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JEWELRY EXPERT Sophie Pendleton

Sophie, you have been in the industry for a long time, nearly 20 years. We would like to know how it all started, what brought you to the industry and how did you start Perlota?

– I have started my journey in jewelry with children’s line, I was designing for newborns, for special occasions like christening and birthdays. And then it grew, I did a couple pieces for myself in the beginning, then I did a couple pieces for my friends One day I thought – might as well launch a collection. It was 2007. It started from there, it mostly always was inspired by

symbols, different philosophies around the world, some eastern philosophies that I was interested in. Early on, I was using words, I thought that words could be very powerful; they could bring a lot of meaning, affect your inner being. I was doing a lot of engravings and

working the gold towards shaping it into the letters. The “Mantra” collection is one of my signature collections, because there are small words and sentences that can be very uplifting, and have some special meaning that you can carry with you. The other sign that always was

meaningful to me was the power of the stones. I would go and search for stones, they have different meanings for your mood, your body...

Sophie, has the jewelry industry changed between the time when you entered the market and now?

– I would think so. When I first entered the market, I was not quite aware of things. I knew that high jewelry was not something I wanted to do. In terms of other jewelries, there were not so many small independent jewelry designers at the time. It seems, since then so many brands have emerged and began to do so many different things for so many different people... Definitely,

the landscape of jewelry has grown significantly over the years which is good, because it makes it interesting and women can go and choose what they really love.

– Do you think you can predict how the market will look in 10 years?

– I think there will be more things going on on the internet. I think that jewelry will always have this magical appeal. It is precious, you don’t throw it away. I think women would prefer to buy a piece of jewelry, rather than a handbag or a pair of shoes. It will be a precious piece that they will be able to give to the next generations. Jewelry is here to last.

– Talking about customers – did you have a chance to work with Generation Z?

– No, not yet. I am just thinking that maybe at the moment it is not something they would invest right away. I am not quite sure about their behaviour. Maybe they still want more fun things. I still need to explore and figure out. I think they are definitely more conscious about the environment and the planet... One thing I try to do is to recycle our stones, be more environmentally friendly.

– Recycled stones? How do you do that?

– If I have the collection from years ago, and there are only a couple pieces left, we would melt the gold and reuse it again for the new collections.

– Quite sustainable! Are there any other activities that Perlota is involved with?

– For a long time I was supporting causes, like WWD movement, we were building houses in Cambodia for kids, when I was in Asia. Because of the children’s line we were supporting Make a Wish Foundation. Sometimes people approach us and depending on the cause, we try to contribute.

– Are there any specific causes you feel like supporting?

– Definitely the Planet, children and women are the 3 that we are really sensitive about.

– This is so wonderful of you... Where do you find your inspiration?

– It is a good question. I think it mostly happens through travelling, through some people I met and their view of the world that has inspired me in different ways. Sometimes I get inspired by nature and also like I said through ancient philosophy, some hidden meanings to things. I find it intriguing and mystical. Something that people can connect with.

– I can see you are wearing some of your pieces right now, while we are talking in Zoom. Can you share what meaning they have?

– What do I have? I actually have very simple things today... So I have this medal with the alphabet on my neck with a little diamond in the middle. Which represents a circle of life. And you can wear your initial or somebody’s dear to you. I am also wearing a little cross, the other one is the little Perlota logo. And then on my hand I am wearing 4 bracelets. One of them was

inspired by the scarf of the monk that I met in Tibet, they gave it as a peaceful gesture of welcoming. It is little pearls with diamonds and gold. One of them has a little clover for good luck. And then I have a bracelet with my sons’ names and a bracelet with a Love word, because it is the most important thing in life. And I wear my happiness ring, which I wear everyday.