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Los Angeles, CA
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Pearls of Joy
Kevin started Pearls of Joy in 2003. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: 
Q: How did you get started on Pearls of Joy?
I started working online building websites in various industries. Eventually, I grew tired working for clients and began looking at a way to grow my own E-commerce company. I started by looking at different industries that had high markups. I knew if I could find the right product and sell it online, I could cut out a lot of the typical retail overhead.
> Avoid shiny object syndrome at all costs! Keep your focus… I believe that’s the main skill that separates the winners from the wannabes.
Jewelry has extremely high markups. The fancy showrooms, displays, lighting, location and sales staff, all add around 300-1000% markups. Even higher if we’re talking about luxury retailers like Tiffany & Co.
I knew a general jewelry store would be too difficult with my limited resources, so I looked for a type of jewelry that I could focus on. Pearls stood out as a type of jewelry that’s been popular for literally 100’s of years, yet almost nobody was exclusively selling them.
With a bit of research, I found I could source pearls internationally for a fraction of what they could be purchased in North America. So I knew if we could sell direct to the consumer we could offer a product for a fraction of typical retail.