For Shari Turpin, the power of the pearl isn’t just the beauty of the gem, it’s all it means.
ForFor thousands of years, pearls have been a coveted and treasured accessory for women around the world. These wearable heirlooms easily capture our attention and evoke our fondest memories.
“Every woman who has been in any form of leadership – be it royalty, to politicians, to corporate CEOs – is photographed wearing pearls. If a woman walks into a room wearing pearls, all heads are turning,” says Shari Turpin, founder of pearl jewelry supplier Pearls by Shari. As classic and awe-inspiring as pearls are, the power of pearls is also personal: “Most people have a very warm memory from someone they love who wore pearls,” Turpin says. “It’s a very engaging gem. It’s a very ‘statement’ gem.
The mesmerizing effect pearls have on people captured the heart of Turpin herself as a young woman and emerging jewelry designer. Growing up outside of Vancouver, Canada, she was an avid outdoor adventurer, inspired by the natural world around her. When she married, became a mother, and began making her own jewelry, Turpin’s frequent travels around the world reinforced her admiration for nature and influenced her work.
The more she came to love the rarity and intrinsic perfection of pearls, the more Turpin incorporated them into her jewelry designs until they were the primary gem she worked with. “I like to design things that are very specific to my tastes,” she says. “I tend to be a very tailor-made person, but I want what I wear to be extraordinary and charming – but practical. there as a young mother and no one on the outside. Then it turned into a jewelry business when I found that a lot of other people were enjoying the same thing,” says Turpin.
The company started in Jackson, Wyoming nearly 30 years ago. Turpin’s expertise in grading and price negotiation, as well as maintaining quality relationships with suppliers who share its love of the gem, has enabled Pearls by Shari to offer its customers the 10% top quality pearls in the world.
The fact that a pearl is the only gem created by a living being, not customizable by man, is profound for Turpin. You can’t specially order, cut or alter a pearl like a diamond or other stone, she explains. You can only receive what Creation has provided.
Finding the world’s rarest and finest pearls is an adventure, says Turpin, who travels four to five months a year to select the pearls herself. Different types of precious pearls – varieties of Tahitian, white South Sea, Akoya, freshwater and golden South Sea pearls – come back to Jackson to be crafted into necklaces, bracelets and earrings. jaw-dropping earrings, or paired with other beautiful materials like gold chains, turquoise stones, diamonds, and leather for everything from pearl lariats to Teton mountaineering-inspired bracelets.
The result has been so successful that Turpin now oversees bustling stores in Jackson, as well as Park City, Utah, and a recently opened location in Manhattan, New York, as well as a strong shopping presence. in line. Having physical stores in some of the most beautiful and exciting vacation destinations in the country adds to the richness of the customer experience and the relationships that are formed between shoppers and Pearls by Shari staff, says Turpine.
“Business is booming. We’re doing extraordinarily well. I think when you’re passionate about your product – every aspect of it, from good sourcing to good design to providing a great customer experience – people tend to gravitate to that,” she says. As they have since Turpin’s inception, customers also quickly fall in love with the product and, according to Turpin, are constantly begging it to open stores in other locations, and credits the level of customer service from her entire team, from behind-the-scenes support to the sales floor, for helping to fuel this fervor.
“I think it’s a compliment to all of our staff who do an incredible job of not only knowing the pearls, but genuinely caring about the customer,” says Turpin. “We’re not here to sell pearls – we’re here to help someone who is looking for pearls find the best design to fit their lifestyle. We try to find something that will delight people who walk in. in our stores, and we are very good at it. [customers] go to a store in Park City, Jackson or New York, they will find the same care, love and commitment.
This level of service perfectly complements the beauty of the products. And pearls perfectly complement the life of customers.
“We sell the rarest pearls in the world, but you can ride them,” says Turpin. “You can wear them every day. You can just live everyday life and you can wear amazing jewelry at the same time. In fact, the best care for pearls is to wear them often, says Turpin, explaining that the oils in our skin help pearls retain their shine.
Ultimately, what makes a pearl so special is how it metaphorically reflects our own lives, Turpin says. It is something that strengthens one’s own faith.
“I think the oyster process is a process of pain, suffering and perseverance. When the oyster produces this pearl, it suffers. It’s irritating, but I believe the oyster process is a perfect reflection of humanity. We are all old enough to have pain in our lives, but ultimately we can bring that to our Creator, and He can make something beautiful out of it. And so I believe the pearl is the jewel of hope.
For more information about Pearls by Shari, visit pearlsbyshari.com.
Excerpt from our January 2022 issue
Photography: (All images) courtesy of Pearls by Shari