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K O J I M A P E A R L K O J I M A P E A R L

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Almost home!

Almost home!
Well my pearl hunting trip to Japan and Hong Kong isn’t quite over yet as I’m writing this from an airport layover but what a perfect time to show you all some photos of my adventures and give you an idea of what putting pearls in your hands entails.
Our 60 hours in Japan went by so quickly that I can barely remember it now.. But we did have a great soba noodle meeting with the farmers from Lake Kasumi ga Ura (Japan’s ONLY fresh water pearl production). There was a lot of giggling as per usual and of course lots of talk of the current state if the fresh water pearl market. These guys are true gems and it is our honor to carry their magical pearls.. Gifts from “the body of water beyond the mist”. On this occasion I was able to purchase a lot of Kasumi Keshi pearls! They are not big, most of them are not perfect.. And I know that the look will not appeal to most… But for those of you who are avid pearl collectors and understand the rarity of a strand (or rope) of natural color Japan Kasumi Keshi .. Then please find the sneak peek photos below .. I spent ALL day on Sunday painstakingly sorting these into quality and color mix pieces.. ( and for anyone who wonders if these are Chinese pearls.. Rest assured I could think of a thousand other things to do with my entire Sunday.
These are guaranteed Keshi pearls from Japan’s Lake Kasumi ga Ura… And what you see in the stringing board is the collection of one farmer over a decade!

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. 

 

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the TUCSON SHOW in a pearl shell …..

the TUCSON SHOW in a pearl shell …..

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.

The best night out was spent with new and old friends from Pearl-Guide . Thank you very much to Jeremy and Hisano for organizing and hosting such a lovely dinner. I wish I had better photos of it to share! Such a fantastic group of people. I was blessed to have been there. Thank you to Elizabeth Strack and Lois Berger for keeping me entertained with fantastic stories and hilarious bits of women’s wisdom. True pearls, those two!
The relatively short 6 day show at the GJX  is great! Just before jumping on the plane to fly home. I made the annual stop at the Gem Mall to see the work of my dear friend Lou Zeldis. As many of you know Lou passed away in 2012 and left an incredible collection of original art. His dear friend Liz Marx took the reigns and kept the booth open in his honor. She is a true friend  with a superhuman heart.

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!

Cheers, Sarah

 

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WHERE IN THE WORLD IS KOJIMAPEARL?

WHERE IN THE WORLD IS KOJIMAPEARL?
After our June Shows
We flew to Japan.

The protective ninjas we always travel with are

handmade by the amazing Aki Morishima.

From Tokyo , we rode the train to see our dear pearl farmer friends at 

Lake Kasumi ga Ura.

Next I spent two wonderful days in Kinugawa with my best friend, such a relaxing and much needed mini vacation.

And then we were off to Hong Kong for more pearl shopping and family time.

Directly following our time in Asia, I was super happy to join my fellow Pearl-Guide members in Malibu for a wonderful weekend of learning, sharing and laughing. As always , in gratitude to Jeremy Shepherd and Hisano Takei and all the people who make this my best pearl weekend each year ! I had so much fun this year, I forgot to take more photos. The pool was just too nice!

 

 

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Lou.. I will miss you!

Lou.. I will miss you!
My dear friend Lou Zeldis passed away yesterday.. and I am so blessed to have known him in this life. I met Lou waiting in line for a taxi in Tucson about ten years ago.. he was tall, poised and wearing about 25 necklaces (each one with a story, each one of his creations). We shared a taxi and became immediate buddies. Lou was the sort of person that you couldn’t help but notice in a crowd of thousands.. he glowed, it was impossible for Lou to hide. His art was an extension of his wonder. Lou was brilliant, having traveled and lived abroad for most of his life, Lou chose to speak his own language, a sort of glamorous pigeon which everyone understood. Lou refused to drive a car, and delighted in walking and taking the slower route. Lou was FUN.. the sort that would tie your hair to the strings of helium balloons and enjoy a sunny afternoon on the lawn blowing bubbles. So as I sit here writing.. knowing that you must have been needed for a incredible art installation in the sky Lou.. I thank you for your teachings, and for including me in the group of thousands of artists and free spirits world wide who all loved you and delighted in the character you were and shall always be… Here’s to the power of 9!
You will live forever in my heart.
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