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Meet Beth Nordyke of Chicago Pearl Company

Today we’d like to introduce you to Beth Nordyke.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Beth. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Chicago Pearl Company evolved as an extension of my primary career as an international flight attendant. I was flying trips to Asia, where gorgeous pearls are plentiful and I fell in love with them. I was not raised around women who often adorned pearls as a staple in their wardrobe. I was in my 30’s when I realized what a gorgeous accessory pearls are, whether worn with an LBD (little black dress) or a rugged pair of jeans and a simple white tee.

One of my airline co-workers (who now has a multi-million dollar pearl business) had purchased a $20.00 strand of pearls on a layover and they appraised for $600.00! It didn’t take long to realize that this was a terrific opportunity for me to follow my passion for these beautiful gemstones and share them with family, friends, and now a plethora of clients who have become like family and friends. Because of my frequent trips to Asia as a flight attendant, I was able to develop strong contacts in the pearl industry.

I have nurtured those relationships into an invaluable niche that allows me to offer my clients beautiful and unique pearl jewelry at a fraction of the price one might pay otherwise. I don’t have a brick and mortar store so my overhead is very low. I do the buying on my layovers in Asia so that keeps my prices down by eliminating the middleman. In addition, when I go on my buying trips I don’t have to incorporate the price of airfare or a hotel into the price of my pearl pieces. I take great pride in passing all of those savings on to my clients.

I planted my first business seed at a home show in w Michigan where I grew up. From there, Chicago Pearl Company continued to blossom and grow. With each show that I had, I booked another show and that pattern is what helped grow the business. To this day, the interest and enthusiasm from my clients motivate me to continue this exciting journey. We now have a website and we continue to do home shows. We also participate in multi-day juried shows throughout the holidays.

In addition, we specialize in custom orders for brides/bridal parties as well as custom pieces that transform family heirlooms into more modern and unique pieces. We also welcome the opportunity to provide private showings by appointment only for individuals as well as larger groups.

Has it been a smooth road?
There has been a definite learning curve since the inception of Chicago Pearl Company 10 years ago. I went to college for teaching and then I became an “International Stewardess” with zero background in business. I reflect on how I jumped in with both feet when I decided to start my business and I must admit, I am a bit in awe of my own courage! I started small and grew the business over time. In the beginning, I was learning something new every day.

And to this day, I continue to learn and grow. Thank Goodness for the Internet and Google! My biggest struggles come with finding balance between my flying career and my jewelry business. I am passionate about both and one profession clearly feeds the other. I do wish there was more time in the day to stay on top of my “list of things to do.” I am certain many people would agree with me on that, regardless of their profession. I am in the process of updating my website.

At this time we have only 20% of our entire inventory on the site. Keeping the website up to date is very time consuming, but at the same time, it is very rewarding and fun! I am also getting more familiar with social media. Chicago Pearl Company does have an active Facebook page but our Instagram and Twitter accounts are a work in progress. I am excited about learning more about both. Mastering social media is a goal but our number one priority is maintaining excellent customer service with our clients every step of the way and I am most proud that we mastered that from day one!

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Chicago Pearl Company – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
From the initial planning stages of Chicago Pearl Company, a must have mantra for my business was, “A small company with a BIG heart.” I strongly believe in paying it forward for all of the beautiful opportunities and experiences that have come my way. Life has been overly generous to me and I never take that for granted.

Our website includes a “Pay it Forward” page where we sell products and donate the proceeds to different charities. Our most recent fundraiser was for the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and we are now the proud foster parents of Eleanor, an orphaned elephant who is happily living in the wild.

We have multiple taglines and one of our most favorites is, “These are NOT your grandmother’s pearls.” Often times people hear the word pearls and their visual is a single white classic strand. Chicago Pearl Company’s jewelry encompasses so much more than that! Our pearls feature a vast array of colors as well as different shapes and sizes. We often combine pearls with crystals, ribbon, leather, natural stones, silver, and suede. Due to the pearl’s elegant and classic look, they will never go out of style. Over the past few years, pearls have taken center stage and we are thrilled to see every generation sporting them. Our website also includes a Real Men Wear Pearls page where we showcase pieces designed exclusively for men.

Along with providing unique pearl pieces at exceptional prices, we find great pleasure in making dreams come true with our custom pieces. One of our favorite custom order request highlights was to provide stunning one of a kind pearl crowns for the Ms. World International pageant. Along with that opportunity came an invitation to be a judge for the actual pageant in San Juan, PR. This clearly was not on my radar when I started a pearl business but it sure makes for a great experience in the memory bank!

My frequent trips to Asia allow me the ability to design and gather the perfect jewelry collection for Chicago Pearl Company. I am very proud of our unique designs and affordable prices but I am most proud of our customer service reputation. In my flight attendant career and as the driving force behind Chicago Pearl Company, I am fueled by providing exceptional customer service. At Chicago Pearl Company this is proven by our long list of repeat customers and the priceless friendships I have made along the way. And for that, I am most grateful!

OUR MISSION STATEMENT: To provide over-the-top customer service while bringing you amazing pearl jewelry designs at the most affordable prices.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
As an international flight attendant covering the globe, folks often ask me about my most favorite cities in the world. Chicago always ranks as one of the top three. And because of my pearl business, I have grown incredibly fond of Shanghai. I love the people, the food, and of course, the pearl markets! Puerto Vallarta is my favorite go-to place for R&R. But at the end of the day, there is no place like home. Sweet Home Chicago.

To me, Chicago is a BIG city that wraps its arms around you and I love that! If I could change one thing about Chicago, I might shorten WINTER. But then again, if Chicago had the climate of Scottsdale, we would have to build walls around the city to keep people out. I think I will weather the storm and keep the four seasons just as they are!

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