US Pearl Brand Eyes Australia
By Sonia Nair
Jeweller, painter and poet Chi Huynh founded pearl company Galatea: Jewelry by Artist in 1994 after he cultured the world’s first pearl using a gemstone.
Hailed as a revolutionary figure in the jewellery industry, Huynh won a U.S. patent for his new pearl culturing process a few years ago.
“Our Galatea pearls come from a process where we enucleate a South Sea pearl oyster with a gemstone bead and then carve the pearl to let the gemstone’s colour shine through,” Huynh said.
Huynh is planning to launch his unusual product collections in Australia after securing his first stockist in New Zealand – Auckland-based Anna Webster Jeweller.
“We will be exhibiting at the [upcoming] Sydney fair and we will be looking for three to five high-profile stores in Sydney and Melbourne, and a smaller number for Brisbane, Gold Coast and other major cities.”
Huynh is set to launch his Diamond in a Pearl, Galatea Pearl, DavinHuynh Cut and Queen Bead collections in 2011.
He expects his product ranges to perform well in Australia because of its like-mindedness to America.
“We think Australians and Americans are very much ‘cut from the same cloth’ – being a land of people from other nations, we’re open to what’s new and different,” Huynh said.
Huynh pointed out that Australia and New Zealand are influenced by a “Pacific” style due to their proximity to some of his favourite South Sea pearls – a fact that would help them resonate with his jewellery.
“We think our product will do quite well here. It’s definitely for the adventurous, for people who are not afraid to wear pearls that are without boundaries, pearls that are quite a bit different than most people might be used to.”