanoshita Japan. We visited the shop where the original Pacific Pearls store was in the 1950’s. We visited the Fujiya hotel where Fuji and his sister Aloha were frequent visitors at the heated pool as children… and we visited Lake Ashi where Fuji’s father Rudolf was an avid swimmer. We spent a wonderful time at a hot springs in Hakone … with a view of Mt. Fuji from the pools! WOW what a magical experience, to sit in a natural hot spring with snow on the ground and Mt. Fuji in the distance. We were very lucky to have this view despite the winter weather.
When we landed in Hong Kong … This was the forecast.
And this was the view from the ferry coming home from visiting a friend in an outlying island.
So we splished and splashed from one office to the next trying to see as many pearls as we could before the Hong Kong show started. Most of my days were spent like this.. Making pairs and sorting through thousands upon thousands of pearls to find the most beautiful and unusual ones I could.
Fujis sister Aloha was in town from Bangkok and it was a joy to accompany her to the Hong Kong show as she has been in the pearl business for her entire life and is also a GREAT designer… So fun to have shopping buddies and teachers. It had been so long since i last went to the Hong Kong Jewelry show, I had forgotten how much fun it is! Here is a photo of her wearing our simple drop earrings , so complimentary with her elegant purple blouse!
The weather cleared just before the show began and these are photos from the roof of our building in Tsim Sha Tsui.
My favorite place to escape the hustle and bustle of a city with 7 million people!
The show was fantastic! I really enjoyed seeing so many old and new friends and shopping for pearls and other jewels for three long days!
Here are JUST A FEW of my favorite finds. I will of course post them all on the website little by little upon returning home.
AND as an added bonus.. Whilst I was away.. our team at home produced some very tasty pearl rings in our studio in downtown San Rafael.
These are simply warming my heart right now!
So the time has come to board the plane and say goodbye to the balmy days of Asia for a few months..
Thank you all for supporting what I do.. there is magic in it all.
Every year, the show in Tucson is a buzz of frenzied work and inspiration. It is one of the few times of the year that I am graced with the presence of so many pearl experts and enthusiasts. This year was no exception. Our booth was busier than it has been in years. Many old friends and customers who hadn’t made it for the last few years, returned to our booth … and it was a joy to see them excited about the pearls. Ready to go home and thrill their customers. One of my greatest pleasures is feeling like the special care we pay to choosing both beautiful and unusual pearls echos throughout the world born into one of a kind creations by some of the most talented and kind people in the business.
We flew from San Francisco on a crystal clear morning … looking forward to the fun!
After a quick birthday lunch celebration for Fuji , we settled in and finally finished pricing all the pearls.
Ready for the great show ahead!
For one golden morning we get to sneak out of the booth and meet with a fantastic group of pearl professionals for a walk and talk around the AGTA show. This walk is organized by the powerhouse appraiser known as Lois Berger.
Lois Berger the world’s most determined pearl grader!
Cute as a button and stronger than most people I know put together~!
Gina Latendresse of the American Pearl Company showing us all some of her interesting beauties. http://www.americanpearlcompany.com/our_company/ Gina is a second generation pearl dealer specializing in American Cultured Pearls as well natural pearls from all over the world. (She can also do handstands and flips) Needless to say , she’s a pearl heroine of mine! The history of their family in the pearl industry is most incredible.
If you knew Lou, please visit the facebook page created in his spirit.
Now it’s back to work, details details details… and pearls galore! Thank you for your patience, to all of you who have been waiting for responses and custom orders. I hope this photo montage will help you to see what a pearl whirlwind looks like!