Monday, 8 May 2017

How to Wow Your Customers with Pearls

Hello again and welcome to 2017!

I hope you enjoy my latest instalment of my infamous blog- Pearls My Continued Passion
Like so many of us, I have been extremely busy into the lead up to Christmas and into the New Year. It was particularly lovely as Christmas windows are magical to design. I work with several wonderful shops up and down the country, enjoying tailoring their individual styles to their windows.

Wow Your Customers with Pearls

All my windows are my favourites! From the traditional ‘cosy’ Christmas window with red,gold and green baubles, seasonal foliage and snow to the ultra modern scene in metallic colours of steel, gold and rose with a good dose of  twinkling lights! Each of my windows reflects my client’s image and the message they wish to convey. There is never a dull moment, lots of fun on the way to achieving ‘the look’.
How your shop windows look conveys a lot to the public who you are and what you are as a company. The power of the window can not be under estimated. They reflect you. I fully realise that running a shop, buying beautiful things, customer care and managing a team, often the windows are the last thing on the list to deal with! However with a little thought and planning plus a good sprinkle of imagination your windows can look professional and cared for.

Pretty Pearl Windows

Here are a few suggestions to help you get your windows off to a great start this 2017! Some of which is very basic but often neglected….
  • Keep them clean and tidy
  • Hire a window cleaner regularly who will not only clean windows inside and out but will also wash wood work and doors etc on show to the public.
  • Designate staff members to be responsible for certain window areas
  • Plan your windows to coincide with promotions and seasons
  • Check windows at certain times during the day not just first thing in the morning
  • Always make the public smile! Use colour, themes and thought provoking messages
Photo courtesy of Oliver & J Jewellery
Isn’t this window amazing? It looks so fresh and inviting and makes me want to go in and try on those pretty pearls. What do you think?
Drop me a line  via the BPA as you can imagine the above is only the tip of the iceberg! It’s great to share and exchange knowledge, we always can learn something new.

Christmas Magic

Before Christmas I visited London and was overwhelmed by the beautiful windows and lights of Bond Street, Fortnum & Masons and Harrods. I would recommend to everyone to have a visit to be inspired, delighted and made to feel ‘like a child’ again. The atmosphere created by these sparkling, colourful, magical windows is truly spectacular.
We must all try and create’ magic’ in our shop windows and inside our stores. Not just for Christmas but everyday. Happy staff creates a happy atmosphere hence giving good customer service which naturally leads to cheerful customers who wish to participate and purchase something gorgeous! Simple but true.
I think 2017 is going to be exciting. Yesterday I spent a lovely afternoon planning my year of merchandising, consulting and loads of WI talks! I love the New Year with its new challenges and projects. Meeting new people is always a plus, exploring and finding wonderful pearls is also a plus! These things make my work a privilege and a joy!

Jewellery and Watch 2017

The next event on the horizon apart from romantic Valentines windows is the NEC jewellery and watch fair. I always enjoy these exhibitions whether it is at Olympia, Basel world or the NEC. It’s a great opportunity to find something new and catch up with old friends and make new ones in the Jewellery family!
This year I am going with a wonderful team of friends who like myself can not wait to explore and discover some wonderful new Pearls. If you are visiting the NEC and feel that the odd pearl or two will liven up a drab wintry few months, then I would suggest before you buy consider the following ‘top tips’. Most I am sure you will do anyway but you might find something of interest!

Buying Tips for Pearls

Appraise your stock before you go. Identify gaps in price range and design.
  1. Make a stock list of what you need to replace. You then can get on discovering the new ranges knowing your ‘core range’ is dealt with.
  2. Consider fashion trends and forecasts for the next few months.
  3. Consider your audience and location. What do you represent as a Company?
  4. Pearls cover a multitude of occasions from Bridal to Christenings.
  5. Anniversaries not just 30 years!
  6. Always have a variety of pearls from Freshwater (more reasonable) to Akoya and South Sea.
  7. Have well trained staff who understands about all aspects of pearls, this helps with buying the correct quality. Read up and brush up your knowledge!
  8. Most importantly buy what you need and what sells, NOT what you like. This contributes to over stocking. Remember when you buy you consider what other people may like not you personally. (It does help if you like it though!)
  9. If you can when everything else has been considered buy some pieces which will ‘liven’ up the window. You want to be individual.
  10. Focus the buying then you do not waste your hard earned money.
Pearls are like people, they are individuals, available in all their wonderful shapes, sizes and shades of colour. There will be a pearl to match most peoples requirements and comfortable spend. Never be afraid to suggest a beautiful pearl as a gift.
I do hope your 2017 will be healthy, happy and successful, in that order! Concentrate on the positive and all good things will come to you.
Till the next time,
Maria x

