David Norman interviews Elizabeth Dilly Kirby of Elizabeth Blair Fine Pearls.
Elizabeth has had a long & acclaimed career in pearl jewellery in the USA. She has enormous passion and talent in pearl jewellery. In 1979 Elizabeth graduated with a Bachelor of Science in DESIGN from University of California at Los Angeles. She then learnt the pearl business at a small boutique in San Francisco called Boring Buffet, where one of the partners had incredible expertise from GUMP’S which later became Boring and Co. From 1985-1987 she then worked as a sales associate at Neiman Marcus, Precious Jewels in Bal Harbor, Florida setting her up to start designing her own line of fine pearl jewellery under the name Elizabeth Blair Fine Pearls with the mission statement “bringing South Sea pearls to everyday wear” with a signature look of gold hoops and detachable South Sea pearl enhancers.
Elizabeth has also designed a Tahitian Pearl jewellery collection for GUMP’S mail order featured on an entire page in their catalog, designed a Tahitian pearl collection for Tara and Sons to premier at Couture and Luxury and designed a Bridal collection with South Sea pearls for Tara and Sons. Elizabeth’s jewellery has been stocked at Neiman Marcus for 25 years and a one point the number one vendor in the precious jewels department in Florida. 2007 Elizabeth opened her retail shop Elizabeth Blair Fine Pearls in Harbor Springs and has gone on to be invited to be one of the first 2 Affiliate Designer Members to join the CPAA Cultured Pearl Association of America. For 11 years running she has won or been acknowledged in one category or another since the inception of the International Pearl Design Competition organized by the CPAA. Won third place in In-Store Magazine’s America’s COOLEST small store in 2011, won Ambassador of the Year for the City of Harbor Springs in 2017 and in 2019 I was the “Featured Artist” for the largest fund raiser in our tri county area for Crooked Tree Art Center. My South Sea pearl necklace and earring suite brought the highest auction bid ever in the 50 years of the organization.