Sarah Pallone of Ocean’s Cove Jewelry debuted her business in late 2016 as her career in public policy started to shift (she had worked for the Obama administration). Long a jewelry hobbyist, Pallone dabbled in some classes and self-taught initiatives, as well as taking Pearls As One, and threw herself into her favorite creative pursuit when administrations changed. When a woman in her local grocery store bought a piece right off her neck, she was encouraged to keep making beachy-chic designs with her signature “funky link” chain aesthetic—a nod to the imperfect boards in the boardwalk near her Jersey Shore home. Retail prices for her work start at just $150.
Why are pearls your favorite gem?
About 10 years ago, I lost my mother to cancer. She was a jewelry collector and absolutely adored her pearls most of all. I have so many happy memories of the countless hours we spent shopping for strands of pearls, from the Mikimoto store to the local pawn shop and everywhere in between. Whenever I see a pearl, I think of her.
What was your first break in the pearl business?
My first break came with my first “stranger” sale. I was standing in line at the grocery store, waiting to check out when the woman in line next to me commented on my necklace. She wanted to know where I got it because she was looking for something exactly like it. At that point I was only making things for myself, friends and family, but she offered to buy it from me right then and there (thank goodness for PayPal!) The next day, I decided to start my business.
What would you have done if you didn't work in the pearl jewelry busines?
Designing and creating jewelry is actually my second career. My background is environmental and energy policy, and I served most recently in the Obama Administration. To me, there is nothing more important than the stewardship responsibility we all have to maintain this planet. Whenever possible, I try to use recycled metals, responsibly sourced gemstones, and pearls farmed in sustainable ways.
What pearl was hardest to sell?
A pair of gorgeous South Sea pearl and Aquaprase earrings set in 18k. The earrings sold within minutes after I posted about them on Instagram. I was able to make a very similar pair for myself, but those earrings will always be the ones that got away.
Does anyone famous own your pearls?
Yes, but I’m not going to name names. Suffice it to say I have many clients in and around the world of politics and media. Women in D.C. love their power pearls!
and #oceanscovejewelry, though I also love the humor of #pearlsjam.
Dogs or cats?
Type of pearl?
Sea of Cortez pearls because they are beautiful, rare, and Fair Trade certified!
Wine or whiskey?
Coffee or tea?
Ocean or lake?
Do I even need to answer that? The ocean of course!
Making jewelry. I’ve had time to really hone my skills working mostly in 14k gold to incorporate more gemstones into my line.
The Jersey Shore.
Party or party of two?
Sarah Pallone of Ocean's Cove Jewelry