Pearls – My Continued Passion

Pearls – My Continued Passion
Hello & Welcome,
It seems ages since last we had a chat! Where do the months go?
I do hope you have had a wonderful summer. Mine has been full of exciting new projects, interesting places and great people! Let me share some of my adventures…
Some Snippets from Summer
The summer merchandising went well, with quirky Lighthouses, Beach huts, bathing belles, shells and driftwood all dripping with Pearls, Diamonds and very expensive watches.
As some of you may remember I also created a pearls summer picnic window complete with a silver tea set for afternoon tea and strawberries. It was great fun doing the windows, even more fun to see the expressions on the clients looking into the windows!
At least they made people smile and caught their eye.

In September I was working at the IJL. What a great event and honour to be there. I truly love the atmosphere and being surrounded by the trade and friends I have known for over 30 years. I still get that ‘buzz’ and joy of being part of such a great industry.
I merchandised a beautiful stand crammed full of exotic gems and Diamonds.
In the afternoon, I had the pleasure of speaking along side our very own Louise Tippey! (President of the British Pearl Association) Louise shared her passion for pearls and the reason why she has become so involved with the Pearl Industry. An inspired story truly. I shared my experience on merchandising and gave a small visual display on how to change ‘a look’ with minimum effort. We both thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and enjoyed speaking afterwards with the audience.
Merchandising Delights in London
Last week I went on a trip to Bond Street. It is a trip I enjoy several times a year just to get the ‘mood’ and ‘feel’ of what is being created and expressed. It is so important to be aware of what is happening. As usual it was a wonderful day, such an overload on my senses.
The displays were bright and cheerful, full of life and movement. It is difficult to say which display I loved the most, but, Mikimoto came very close with the deep blue sea colour, complete with stacks’ of Pearl books, pearls draped and displayed on them, all of the South Sea variety. Delightful!
I then wondered through the Park, the roses and trees looked beautiful. Some people were exercising their horses in the ‘horse lane’ that runs on the main pathway. It is always exciting to see the horses, elegant and powerful being put through their routines.
It is such a contrast to watch them whilst the City roars and throbs around the Park!
The Victoria and Albert Museum
After a short walk down past Harrods I visited one of my favourite places, the Victoria & Albert Museum. Cool, restful and oozing history, I made my way up the stone staircase to The Bollinger Room. For those of you who have not discovered this room, the treat will be enormous! This room never fails to excite my soul and trigger my imagination.

Through the door is a world of historical jewellery from earliest times to modern day. Artists such as Georges Fouguet sit next to Renne Lalique in all their Art Nouveau splendour. Faberge in all his richness and opulence is displayed with some of his playful carved animals. Rather like today, the lady’s of the time waited for the arrival of his new enamel colour so that they could buy silks to match!
The lighting in this room is very clever, just enough to make all the pieces twinkle and come alive, yet dim enough to cast a magical spell of intrigue and mystery….
This is the fascination with jewellery, since ancient times the human race has been involved in displaying craftsmanship in all its many forms, thus giving us evidence
Of how rich, powerful and clever these civilisations were. Jewellery represents all of these things in the past and present day.
I am continually amazed at the technical knowledge the ancient craftsmen had without all the advancement and no how we have today. Creating jewellery in past centuries was not just being clever with design to please the eye and lift the soul.
It was SO much more. Knowing how to handle and control the metals used, making then malleable and ductile and studying a gemstone for many days before deciding to cut or cleave to attain the maximum beauty and yield, is truly a skill of masters. Passing this knowledge down and skills through the ages helps us today to still create amazing pieces.
Today a considerable amount of jewellery is mass produced without any of the time respected skills handed down. Hand finished possibly, handmade rarely other than commissioned or bespoke pieces. Luckily we still have ‘Master Craftsmen’ trained and given the recognition they deserve for carrying on the wonderful skills. I am privileged to know some such people who rightly can claim that title. Their expertise and skill is breath taking. It takes many years to ‘feel’ the metal and judge a stone. To create a piece which is still practical to wear but with fine elegance is something you can not always teach. Being able to be part of the piece you are making ensures you can deliver perfection.
So the next time you are lucky enough to walk past a jewellers windows, peek in, and remember that the old second hand or antique pieces have taken many hours to be made by a skilled craftsman simply by sitting at his work bench, head down, working everything out without the aid of computers!

