After nurturing a lifelong love of pearls and jewelry, Reema Farooqui founded The Culture of Pearls blog and complementary Instagram account (@thecultureofpearls) in December 2018. The focus of both? Beautiful pearls, pearl jewelry, and innovative pearl jewelry designers. “No firm or designer is too big or too small if they meet three criteria—their jewelry features pearls, original designs, and handcrafted pieces,” she explains of her content. She signed up to take Pearls As One after learning about it on social media, nabbing her certificate of completion in November 2020. Read on to learn more about Farooqui’s fondness for the course.
Did you have any knowledge of pearls prior to taking the course?
I did have some knowledge from personal experience and observation as well as from reading about pearls and pearl jewelry. However, the course made me think of cultured pearls more critically. Now when I look at a pearl, it is not just an organic gem but is in fact the culmination of years of hard work and planning as well as nature’s bounty.
What do you like most about PAO?
I like the way the course has been organized. Each section provides an in-depth look at the given topic, be it understanding the history and cultivation of a particular type of cultured pearl or retailing it. The use of videos and images makes it more engaging. I also like the tests at the end of each section. They are extremely helpful in solidifying your understanding of the course content. PAO gave me a fresh perspective on cultured pearls. The fact that the course looked at pearls not just from the aspect of the gem itself, but also explored how it is presented in the retail sector, made it even more relevant. Plus, PAO helped me to write about pearls from a place of deeper understanding, particularly of the quality factors. This kind of knowledge is invaluable.
Why are pearls important do you?
I am a June baby, so pearls are my birthstone. Since childhood, my parents always gave me pearl jewelry as gifts on special occasions, like our Eid Festivals and on my birthday. Pearls, however, hold a special place in my family because my father lived and studied in Japan for a year in the late 1960s. While there, he was charmed by the lustrously beautiful Akoya pearl. He visited a pearl farm purely out of curiosity, and the pearl cultivation techniques and the gem really appealed to him. He ended up buying four beautiful 6 mm classic white Akoya pearls and when he got married, he gave the pearls to my mother who had them set into earrings, a pendant, and a ring.
What pearl jewelry do you own and which piece do you wear most and why?
I am of South Asian heritage and we live and breathe jewelry! However, of all the pearl jewelry I have bought for myself, I love wearing graduated, single strand cultured pearl necklaces every day, with multicolored Tahitian being my favorite. This has been part of my look for a long time. I love all pearls, but perhaps Tahitians have a tiny edge over the others in my heart.