Shop for Wasabi Jewelry
Wasabi jewelry was founded in 1992 by Jill Pearson. She is a third generation Japanese American who lives in California, USA. Jill's lifelong fascination with gemstones is the driving force behind Wasabi and she embraces the clean, streamlined design of her Asian culture while also including the more American tradition of inventive, stylish jewelry.
Wasabi is not Jill's first foray into the jewelry industry. In fourth grade she teamed up with her sister and a friend and sold their hand-made earrings door-to-door in the San Gabriel Valley neighborhood she called home. "We displayed the jewelry on a board we covered with felt," Pearson recalls. "And we made sure the words All Hand Made were really big." A photo from the family
album shows the trio with quite an inventory.
Pearson continued to dabble, taking jewelry-making classes in high school and selling her designs in the quad at Pasadena City College, where she studied business and art. When she landed a job with a major athletic shoe manufacturer, designing jewelry took a back seat. A breakneck pace and extensive business travel kept Pearson busy for nearly two years. It was on a train ride from China to Hong Kong when she
decided to return to her first love.
"I was skimming a fashion magazine and saw a freshwater pearl necklace. I said to myself, I could do that, and started laying the groundwork for starting my own company," says Pearson. She believes her lifelong fascination with gemstones is the driving force behind Wasabi. Let the stone speak, is her motto. Sometimes it's a whisper, sometimes it's a shout. Pearson says she draws inspiration from
everywhere: museums, cards, fabric, home accessories, cosmetics and even toys.
When she's not designing jewelry or managing her 22-person staff, Pearson devotes time to a different type of gem: the ho-hum 1955 house she and her husband are transforming into a contemporary space for living, working and entertaining.
She's marred to Bill Pearson, a retail analyst and writer. They have one daughter, Samantha.