My love of jewelry began at an early age in my uncle’s jewelry store in a small, southern town. His cases were full of beautiful rings, necklaces and earrings that captivated the imagination of a young girl. But my uncle imparted more than a love of jewelry, he also taught me to love the people who wore it. His customers seemed like friends. He worked hard to satisfy them as customers, but he also took the time to know them.
It was in college though, when my mom added a long strand of champagne pearls to my new, gorgeous salmon colored dress, that I learned the unexpected power of jewelry to create a mood, to inspire confidence, to make me feel beautiful and elegant. I never imagined that I would one day create jewelry that would do that for someone else.
The Turning Point
I don’t have a formal education in jewelry design, I graduated from Georgia Tech, but about 16 years ago I began to dabble in jewelry. Then in 2010, after my 4th trip to Swaziland, in Africa, with Heart For Africa (HFA), I knew I needed to find a way to earn money so I could keep going back. That’s when Jewelry by Sharla was born and I started to design jewelry with a purpose. I have now been to Swaziland 9 times and the profits from my business help make that possible.
But it was in 2015 that I knew I had to do more... My husband and I were in Swaziland, when Janine, the Director of HFA, got the call to pick up a little girl who was almost one. She invited us to go along. I will never forget her eyes... She had the understanding, the fear, you would expect to see in a 1 year old, but her body was that of almost a new born... she weighed 10 pounds! Starting that fall, I began donating at least 10% of profits directly to HFA because I knew there would be many more children who needed hope and every little bit helps (I say 'at least', because often special projects grab my heart and more than 10% is donated.)
The story didn't stop there though... there was another place that would grab my heart in 2016, Forgotten Children's Ministry, in Honduras. Our oldest daughter started serving there in 2014 and in 2016, I made my first trip to see what she was doing. I never imagined I would have traveled there 3 times already, in 18 months. But the need is so great. In Honduras, we work with children who were taken in, off the streets of Honduras, we do food ministry in the homes around the garbage dump and we love on the staff who give their lives to these amazing children. A young man is being sponsored with proceeds from my business.
Inspiration & Core Values
The inspiration for my jewelry comes from you and life you live. For most of my collections, you will find that they are characterized by a simple, beautiful wear-ability. But I also recognize that in your varied roles in life, you sometimes need, and more importantly want, a little more. So there are many pieces that can be layered together to create a statement look.
In my jewelry designs, I look for ways to incorporate color, texture, shape, movement and often, some element of nature. I am committed to designing pieces that are beautiful, innovative, versatile, elegant, easy to wear and timeless. My desire is that each piece you purchase will be one that you will want to wear again and again for many years to come. And I hope that you'll find your interactions with me are characterized by kindness, generosity, integrity and a sincere interest in who you are. My core values are rooted in a strong foundation of faith.
Ultimately, I design in the hope that you will experience the unexpected power of YOUR "champagne pearls". And I want to make a difference, even if it's a small one, in the life of a child or an adult, in places where there's not much hope.
So what great outfit needs your "champagne pearls" to complete it? Something simple for your t-shirt and jeans? A statement piece for those special evenings out? Something long and beautiful that will help you feel trendy, yet unique… beautiful and elegant? Or maybe something short to add a gorgeous pop of color to a gorgeous you?
If you don’t find the perfect piece, please contact me. I would love to work with you to design YOUR expression of your champagne pearls!