Nalu Pearl: "Maui's Best Kept Secret Source for Unique Pearl Jewelry"


Hawaiians call the pearl a “i’a hamau leo”, which translated means “sea creature that silences the voice.” Literally this term refers to those who harvest them and the taboo of speaking while collecting oysters. But figuratively it could sum up how the world at large reacts to the sight of a perfect pearl…it simply silences them in awe.

Here on Maui’s west side, Natalie Hoffseth, owner of Nalu Pearl located in Kaanapali at The Westin Maui Resort, has been inspired by pearls since an early age because -- as she admits -- not only are they timeless, classic and elegant but they are also the most wearable gem.

“You can wear them from morning to night from breakfast all the way through to a nightclub. You can wear them whether you are 16 or 80 (years old). And you can stack them and wear them in multiples,” she says. “I wear a lot of them. I just love the look.”

In addition to the look of pearls, Hoffseth also designs the unique pieces she sells, all of which are hand made on Maui. She travels to Tahiti, Bora Bora, the Tuamotu Archipelago and throughout the South Pacific in search of cultured pearls she finds of particular interest. Combined with her designs, Hoffseth creates jewelry that is inspired by nature or by the things she sees around her, like colors and shapes, or by the pieces of the older and bigger designers she has admired since childhood like Cartier and Boucheron.

She says she will create something with the feel of theirs but not the cost. For instance, “If Cartier has a necklace with a big stone in the middle, I might do a sparkly chain with a pearl in the middle and it would cost much less.”

Her jewelry sells from $20 to $40,000 with a majority of the pearls measuring 11-14 millimeters, although Hoffseth has had some that could not be measured by her caliper. She confesses, however, that she really has no limit on her pricing because she can do just about anything a customer wants.

“The most memorable piece I sold was a huge South Pacific white pearl that measured 26 mm,” Hoffseth reveals. “It was a pendant with a diamond-encrusted bail.”

And its cost to the customer? With a smile she answers, “I won’t say.”

NALU PEARL is located at 2365 Kaanapali Parkway in the lobby of the West Maui Resort & Spa in Kaanapali. Phone: (808)-662-NALU (6258), Design Team: (808)-298-3685, E-Mail:, Web:


Submitted by Elaine Gallant, Feb., 2013