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Pearl Girls Building Community as It Builds Business in Athens, Ga.

Founder India Rows talks about her unique business.

  1. Name of business: The Pearl Girls
  2. What does your business do? (For example, cut hair, paint houses, cook food, cut grass, write grants, help people get in good physical shape, etc.) We travel the world in search of gorgeous cultured pearls and we fly these gems back to Athens to create gorgeous jewelry for women!
  3. How long have you been doing this? Our founder, India Rows, has been working with pearls since 2006 and started The Pearl Girls in 2008.
  4. Why are you doing this in Athens? There are so many wonderfully creative women in Athens that enhance our jewelry and our company culture. This is a great town to build a business in!
  5.  What are the advantages of owning a small business? For us, it is really being able to provide exactly what we want on our own terms. We are truly a boutique jewelry company. Since we add such a personal touch to each aspect of our business and jewelry, we appreciate that our small business culture means we don’t have to cut any corners or justify added expenses to create what we want to create.
  6. If you could change one thing about owning a small business, what would that be? On a personal level, I am always wanting to change myself. I continue to strive to do more and be more but along the way I realize how much more I have to learn! J
  7. Do you have employees? Are they temporary, part-time, full-time, new or long term? We have permanent women on staff who handle customer service, shipping, maintain the website and more. We have women that work part time with us doing sales and we have contract employees who make our jewelry. We are a resource oriented work environment (ROWE) so we do not work on one set schedule. We get our work done within the limits of our other obligations which, for many of us, is school or family life.
  8. Do you own the place where you do business, or do you move around (like maybe a dog trainer would do) or rent space (to store your equipment)? We rent an office in the DOC Building at 585 Barber St. which is our home base, but many of our employees work from home. Our dream is to eventually have our own space with incorporated childcare so we can bring our kids to work with us.
  9.  Is anyone else in town doing what you do? I am not sure anyone else in the world is doing what we do when you look at the way we do business. First, India Rows is a trained pearl grader and her travels have taken her throughout China, Vietnam, The Philippines, Japan and Hong Kong where she tours pearl farms and personally sources the pearls. Starting this year absolutely every new piece of jewelry is being made here in the USA. We employ women in search of flexible work environments and meaningful work places and we get to supply our gems to people looking to commemorate or celebrate life’s beautiful moments. And we do all of that while honoring our own celebrations. We allow ourselves days off for our families and we support each aspect of what is going on in this business even if it does not “directly” relate to what we are doing.

We supply jewelry stores, boutiques and high end gift stores. We also sell jewelry online so we get to chat with women about to get married, men who are celebrating their wives birthdays or anniversaries, birth celebrations, graduation presents, gifts for children and grandchildren and the list goes on! We get to be a part of amazing moments in people’s lives.

10.  Do you like what you do? I ABSOLUTELY LOVE what I do!

11. Do you have a story to share about how your started your business. My business started when I was 8 years old and my Dad gave me my first pearl necklace. I, of course, didn’t realize it at the time. But, looking back, I have worn that necklace to every major event in my life including graduation from high school and college, my debut,  my wedding day and thousands or smaller events in between. When I traveled Asia in 2006 and made contacts and realized I could bring these gorgeous gems back to people so they could start their own traditions, capture their own memories and then pass them on, The Pearl Girls was finally realized.

12. What are you plans for the future (regarding your business), the future being the next five years? We want to continue being the go-to jewelry source for people looking for a special gift for themselves and the ones they love. We will do that by making sure our jewelry is being sold in the right stores. We will also expand our web presence and our articles educating people on the wonder, beauty and all of the amazing stories of pearls.

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