Sourcing freshwater pearls is a very important part of our business. Freshwater pearls are cultured in areas where the water is clean, which gives the best pearls. These days the best pearls can be found in China so we find ourselves every year going to source freshwater pearls direct from the pearl producers. These are often family businesses, producing and selling their own pearls. Language can be a barrier, of course. In the cases where there is no English spoken, we mange using bits of paper, calculators and mime!
We go for around 3 weeks, touring trade shows and producers to find the range of pearls we need to make pearl jewellery. We need such a wide range of colours, shapes and quality that it becomes a marathon. Where possible, we ship the cultured freshwater pearls we select, back to the UK – which makes the weeks following our return very exciting as the couriers turn up with packages full of lovely pearls for the team to exclaim over!