Till the next time,

Love Maria x

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Blossom and Pearls...

Blossom and Pearls- A Personal Account of My Continued Passion

blossom, british pearl association, blog, Hello & Welcome!
I am sure you have all noticed the wonderful display of blossom this season, cheering up the still grey skies and falling on the pathways like delicate tissue confetti. My garden is looking beautiful at the moment with our cherry tree in full bloom, its pale pink blossom providing a nectar feast for our bees! ‘Millie’ our hot pink Camellia is bursting with big bright velvet flowers, vivid and rich. I bought her 25 years ago when she was just a ‘stick’! ‘She ‘lives outside the kitchen window making washing up more bearable! So with all this blossom and beauty around me, I could not fail to make the link to my passion, pearls!!

Inspirational Blossom

Blossom heralds in the spring and remains with us generally till the end of May. Japan is renowned for its magnificent Cherry Blossom starting in February in Okinawa and sweeping to Hokkaido by May. This event in Japan is known as the ‘Sakura season’. The blossom is part of the culture and often people will have ‘Blossom parties’ and will spend many happy hours relaxing in the parks where many of the trees are, appreciating their beauty. This is known as ‘Hanami’.
Some of the most prized pearls come from Japan. These stunning Akoya Pearls are often celebrated in beautiful pearl blossom jewellery. Mikimoto has had a cherry blossom collection for many years. The purity of the pearl with the pretty blossom flower creates some magical jewellery!
The pearl whether akoya or freshwater is the perfect gem to use to celebrate the blossom, found in a variety of pinks, whites and creams, all complimenting and representing the blossom perfectly.

The Power of Pink!

There has always been an association with the colour pink with femininity. The colour range of pink extends from soft baby pink to bright ‘hot’ pinks suiting most girls and their individual styles.
Pink in all its wonderful shades will be seen in this season’ new jewellery collections, spilling into summer and melting into winter. Soft and versatile, pink and white fresh water pearls will look sensational with the new floral designs arriving in our clothes stores. Pearls of any description will look fabulous with a pair of well cut jeans, and tailored jacket or our LBD. Pearls will add a grace and sophistication to any clothes we chose to wear!
Fresh water pearls are less formal than akoya pearls and the beautiful South Sea Pearl. With their interesting shapes, colours and lustres, fresh water pearls give a whole new meaning how to wear pearls, getting away from the misconception of pearls only to be worn with a ‘twin set’ or by more mature women in the family!!!
Pearls are fun and radiant, giving happiness to ladies of all ages! Nature truly is a wonderful thing!

My Vintage Brooches!

In my last blog I left you with some beautiful pictures of some of my treasured pearl brooches. As promised I will explain more…
This particular adventure started on a chilly, very wet Norfolk afternoon! A dear friend of mine is renovating an amazing listed building to be used for wedding venues and special events.
The house nestles comfortably between several undulating cornfields, complete with its own charming brick and flint chapel and barns, the setting is idyllic. Its warm red brick and huge Georgian style windows were a welcome sight against a very black and rainy sky! A lot of the hard and heavy restoration work is being lovingly restored by her husband, who I have to say is doing an amazing job!
I had arranged to meet a superb photographer at the house. He has an unusual ‘eye’ for the ‘quirky’ photographic image, along with the ability to capture the essence of the moment. We have been friends for years, so with his lenses and my creative eye we embarked on a few shots!
I think you will agree what a wonderful place this will be for a dream wedding or romantic weekend away. The rooms are large and airy with a very warm and welcoming feel. Decorated to a very high standard with a nod to traditional fabrics and furniture but with modern conveniences, this is truly a delightful home. One bathroom has a huge shower complete with television! Awesome!
After a few hours of display and photography we left excited to see the results of our work. Here are a few images I should like to share with you, hope you like them.

blossom, british pearl association


Images kindly given by Laidlaw Photography
Wedding venue link on application via British Pearl Association

Till the next time, have a great month!

