Community Stories: Pearl + Pine Collective

Posted on Wednesday, February 10th, 2021

Written by The John F. Wood Centre For Business and Student Enterprise

Pearl + Pine Collective is a local jewellery business created by Kaitlin Gallant during the start of the pandemic. She is an Indigenous graphic designer, illustrator, beader and general dabbler in all things creative, which led Kaitlin to pursue her business in creating one-of-a-kind jewellery pieces. 

What inspired you to start your business?

Pearl + Pine Collective began at the start of the pandemic as a way to reconnect to my Indigenous roots. Along with the reconnection of culture, my hands and mind really needed something to focus on (because let's face it - there's only so much Netflix a person can watch).

I've always been interested in the arts, which resulted in schooling for graphic design and illustration at Conestoga College. From there, I used my skills for positions with marketing agencies and freelance clients, and now as a designer with the University of Guelph!

Pearl + Pine is a side hustle that allows me to communicate with my kin and new friends all over North America, while using my design skills to create one-of-a-kind jewellery pieces.

What problem were you trying to solve?

The challenge with Pearl + Pine was finding a creative outlet and passion that used a different part of my brain. As a designer, I spend most of my days on a computer and my goal was to find an outlet that reduced screen time.

I found that creative outlet with beadwork. I spend many hours working with my hands to create delicate jewellery. I have used my design skills to create intricate beading patterns, often enjoying playing around with colour, contrast and shapes. Creating jewellery and other forms of traditional Indigenous art (such as caribou hair tufting, quilling and moccasin making) has been incredibly eye opening for me over the past year. I have learned many things and connected with many different artists all throughout North America and I’m very grateful for the opportunity to share my work with others.

What helps you to keep generating you new ideas to grow or change your business?

One thing that helps me greatly, is the community of incredible artists that has flourished on social media. The idea of ‘Community OVER Competition’ has helped me evolve, grow and continue to create.

The beading community is open to sharing tips, tricks and new ideas – which helps foster inspiration and a creative spark.

What’s a piece of advice you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Don’t be scared to ask questions. Reach out to someone you admire and open up the lines of communication – you’ll be so glad that you did.

Artists, specifically, are very open to chat about their favourite materials and inspiration. There were many times when I asked other beadwork artists about needles and thread and beads. Always beads.

Check out Pearl + Pine Collective to learn more about the business and check out the awesome products offered!

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