A chance encounter in Rarotonga was the seed for a mutually beneficial relationship between Goof Treurniet and Avaiki pearls. “After the 2009 Hong Kong Pearl Fair”, says Goof, “my wife Helene and I decided to take a well-earned break in New Zealand and the Cook Islands. At an event in Rarotonga we met George Ellis, the CEO of the Cook Islands Pearl Authority and got talking about the fascinating world of pearls. It was good timing for us because the Hong Kong Pearl Fair showed us that we needed to offer something special to our customers and here was a brand of pearls in the Cook Islands that had many special qualities.” A year later, Goof agreed to represent Avaiki pearls in the Benelux countries of Europe.
The Treurniets are no strangers to pearls. What started in 2001 as a retail sideline, selling pearls in conjunction with Helene’s wedding dresses, gradually developed into a dedicated pearl wholesaling business. Renaissance Cultuurparels now supplies many varieties of pearls to discerning jewellers and goldmiths in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Goof is particularly impressed with the versatility of Avaiki black pearls. “They can be seen as classic or contemporary”, he says. “The amazing range of shapes and appealing colours are also being rediscovered by a whole new audience, including younger men and women. That’s exciting to see.”
In the international saltwater pearl market Goof sees few distinctive products. “What makes Avaiki stand out from the rest, apart from its rarity, is the consistent quality and the assurance of integrity that stretches all the way back along the value chain to how they sustainably look after the lagoon. Plus Avaiki has a unique brand story to tell which has a strong emotional appeal for our customers.”
Goof sees a very positive future for Avaiki pearls in Europe. “There is a growing number of goldsmiths and jewellers throughout Europe who prefer to handle quality products they can trust and which have strong values, especially around sustainability. For these buyers, Avaiki is the perfect answer.”