Maria x

Why I love Pearls?

PEARLS: A Personal Account of My Continued Passion

Hello and Welcome to my latest blog post about the power of pearls and why I just love them so much.
I do hope you all had a wonderful Easter despite the gales, rainfall and general bad weather across the country. For those of us which had a little sunshine, what a treat!
(Maybe better than chocolate eggs!?).
Throughout my career I have been asked many times, “Why do you like pearls so much?” .It is never a simple or short answer!!

Why I love Pearls?

Pearls are simply part of my life; I could not imagine a day without them. Quietly elegant, flattering to all, most definitely sassy and versatile, these beautiful organic gems can be worn for every occasion. I have made truly wonderful friends over a table of pearls. When we meet we often share our ‘Pearl Memories’ and the excitement of choosing the ‘right’ pearl piece. (My friends giggled when they found out that I even have a pair of tiny Cultured Pearl earrings to wear for my yoga classes!) Simply they are my Gem soul mate!
Most ladies will identify how manic mornings can be! Getting ready for work, making breakfast, the school run and of course attending to our partners (they never can find their socks, packed lunch etc…) who has time to REALLY think about jewellery for the day! That’s where the ‘Perfect Pearl’ comes to the rescue. No need to think, classy, chic, an instant glamour hit! What ever your wardrobe of the day, pearls will look great!

Pearls are the Business!

If your job requires a formal wardrobe, pearls make an impressive statement. Have you noticed many ladies in influential positions all wear pearls? You only have to look at Hilary Clinton, Michelle Obama and our own Royal Family, to mention a few, to recognise ‘The Power of the Pearl’. Whether the pearls are a simple classic row nestling in the neck with matching earrings or a magnificent South Sea Pearl on a pretty chain, Pearls will make a lasting impression.
Because there is so much variety in the ‘Pearl Family’ be it colour or shape, freshwater, akoya, or South Sea there will be a pearl for you to blend with your style and fashion.
pearls, british pearl association

Pearls are relaxed and versatile

The versatility of the pearl knows no bounds. When our working heels are kicked off and we are ready to relax, pearls add that ‘little extra’ to a white T shirt and jeans or tailored shirt. I really like wearing my shirts with pearl cufflinks and pretty soft grey Tahitian earrings with matching necklace. Even though I am casual, I feel great in them. The value of a pearl is so much more discreet, it’s like wearing a huge secret! If you opt for a longer rope of pearls then you will find them invaluable to your styling, the different looks you can create simple by knotting the rope or twisting is amazing. Often you can get three or four looks from one strand!
britih pearl association, celebrities in pearls

Pretty Pearls!

Pearls not only add to our clothes styling but also add to our complexions. These amazing gems lift and rejuvenate our faces by reflecting their own lustre onto our skins making us radiant! It is so important to choose the correct pearl which matches your skin tone. The pearl has to be seen but not be so obvious that all you see is the pearls, surprisingly !The pearl and you have to compliment each other, that way you will get the most from your pearls. The basic rule is white and pink pearls look great on paler complexions where as those of us who have darker skin tones creams and gold’s will look fabulous. However, there are always exceptions to the rule!

Influential Pearls!

Pearls throughout history have been linked to wealth and power, used as currency, funded Roman Legions and adorned some of the most famous ears and necks in history! Our own Elizabeth 1st owned over 3,000 pearl encrusted dresses (however, I have it on very good authority that some of the ‘Pearls’ were made from Venetian hand painted glass beads to resemble pearls). She also owned over 80 pearl encrusted wigs. They do not call the Pearl ‘Queen of Gems ‘for nothing! The oldest Pearl Jewellery discovered was inside the tomb of a Persian Princess dating back to 420 BC. This maybe viewed in the Louvre in Paris.

