Roseate has only been selling her pearl and bead-inspired jewelry since May, but the founder has spent most of her career working for a much more well-known retailer: Tiffany & Company.
The idea for Roseate came about in 2021, when Pamela Cloud, who had worked on the business side at Tiffany for 25 years and eventually led the company’s marketing, was catching lunch with her former boss, Michael Kowalski. He served as CEO at Tiffany from 1999 to 2015, with an interim return in 2017, and Chairman of the Board from 2003 to 2017.
“We’ve been talking about things,” Ms. Cloud said in an interview at Roseate headquarters, a co-working space in New York’s Little Italy neighborhood. “If you were going to build a brand differently, any brand, how would you do it? Then he had us talk about materials, and we share that love of pearls.”
Pearls are the leitmotif of Roseate, which was founded by Mrs. Cloud the following year. (Mr. Kowalski was a founding investor and is now one of the three board members, along with Ms. Cloud and her husband, Christopher Cloud.)
While Roseate has some classic elements, like these 10mm diameter South Sea pearl earrings in 18k rose gold, most of the designs have a modern, casual vibe. For example, there are wands, thin pendants, or dangle earrings punctuated with lab-grown diamonds and mother-of-pearl, and the TreasureLocks collection includes gold beaded necklaces designed to resemble pearls.
The inaugural 50-piece set was designed by Eddie Borgo, which is based in New York and Los Angeles. He brought a personal approach to the project, Ms. Cloud said, “but also this design view of nature, water, water droplets, and oceans.”
His designs were executed by artisans in New York, Rhode Island and California. The pearls came from Kamuca, a farming operation in Tahiti, and the Paspelle Pearling Company in Australia.
Roseate prices range from $150 for a dainty WaterDrop sterling silver bracelet to $39,500 for an 18-inch south sea pearl necklace, with the bulk running from $1,000 to $3,000. “We want to make it accessible,” said Ms. Cloud. “We have the beautiful thread for $39,000, but we also want to make sure people can have a heart-shaped necklace at the thousandth.”
Most of the sales come through its website, but the pop-up store in Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown neighborhood is scheduled to continue through November. Another pop-up store, in New York’s West Village, is set to open later this summer.
The company has associated itself with organizations that support oysters and clean water, essentials to its pearl creations—which seems to make strategic sense. When a company chooses to align with a charity, “it has to have a real connection to the product or to the personality behind the product,” said Lucy Green, founder of Light Years, a trend-forecasting company.
She said, “In general, there’s a greater focus on oceans and water and their connection to our environment and climate change, so for a brand like this that’s being launched that’s relatively new, that makes a lot of sense.”
Roseate donates 20 percent — or $300 — to charity every time you sell two of her designs, both priced at $1,500. The sale of the Bloom Wand Necklace benefits Billion Oyster Project, helping to restore New York Harbor’s oyster reefs; The Water Wand pendant helps Conservation Internationalwhich attempts to protect the oceans and other living ecosystems.
For Ms. Cloud, who was chief merchandising officer when she left Tiffany in 2019 (shortly before it was acquired by LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton), working with Pearls completes her career.
“When I saved up and bought my first Tiffany piece, as someone who works there, it was a pearl, and I’m glad my 18-year-old now wears it every day.”