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Mai Pearls : Freshwater Pearls

Henrietta Askew has always been passionate about China. Having spent part of her gap year in Fujian province before taking a degree in Art History, Henrietta chose to study Chinese Art and Archaeology for her MA.

She then spent a year living in Beijing learning mandarin, before returning to the UK in 2005 to create her own pearl jewellery label, Mai Pearls.

“Mai” in Chinese means “to buy” or “to sell” depending on the pronunciation, so “Mai Pearls” literally means “to trade pearls”.

Mai Pearls aims to make pearl jewellery more accessible by not only including classical pieces within the collections but also more fashion led, contemporary pieces. We are also keen to keep the prices as competitive and affordable as possible, making them ideal gifts that will suit most budgets.

All the pearls used within Henrietta’s designs are Chinese freshwater pearls and each piece of jewellery is handmade by a small group of mainland Chinese women. Mai Pearls supports fair trade and local community initiatives. This means that we ensure our suppliers are paid fair wages for their work; working conditions are safe and of a good standard and no children are exploited.

Mai Pearls gives 10% of its profits to Operation Blessings, Chinese orphan care program.

Mai Pearls also cares about the environment and we promise to try to minimise excess packaging as well as using items with recycled content. We also use recycle print materials when possible.

Our aim is also to bring to the public ethical handmade pearl jewellery.


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