CPAA to accept retailers as members

The Cultured Pearl Association of America (CPAA), the nation’s longest standing national trade group for pearls, plans to open its membership to retailers.

In a recent vote, the 54-year-old association unanimously accepted by-law changes that would allow retailers into the group via a special associate membership status.

According to the president of the association, Raymond Mastoloni of Mastoloni Pearls, the move was initiated by popular demand. ”For the past few years we have had a significant amount of requests and inquiries from retailers who have expressed a desire to become involved in our association,” Mastoloni said. ”Since validation from an established authority has become one of the retailers’ key marketing tools, we felt it appropriate to give retailers the opportunity to affiliate themselves with the CPAA to help them gain the confidence of their customers.”

Previously, association membership had been exclusively reserved for importers and wholesale suppliers of cultured pearls and cultured pearl products. The ranks of the CPAA include some of the largest pearl companies in the U.S. to include Mastoloni Pearls, Honora, D’Elia & Tasaki, and Imperial Pearl.

The association will begin accepting membership requests from retailers in June 2001. As part of membership, retailers will receive in-showcase plaques, door decals displaying membership affiliation, and a marketing kit designed to help them increase pearl sales.

Retailers interested in applying for CPAA associate membership should contact the association’s executive secretary, Barbara Perrin at (212) 255-6875.