Pearls are Always in Fashion!

Pearls have NEVER been out of Fashion! 2016 is proving to be a ‘Pearl Year’. This years fashion notes reminisceent of the 1950’s call for sophisticated pearls, the soft hippy chic styles encourages more light and colourful freshwater pearls and for the ‘Rock Chicks’ amongst us what could be better than Tahitian Pearls on leather or to wear several strands complete with biker jacket! The choice as they say ‘is yours’ and what a choice!
I was recently on a photo shoot at a wonderful house in the country (more next time about that adventure) and took some of my vintage Pearl brooches. Hope you like the images. I wear them dressed up or down, they all work beautifully ,these pieces have definitely not lost their lustre or style !

british pearl association, pearls
pearls, british pearl association
1. Conch Pearl Acorn set in 18ct yellow gold 1950’s
2. Cushion shaped seed Pearl edged Victorian mourning brooch
3. Georgian Garnet and seed Pearl tiny dress brooch.

Till the next time,

Yours passionate about Pearls Maria x

Easter Window Display Ideas

Pearls: A Personal Account of My Continued Passion

Hello & Welcome!
With Valentines behind us, I look forward to the next set of lovely windows and all the Easter themes.

Easter Window Display Ideas

There are so many interesting ways to celebrate Easter from the obvious but still lovely, Easter trees to wonderful splashes of colour, over sized bunny rabbits, chocolate props or with a spiritual connection. What ever the theme chosen the windows are always a pleasure! I really enjoy the spring colours. The freshness of the greens and the happy bold yellows married with the clashing colours of purple and pink. These energising colours making the windows eye popping and gorgeous, lifting our mood and raising the spirits!
One of my favourite Easter windows was with ostrich eggs and lime green feathers! simple and effective. Speaking of impact try not miss out on the Faberge displays and exhibition in Harrods. They have several windows dressed with over sized Eggs! I am going next week, I can’t wait!

Sainsburys’ Centre for the Visual Arts

I have had an interesting few days but the highlight has to be The Alphonse Mucha Exhibition at the Sainsbury Centre of Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia. On a bright and crisp Norfolk morning I drove to collect my dear friend. We have known each other for many years and share a passion for jewellery and beautiful art. In fact that’s how we became friends over a small but wonderful piece of Faberge jewellery.
Driving through the country lanes the landscape looked like a vast canvass painted in the winter colours of green, grey and brown. The light and shade cast by the golden sun was mesmerising, as if the earth and trees had been gilded.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Sainsburys’ Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia it was designed between 1974 & 1976. The building is amazing, created by renowned architect Norman Foster. The building is a triumph in modern design. Light, spacious and airy with many functions including a large art/sculpture gallery. The surrounding landscape is also very beautiful and relaxing. This was designed by Lanning Roper; he added a lake and magnificent lime trees. Visually it is a treat before you walk through its doors.
We made our way to where the exhibition was being held. With huge expectations we stepped into the glass lift, we opened the doors and there we were presented with Alphonse Mucha paintings on every wall!
pearls, british pearl association, alphonse mucha
Czech born (1860 – 1939) Alphonse Mucha has had a huge influence and significance on the art world, with his fluid and unique style. ‘Le style Mucha’ is most definitely attached to the Art Nouveau Movement. Mucha believed that art is for everyone not just for the wealthy few. Hence a lot of his work is delivered through the power of advertising. One such piece is ‘Gismonda’ Mucha’s first art poster for the theatre (1894). This poster was before us, an elegant lady, tall, very beautiful and bedecked in fine clothes and jewellery held our gaze. The lady was Sarah Bernhardt the famous actress of the time who made the style of Art Nouveau very popular, expressed through art, design and jewellery. We were captivated!
british pearl association
Along side this painting was a glass cabinet with an exquisite sculpture, the caption read ‘Head of a Girl’, designed for the Paris exhibition in 1900 by Mucha for Houbigant a renowned perfumery company, which still is with us today. The head is made from bronze, silver and gilt ornamentation, the girls face was illuminated with a soft glow created by the metals used, serene and powerful all at once! Amazing!
The exhibition just kept getting better! Just when we thought it could not get any more perfect, we came across a jewellery cabinet with incredible Art Nouveau pieces. We were surprised and delighted. My heart leapt and I just melted into the moment. Inside the case was a decorated chain with two Alphonse Mucha pendant plagues painted with his signature girls faces, innocent and seductive at the same time. The chain itself is made of gold with bright enamel work, fresh water pearls, mother of pearl and smooth rounded pebble like, multi coloured gem stones including pretty Amethyst. This was exhibited at the 1900 Paris Exhibition, the creator was George Fouquet!!
Sitting along side in another case, designed by Rene Lalique in 1902, was a beautiful hair ornament fashioned from horn, gold, glass and enamel work with a finishing touch of a beautiful bright sparkling Diamond in the centre. The piece was dramatic yet understated, just the right amount of glamour without looking brash. We could not help imagine who had worn such a piece complete with elegant ball gown, dance card and with the anticipation of meeting her handsome stranger! Yes, you are right; we did get a little carried away!!

