Meet India Rows, jewelry designer and owner of The Pearl Girls, and her mama, Mary Dozier, who show us pearls will never go out of style.

The Pearl Girls: India Rows and Mary Dozier
The Pearl Girls owner, India Rows, and her mom know that pearls are a necessity in every Southern lady's jewelry box.
| Credit: Jennifer Davick

India Rows, a Thomson, Georgia resident and founder of The Pearl Girls, creates stylish, affordable pearl jewelry for Southern women of all ages. And, quite frankly, it's all her mother's doing. "Momma instilled in me two great loves: travel and jewelry," she explains. "From my first European trek at age 4, she encouraged me to invest in a special piece of jewelry to commemorate my trips." And so when India and her husband honeymooned in Asia, she followed mother's orders and purchased pearls—necklaces, bracelets, rings, you name it—at every stop. "They were just gorgeous and as a Southern woman I already had a deep appreciation for the gem." The experience also got her thinking. Why not foray her flair for jewelry into a career?

The Start of The Pearl Girls
After returning stateside, India enrolled in the Gemological Institute of America where she received training in pearl grading. In 2008 she officially launched The Pearl Girls, which features classic designs year round and new, trend-inspired pieces each season. All are designed and sourced by India; she returns to Hong Kong once a year to handpick each pearl.

As The Pearl Girls continues to grow, India's mother, Mary Dozier, also of Thomson, remains key to the company's success. "She's my travel partner, cheerleader, support system and babysitter all rolled into one," India says. That is, when the adventurous sixty-something isn't trotting the globe. This summer she plans to visit Antarctica, her seventh and final continent.

Pearl Styles
With fashion, both gals agree there's no better accessory than pearl jewelry. India gravitates toward funky, modern pieces that incorporate unexpected materials such as wire or ribbon. "For me, that style necklace is just the right mix of casual and formal," she says. Keeping the same viewpoint with her clothing, she showcases her jewelry with chic cotton shifts and gladiator pumps for a getup that's comfy enough for chasing after her toddler (son Jack is just shy of one), but nice enough for business meetings.

Mary, on the other-hand, prefers a classic strand of pearls. Her favorite place to sport them? The Masters Tournament at the nearby Augusta National Golf Club each April. "It's the perfect chance to parade around in the bright, preppy attire, such as a madras skirt and polo sweater, that I adore." The look is admittedly casual, but pearls take the ensemble up a notch," Mary insists. "They really do go with everything!"