My jewelry career began in 1970. Following college and a tour in the US Army I opened a retail jewelry studio in Seattle called “Dick Paille Handcrafted Jewelry” and began classes with the G.I.A. (Gemological Institute of America) studying diamonds, colored stones and gem identification.
In 1972 I moved to a new location in Seattle and opened a larger store, Dick Paille Jewelry. I worked long hours “at the bench” in the store’s manufacturing shop, managed employees, wrote & published a newsletter, met with sales reps, worked with customers and attended trade shows several times each year. Six day work weeks were typical. The 70’s were demanding but rewarding years in my early career where I learned the retail jewelry business.
In 1980 I sold the store following an inner call to design jewelry for a national market selling my work at shows across the US, in retail jewelry stores and Galleries.
In 1991 a new opportunity arose and I became involved in Black Pearl farming in the Cook Islands starting the business, “South Pacific Pearls International.” That was an exciting period with many trips to the South Pacific & Australia where we filmed several documentaries on pearl farming and opal mining.
In 2008 I decided to travel less and find ways to share my career experiences with others. I started a jewelry making school, Learn2MakeJewelry which is my focus today. Teaching has brought new rewards, renewed energy and excitement to my 42 years in jewelry. I also consult on jewelry matters and speak to groups on various jewelry related subjects