Pearls at their Finest

However, the best was yet to come. Placed on a stand was the Georges Fouquet Orchid Brooch (1898). Made from gold, enamel work, fresh water pearls and a cabochon cut central ruby, this brooch is magnificent. The  craftsmanship and technical expertise is a sight to behold. The movement and balance of the piece flows through its body. Spell bound it was hard to pull away.
british pearl association, pearls
After several hours of heaven, we had seen the exhibition. What an honour to see such art and jewellery, (the unexpected cherry on the cake). We decided the only way we could calm ourselves after being subjected to such beauty, was to have a pub lunch!
I hope in your day you see or experience something that makes your heart sing! It’s a hot chocolate right now for me!
Here’s to the next adventure! Happy Easter!
Yours passionate about Pearls,
Maria x


“Pearls: A Personal Account of My Continued Passion”

Hello and Welcome!
Pearls are part of my everyday life and of course my continued passion. What an interesting few weeks it has been filled with lots of fun, creativity, challenges and quiet moments of contemplation!
Merchandising is also a large part of my business. I so enjoy displaying all types of windows and have the privilege of working with lovely people plus handling amazing pearls and jewellery.

Valentine’s Day Window

As you can imagine Valentines Day was a busy time! After much discussion and planning with one of my clients we decided on the colour hot pink with baby pink accents instead of the traditional red colour for Valentines.
Using baby pink suede material for the panels and cushions in the display it made a lovely light contrast to the dynamic hot pink roses. The rose’s designs were printed onto heart shaped backboards. Using the same design I commissioned a LOVE sign to be made out of individual letters. The letters are all white with internal white swirl light bulbs! Silk roses and petals in the hot pink and baby pink brought the whole window together.
Creating this mood board of colour, texture and design was fun! The scene was set! This is one of the parts I love the best, taking the ideas in your head and making them real. However, you can only do a good job if you are a good listener. Every shop has its own vision on how they want their shops image to be conveyed. It is vital that I listen carefully to my clients to illustrate their message through the power of creativity.
The windows of a shop are the ‘Eyes’. I have found over the years due to normal shop duties and the pressures of running a business unintentionally the windows can take a back seat. Unless you have a designated team/ or person to do the merchandising. Yet they are the first thing a potential customer sees before walking through the door.

pearls my continued passion
Image Courtesy of Lord of London

The Power of Merchandising

How we present ourselves through the power of Merchandising, Advertising and Branding along with top notch customer service is crucial to the success of a business.
The excitement of a blank window makes me tingle! It’s also dusty and dirty work cleaning the windows and doing the essential house keeping before display work begins! I love it! The times customers outside the window ask me’
How much are you?’ (I am in the window) I really should me a millionaire! My response naturally is ‘Priceless!’
After two days of merchandising the LOVE windows,  we were ready! It was time to flick the switch and illuminate the LOVE sign. It looked bright and fresh more importantly my clients and their customers were thrilled with the look. It was also very noticeable from the other side of the road!
I am sitting on the train as I write this, it is 7am. The fields and trees I pass on my journey are covered with sparkling frost, glittering in the misty pale lemon sunrise. A lake is reflecting a pale silver blue light like a moonstone; the world is slowly waking up including me!
I am now travelling to take the LOVE windows out and re dress the window with generic backboards in a colour theme of black and white smothered in ‘Diamond ‘ crystals! By the time I arrive at my destination the lacy shawl of winter has melted and the world looks fresh and green again.
Travelling up and down the Country, gives me time to contemplate, explore and form new ideas in my merchandising mind palace! It also gives me time to think how grateful I am for all the experiences this wonderful trade has and continues to give to me and the good friendships I have made along the way and the new ones yet to be made.

