It sounds more like a fairytale quest than a scouting trip for a jewelry line. To source her latest line, designer Monique Pean journeyed to the Arctic Circle, meeting with native artisans who shared their craft and the precious fossilized ivory of walrus, caribou, and even woolly mammoth. Lucky for us, Pean's gorgeous pieces aren't pretend.
Inspired by Alaskan natives and the natural beauty of the country, the necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and rings that make up Pean's Bering collection are rimmed with recycled gold and sustainable and conflict-free materials like raw diamonds and aquamarine. The chunks of dappled, fossilized ivory incorporated into the line were colored by minerals in the Alaskan ice after being buried underground for centuries. Organic yet modern, Pean's pieces manage to be completely luxurious without compromising her high standards of social and eco-consciousness.
Realizing the importance of giving back to the Alaskan community, Pean donates 10% of her profits to the Alaska Native Arts Foundation, which helps to train Alaska's next generation of Native artists. Says Pean, "Each piece of jewelry has a rich history. I aspire to enhance the individual through my designs and to raise awareness of Alaska Native art and culture." It's a happy ending better than anything from an old-school bedtime story.