What’s the most classic piece of jewelry a girl can own? That’s an easy one–pearls.
I’ve been looking forward to today’s post for a few weeks now, because I’m sharing the story of a side hustle that I am completely on board with. Pearls for Pups is a mother-daughter run organization that makes and sells the most darling handmade pearl earrings, and all proceeds are donated for supplies, medical care, and other much-needed items/services for dog rescues.
I “met” Jenna, director of Pearls for Pups, through our mutual love for J.Crew on Instagram. (It never ceases to amaze me that, in today’s world, we can meet and get to know people solely through social media.) Immediately admiring her knack for combining preppy and chic, I reached out to connect. It was then that she shared Pearls for Pups with me and offered a collaboration opportunity that I support with all of my heart.
Each of the handmade pearl earrings are named and themed after different dog breeds. My favorites are the soft pink of the Pink Poodle, the classic cream of the Great Pyrenees, and the eye-catching light grey of the Weimaraner. To give you a bit more insight to the organization, read on for my interview with Jenna and get the scoop firsthand!
Q: How did you get the idea to establish Pearls for Pups?
A: Pearls for Pups began as a simple fundraising idea in 2016. We have always been dog lovers and, having two rescues pups in our own family, we wanted to find our niche to do our part in helping our rescue friends continue their amazing work – and of course funding allows them to continue their mission! Having made pearl earrings for fun before, the catchy name actually popped into our heads before the rest of the plan took shape – “Pearls for Pups” was born!
The initial idea was to encourage donations to a particular dog rescue we were working with by giving free pearls to anyone who donated $20-$25 or more as part of our program. At this point, Pearls for Pups was just a simple, small side project. We funded all initial materials costs out of our own pockets (we considered it our contribution). When our small investment returned over $1000 in donations for the rescue we were working with within a few months, we knew we were onto something!
We began to brainstorm how we could grow the idea, ultimately deciding to begin a non-profit business so that we could take Pearls for Pups online to sell pearls, expand customer reach by offering shipping, and broaden our donation base (donate to more rescues).
Q: What do you enjoy most about Pearls for Pups?
A: Everything! Honestly, this will sound so cliché, but everything has been a blast. At the end of the day, the most rewarding aspect of Pearls for Pups is, of course, being able to donate to local rescues or shelters and knowing that we’re doing some good in the world! That’s a feeling that can’t be topped. However, we truly love it all: making pearls, branding, teaming up with some other great small companies, and seeing all of the wonderful people supporting Pearls for Pups.
Q: What has been the biggest success for Pearls for Pups to date?
A: Since our website launch in November 2016, we have been able to donate over $2000 to rescues and shelters – I think this is a huge accomplishment for three gals with full time jobs trying to make Pearls for Pups a success! This has quickly become our “second job,” but it never feels like work to us. Another huge success for Pearls for Pups is finding a fantastic (and we mean fantastic) group of lovely, generous, kindhearted people that support us! Whether it be old friends that help us make pearl earrings on the weekends or new friends we’ve made through social networking, we are truly lucky to have some amazing people supporting our mission.
Q: What has been the biggest challenge Pearls for Pups has faced?
A: By far the toughest challenge for Pearls for Pups has been getting our name and mission out there! We are exploring new avenues to network our brand and spread the word, but as a new non-profit reaching a larger audience is a hurdle we’re facing.
Q: Tell us a little about the earrings. They are so cute!
A: Thank you! We source the posts, backings, and pearls separately for the best quality for the price (the lower we can keep costs, the more money goes to pups). We make the earrings by hand with love in Maryland. The posts and backings are both yellow-gold plated, and the pearls are Swarovski (the Cadillac of faux pearls). The posts of our earrings have the most adorable flower-shaped cup that we love!
Q: How can people help your wonderful cause?
A: Two ways! One would be to help us network (find us on Facebook and Instagram @pearlsforpupsco and share the word). If anyone has any amazing contacts that may be able to help us get our name out there, we would love to talk to them (bloggers, editors, dog rescue advocates, you name it!). The second way, of course, would be to purchase a pair of our earrings at www.pearlsforpups.com. 100% of the proceeds from our sales are donated to dog rescues and shelters in need! Our 501(c)(3) is pending, so (fingers crossed) once approved, any direct donations (not in exchange for goods) to our organization will be tax deductible!
Above, I’m wearing my favorite Pink Poodle pearl earrings which are the perfect complement to my spring wardrobe. These pretty pearls would be sweet and meaningful gifts for any mom-to-be, dog loving friend, or your wedding bridal party. They’re so simply stunning that absolutely anyone would be thrilled to receive them.
For your next gifting need, or as a treat to yourself, turn to Pearls for Pups, and sport beautiful accessories for a great cause.
Thank you all for reading, and thank you to Jenna for graciously sharing your story with all of us!