One of the best parts of opening our own store is meeting like-minded artists who share our commitment to sustainability, quality craftsmanship, and the use of organic, natural materials.
This month we’re launching our new Artist Profile Series. Knowing the back story of an artist whose work you’re drawn to makes their pieces come alive and feel even more special.
We’re All Gorgeously Imperfect
Pamela Waill, owner of Petite Baleine, is all about creating pieces that people can connect to in simple, meaningful ways. “I’m casually specific,” she says. “I like jewelry that becomes part of your skin, jewelry you don’t have to remove. I’m attracted to pieces that hold a talisman-like significance for the woman who wears them.”
Seven years ago Pam walked into an edgy and fun jewelry store in her small community an hour north of New York City. She had come to shop, but the owner kept staring at her Tahitian pearls. He finally asked where she had bought them.
“I had made the pieces myself. I could not have been luckier,” she said, recalling that day. “He asked me to assemble a collection, which I did. He bought every piece. It was my jumping off point. I continued to design and make pieces that I wanted for myself but wasn’t seeing out there. I have a background in merchandising and sales. I love sourcing materials. Making my own jewelry allows me the freedom to find materials I love and organically introduce them as they appeal to me.”
Pam describes her work as a mix of beach, mountains, sun, sky, and fresh air. Her pieces exude a playful vibe with an appreciation for fine-quality materials. She’s drawn to Tahitian Keshi pearls. “The color and the iridescence are amazing,” she explains. “The Keshis are tiny and sweet, and their sheen is remarkable.” And she loves Australian opals. Why? “No two are alike. Each opal flashes differently and has different power to it.”
Pam’s creations also feature GIA-certified diamonds and rustic gemstones. Most of her current work is in high-carat metals. Roughly 60-65 percent of her line is one-of-a-kind. The remainder are stock pieces she produces all the time. She also does custom work.
Women of every age are drawn to Petite Baleine jewelry
Pam's customers share her sense of delight and adore her choice of materials. Like other jewelry makers we feature at KMJ, Pam is drawn to the imperfections found in nature—you’ll find her on Instagram @petitebaleinejewelry.
“I like fine things but I don’t like being constrained by the preciousness of them. I love pieces you can wear as you race out of the house with your hair in a ponytail. I think my customers like this aspect of my creations too.”
Pam chooses each stone individually to create pieces that resemble sea glass or a sunken treasure that washed up on the beach. “I feel like I found it!” exclaimed a buyer recently. She’d chosen a ring with a square emerald set in 20k apricot gold. The majority of Pam’s pieces retail for under $1,500. Her price point ranges from $160 to $16,000.
“I wear all the hats and make all the decisions (at Petite Baleine). I do all the designing, all the sourcing, all the production, most of the making, all the photography, and all the social media.” Buyers can find her line in store locations in the northeast and the west. She’s also carried in a shop in Lake Como, Italy. Pam chooses not to sell online; she sends people to her retail partners.
Kate and Pam met at the Premier Jewelry Show in Las Vegas in 2019. “We had booths next to each other,” says Pam. “Meeting Kate has been wonderful. I’ve been lucky enough to work with women I genuinely like. Most of them are small business owners. They’ve been forced to think out of the box during the pandemic. They’re doing their best to pull things together during a challenging time.”
Kate Maller Jewelry carries Petite Baleine rings and necklaces featuring Tahitian Keshi pearls, Brazilian tourmaline, Japanese micro-beads, and more. See what calls to you. Maybe you'll find your talisman.