Pearl Paradise

Reveries: “It was something about spending $20 for a set of pearl jewelry in Beijing and finding out it was worth $600 in America that gave Jeremy Shepherd the idea to start, reports Tara Siegel Bernard in The Wall Street Journal. At the time, Jeremy was a flight attendant on a stopover, simply buying a gift for his girlfriend. Now — about seven years later — he’s running a $5 million business, not only via his own site, but through a network of some ’13 other websites that sell pearls around the globe.’ His would seem an unlikely success, given that he started out with no brand name and was selling expensive, luxury goods that customers couldn’t touch. It’s a matter of trust. Posting high-resolution images was a given, but it is educating his customers that grounds Jeremy’s trust-building regimen.”

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