Black pearl love
Purotu Designs / In the Islands, it’s not diamonds that say “I love you” but rather poe rava, or black pearls. Purotu Designs is a jewelry line featuring Tahitian and fresh water pearls. Purotu Designs does modern takes on Polynesian inspired jewelry–expect elegant, show-stopping pearls with young, trendy designs. This small jewelry company is owned by Nalini Gauthier, who started Purotu Designs in May and sells her creations online, at Kailua’s Flower Child boutique and at Night Market, which takes place at Aloha Tower every third Wednesday of the month from 5–10pm. Although Gauthier grew up in Southern California, she would visit her grandparents on Kauai, and remembers looking for shells in Hanapepe. At 17, Gauthier moved to Kauai, where she started selling her jewelry in Kapaa. It wasn’t until Gauthier went to a pearl farm in Arutua, French Polynesia that she decided to make this precious stone her focal point. Besides Tahitian Pearls, Purotu Designs–which also has a line for men–uses the pahua shell, which according to Gauthier is so popular due to the shell’s rarity. Gauthier uses pahua shells found on the shores of Tuamotus and other isolated parts of French Polynesia.