Janine Spalding creates pearly baubles, whether itís art deco-ish Tahitian black pearl lariats or kitschy leather flower chokers dappled with freshwater pearls. A self-confessed fashionista who tracks how pop stars accessorize, she also takes style cues from Island surroundings and once made elaborate twenty-strand pearl lei for a group of local aunties.
HH: Why pearls?
JS: Pearls are very emotional in their appeal. They used to be considered elitist in the way a necklace could be passed down in wealthy families for generations. But Iím from Trinidad, and I never experienced this. I like the idea that as elegant as pearls are, theyíve now become so accessible.
Why is that?
New pearl culturing technology, especially in China, is producing every imaginable size, shape, color and luster.
Where would you like to go with this?
So many mentors have given to meólike Aunty Mihana Souza, who asked me do to the pearl version of her trademark Puamana shell lei. I want to give back. One day Iíd like to teach pearl jewelry-making at a womenís shelter or an elder-care home. Once you feel the mana of the pearls, itís very rewarding.