As I step into my new role as president of the Cultured Pearl Association of America (CPAA), I want to thank my predecessor, Aziz Basalely of Eliko Pearl, for the phenomenal job he did as board president for four years. His hard work and dedication were a boon for pearls, with effects that will be long lasting. I’m hoping to build on what he accomplished during his term with the help of our seasoned board of directors, all pearl experts and leaders in the industry.
Despite the worldwide pandemic, pearls saw real growth as a category in the past year. We’ve all heard the anecdotes of sales and continue to see the popularity of pearls in the fashion world, perhaps both getting a boost because of Zoom video calls—pearls show up well on them—ongoing media coverage, and a drop in travel that paved the way for sales in fine jewelry. Many who couldn’t take family vacations and trips abroad spent those funds on fine jewelry that doubles as future heirlooms and fashion statements.
Members of the CPAA can help you source the beautiful, on-trend, and accessible designs that clients are now seeking. This love affair with pearls isn’t going away, so let us help you get in the pearl game in ways that make sense for your business. If you’re a retailer, CPAA members can help you choose the right products and price points that will sell in store, and if you’re a designer, CPAA dealers can offer you a vast, colorful portfolio of loose pearls and strands to pique the wildest creative savvy.
Retailers and designers have so much value packed into the CPAA’s $299 annual Affiliate membership. Teach your entire staff about pearls through our proprietary Pearls As One education. Use our professional photography library to create beautiful postcard mailings to customers and illustrate websites and blog posts. Enjoy monthly social media coverage that often translates to sales. And designers who enter our annual International Pearl Design Competition—see ad on pages 4 and 5—can gain accolades, press coverage, and more sales thanks to our retail partner.
I’m delighted to be at the helm of CPAA because I know how much of a difference it can make in your pearl business. We invite you to continue building a strong pearl community by joining us.
Anil Maloo, founder of Baggins Pearls and CPAA president