Pearls- My Continued Passion

The other day whilst I was doing some research, I came across a piece of writing. I found it moving and uplifting. What ever spiritual feeling you have I think you will see the beauty in the words…..
We all want to be loved and cared for in good times and tougher ones, these words may inspire a thought or two. I hope you like them. Here are a few extracts.
‘Your life is like the Pearl of the Sea rich and deeply buried but revealing a treasure on discovery’.
‘A Pearl requires time to mould and shape itself, to become a thing of beauty, so too mans life forms from birth through years and time.’
‘I hold your life like a Pearl in the palm of my hand so beautifully formed and yet an undiscovered treasure’
And finally,
‘I will hold you close always like a treasured Pearl in the palm of my hand’
Who does not want to feel treasured? I hope you are all treasured in your daily life and working one.
Speak to you later!
Yours passionate about Pearls (and merchandising!)! Maria x

First blog...

“Pearls: A Personal Account of My Continued Passion.”

Hello and welcome to you all, people passionate about pearls and excited by beautiful jewellery!

Jewellery Trade

My name is Maria and I have had and continue to enjoy a wonderful rich career in the jewellery trade for the last 34 years! I have seen and helped to design many incredible pieces of jewellery and visited many jewellery centres around the world. I believe that sharing knowledge and passing on gained experience is vital and necessary not only within our trade but also to the public domain.
Our trade is often seen as glamorous, exotic and exciting, all of which is true! We also know it takes a lot of hard work, planning and study to become a professional jeweller and run a successful business.
My job has changed a lot over the years, but one part that has never changed is my love for the trade and the sharing of its wonderment. For many years now I have given talks on a whole spectrum of subjects, Pearls being a huge favourite. Last week I gave a talk on Pearls to a local Antiques group based in Norfolk. I always enjoy these visits as the people in these groups are so friendly and enthusiastic to hear about our fabulous work.
We gathered in a quaint, traditional pub painted conch pink over looking the village green. As usual there was a warm welcome with an eagerness to listen and learn. I began my talk about the historical influence Pearls have had on various cultures over many hundreds of years from the Roman Empire to our own Elizabeth 1 and her many natural pearl encrusted dresses.
I then went on to explain the differences and formation between Natural and Cultured Pearls including the indulgent South Sea Pearls, exotic Grey South Sea Pearls, and enchanting Conch Pearls  (more of the differences in next blog!). We then discussed pearls in an open forum. How fascinating to listen to everyone sharing all their memories and considerable knowledge.

South Sea Pearl and Diamond Pendant

I took several of my own treasured pearls with me. One piece I absolutely adore is my South Sea and Diamond pendant. My husband surprised me with this one Christmas! When I opened the box my heart raced and my eyes filled with tears! There sat this beautiful, plump round South Sea pearl with the most radiant lustre adorned with a pave Diamond top on a pretty chain. How fabulous was that on all levels!

Pearls- Memories Evoked
As with many things in life it is the connection between the memories of the person giving the gift and the person receiving the piece of jewellery which is the most valuable. Many of the members brought along their treasured pearls. One such lady brought her single graduated row on a garnet clasp for me to look at. She had inherited them from her mother who had worn them on her wedding day; she also did the same and her daughter. It is a truly lovely story which will no doubt continue.
After a large Hot Chocolate and three hours later I returned home, happy in the knowledge that we all had had a super time! What better way to spend an afternoon looking at lustrous pearls all as individual as the people I had shared the afternoon with.
Till the next time, yours passionate about pearls!