Talking Pearls With Ray Mastoloni Jr.



Mastoloni is a company synonymous with pearls. You think pearl, and there are but a few brands that instantly come to mind—this is one of them.

Founded by Frank Mastoloni Sr. along with his brothers in the mid-1920s, the company didn’t start out strictly selling pearls, rather, it sought an assortment of exotic materials: coral, cameos, jade, and ultimately cultured pearls.

Ray Mastoloni Sr., one of the founding brothers of what was once called Frank Mastoloni and Sons—but has since evolved into Mastoloni Pearls—passed away at the age of 89 in January. His son Ray Jr., along with his nephews Fran and Ed Mastoloni, now represent the next generation of Mastoloni Pearls, a brand with 85 years under its belt and all at the helm of one family.

JCK got a few words with Ray Mastoloni Jr. about what’s current with pearls, how the pandemic is impacting business, and selling for the holidays.

Mastoloni Eclisse earrings
Eclisse earrings in 18k rose gold with 9 mm–10 mm black Tahitian pearls and 0.5 ct. t.w. diamonds, $5,300
Mastoloni Eclisse ring
Eclisse ring in 18k rose gold with black Tahitian pearl and 0.5 ct. t.w. diamonds, $5,900
Mastoloni Eclisse pendant
Eclisse pendant in 18k rose gold with 11 mm–11.5 mm black Tahitian pearl and 0.5 ct. t.w. diamonds, $5,400

What’s new with Mastoloni? Have you bowed any new collections this year?

Despite the challenging time we have all been enduring since March, we have continued to design, innovate, and bring new collections to market. We are especially excited about the launch of our new Eclisse collection, a sophisticated assortment featuring a captivating, bold mix of rose gold, black Tahitian pearls, and shimmering white diamonds in a decidedly art deco design.

How has the pandemic impacted your business? Are you finding that you’re doing anything differently in terms of either design, or the way you interact with your retailers and customers?

The pandemic has certainly impacted our business, especially in the spring, as we needed to close the office, limit travel for our sales representatives, and slow production. That said, we remained positive and used the time to pivot our 2020 planning and recalibrate 2021 initiatives. The summer months were positive for the brand as retailers were reopening and consumers were back in the stores, interested in seeing new collections.

There is a growing trend this year of pearls worn by people of all ages, but in particular, men. Any plans to target that market with a new collection? Any thoughts on the trend?

It is an interesting trend, isn’t it? While we do not have plans to launch a broad men’s collection, we are keeping our eye on the developing trend and are considering developing an everyday, fashion-forward collection for men.

Mastoloni graduated pearl earrings
Graduated drop earrings in 18k yellow gold with 4 mm–8 mm freshwater pearls and 0.1 ct. t.w. diamonds, $1,615
Mastoloni graduated pearl drop earrings
Graduated drop earrings in 18k yellow gold with 4 mm–8 mm freshwater pearls and 0.07 ct. t.w. diamonds, $1,650
Mastoloni graduated pearl drop earrings
Graduated drop earrings in 18k yellow gold with 4 mm–8 mm freshwater pearls and 0.1 ct. t.w. diamonds, $1,615

What is your current favorite style or best seller?

Our new Sorrento collection Icicle earring assortment of graduated freshwater pearls adorned with diamonds is one of our newest favorites to gain attention—no doubt these will be on the holiday wish list of many!

How do you propose retailers best tend to their customers this holiday season, at a time when personal face-to-face service is all but impossible?

Many of our retailers have been doing a fantastic job of engaging their customer base during the pandemic through amplifying their social media efforts, email campaigns, and good old-fashioned clienteling. What we are finding is that despite the time, people still want to feel good and adorn themselves with beautiful things. Our retailers thankfully have embraced this sentiment and have become closer with their customers.

Top: Ray Mastoloni Jr.

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