“Celebrate your uniqueness!” That is the 21st century’s rallying cry for a worldwide movement that encourages people to embrace their individuality and to strive to become exactly who they were meant to be.
Perhaps it was coincidence … or maybe fate … that in the opening days of a brand new century, a Danish goldsmith and his wife introduced a unique charm bracelet concept into the Scandinavian marketplace and brought to life a distinctive brand of jewelry. In just a few years, the brand made the extraordinary journey from local jewelry store to leading international jewelry company.
According to Jennifer Boling, owner of two exclusive Pandora stores in the Charleston area, the company’s journey has only just begun. “A concept that grew out of a mom-and-pop jewelry shop in Copenhagen, has grown into a jewelry line— bracelets, necklaces, rings and earrings—that is now sold in more than 100 countries across six continents,” states Boling, who opened her first Pandora jewelry store at the Charleston Place Hotel in 2009. “That’s an incredible story. The mission of every seller of Pandora jewelry around the world is to celebrate women by offering them the opportunity for personal expression through our universe of affordable high-quality and contemporary jewelry. I think our mission, along with the company’s constant effort to grow the product lines, helps keep stores like mine fresh and new all the time. Our customers love the fact that there is always something different and exciting right around the corner.”
Pandora’s beautiful hand-finished bracelets in sterling silver and 14-karat yellow gold are the perfect basis for a collection of interchangeable charms featuring carefully selected pearls, stones and gemstones, each combining century-old craftsmanship with modern thinking and beautiful designs. “We have recently added Pandora rose, which is a copper/silver alloy plated with 14-karat rose gold,” says Boling, who also owns the Pandora store in Mount Pleasant’s Towne Centre. “Now that we’ve gotten into the rose gold market, it’s added yet another dimension to our selections. Rose gold is definitely coming back … I’m seeing it featured in more and more magazines every day.”
Boling notes that the Pandora bracelet line also comes in leather and fabric, both in a variety of colors and designs. “It’s difficult to describe the wide selection of bracelets we have in our stores,” she continues. “The one thing they all have in common is that they are customizable. Women can build one-of-a-kind bracelets from our huge collection of charms.”
Almost synonymous with the Pandora brand, “charms” are those beautiful pieces of sparkle and color that, when linked together on a bracelet or necklace, offer women innumerable ways to express their creativity. Pandora charms come in gold and silver, glass, enamel and pavé. “The company offers city charms, but they didn’t have one for Charleston,” says Boling. “So the company encouraged us to create our own using engraving. We’ve done sweetgrass baskets, the palmetto tree and the Cooper River Bridge on both Murano glass beads and silver dangle beads. They are, by far, our best sellers. Our ability to create engraved charms has opened up a whole new way for women to express themselves individually.”
According to Boling, the women who love Pandora-brand jewelry can generally be described as expressionists or sentimentalists. “The sentimentalist selects beads that commemorate moments, events, things and people that are important in her life,” explains Boling. “It’s all about love and bonding for sentimentalists. They choose a heart, angel, birthstone, soccer ball, animal or any other of our hundreds of symbolic pieces that bring meaning to their lives. Then they add simple, yet beautiful beads that complement their meaningful charms.”
On the other hand, Boling says the expressionist loves to explore different styles. “Many women in the Charleston area are fashion-forward,” she notes. “They want what’s new and what’s pretty. They love wearing colorful, expressive jewelry just because it’s fun and adds a touch of playfulness to their style, which makes them happy.
“I’m more of an expressionist,” she admits. “I go for the fashion of it, and Pandora allows me to do that.”
While charm bracelets continue to be Pandora’s signature product, the company has celebrated rings for two years. “Our stackable rings are awesome,” says Boling. “We have statement rings that are big and chunky and thin-banded rings that can be stacked on one finger. We can fit just about anyone.”
Pandora has declared that 2016 will be the year of earrings. “The average woman owns about 16 pairs of earrings, so we believe that’s another great market for us to focus on,” states Boling. “While we already carry dangle earrings that hold our charms, this spring and summer is all about studs. All our studs correlate with our charms, so this new line will offer yet another way for women to express their own unique style.”
Boling points out that Pandora offers high-quality jewelry at affordable prices. Charms and stackable rings start at $25. “I know customers can buy the Pandora line from a number of jewelers, but our stores at Mount Pleasant Towne Centre and Charleston Place Hotel sell Pandora exclusively,” she says. “Every one of our 15-member sales team loves these products, knows these products and is excited to help customers pick something that fits their style and budget.”
Boling adds: “Pandora’s new tag line, ‘Unique As We Are,’ goes worldwide this year. Our products allow women to express their uniqueness. I believe Pandora is well on its way to becoming the world’s most-loved jewelry brand. I’m exited to be part of that.”
Patra Taylor is a full-time freelance writer in Mount Pleasant. Find out more at patrataylor.com.