The Prince of Pearls Brings Home the Bounty, Looking for Treasure in All the Right Places

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His customers call him the Prince of Pearls. Web entrepreneur and pearl purveyor Kevin Canning explores the Asian outback by any mode of transportation necessary -- rickshaw, hitchhiking, bike, elephant -- buying directly from remote pearl farmers and selling at exceptional prices on Just don't ask him about the chicken feet.

Most pearl dealers head to Hong Kong, stay in a comfortable hotel, go to the pearl district to purchase what they need and head back to the airport. But Kevin Canning knew that the best pearls and the best deals await at the source. Armed with what amounted to a treasure map from his mentor and a sense of adventure, he journeyed into the Asian outback looking for the finest pearls in the world to bring back for his customers.

As the trek unfolded, he soon learned why most buyers do their shopping in the cities rather than quest beyond the reach of modern plumbing and email. It took five flights, numerous bug infested leaky ferries, rusty taxis, sputtering buses and rickshaw rides to arrive at his first destination -- a remote pearl farm. "They had some of the most amazing pearls I'd ever seen," said Canning. "Instantly I knew I'd made the right choice and Pearls of Joy made the leap to the next level -- buying directly from the source."

The challenges were many. Staying at the only guesthouse in one area, the bed was not much more than a board with a sheet covering it. The summer weather was brutally hot and humid. Canning was so far off the beaten path that there were no western products and it was difficult to even get bottled drinking water. He subsisted on the local fare of fried chicken feet, grubs, sand worms and rice as he explored deep into rural China. He ate only rice when chicken feet and insects lost their appeal, which was almost immediate, and grew thinner by the day.

The payoff was the finest pearls he'd ever seen. With a Mandarin speaking interpreter and a calculator, he negotiated prices and bought high-grade pearls from families that had cultivated them for generations. He made the contacts he needed and brought home magnificent pearls for his customers and a few for his growing private collection. Pearls of Joy now imported directly from the pearl farmers. By eliminating the middlemen, the pearl farmer is paid a better price for their work and customers receive excellent quality pearls at an exceptional value. Everybody wins.

The Prince of Pearls continues his search for treasure -- both in his quest for exceptional pearls, and growing a world-class e-commerce business. He is currently writing a book on pearls to be published later this year.

About Pearls of Joy:

Pearls of Joy is a web-based retailer of pearl jewelry based in Los Angeles. Their e-commerce site launched in 2000 and offers one of the largest selections of pearl jewelry online. Pearls of Joy has rapidly become the first choice for customers looking for exceptional value at the lowest possible price. Their phenomenal growth is fueled by customer referrals and repeat business.

Pearls of Joy grew from a small E-Bay based business to a large international company with satisfied customers all over the world. The company has enjoyed triple digit growth year after year and continues to expand their selection of fine pearl jewelry.


Kate Kaemerle

EnTech Public Relations


Kevin Canning

Pearls of Joy


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Kevin Canning
Pearls of Joy
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