Adorning customers with treasures of the Isles

Angelique Medina and Tenille Barrett of Maui Divers Jewelry take special care in grading pearls at the company’s design center. PHOTOS BY LAWRENCE TABUDLO

By Kyle Galdeira

By providing a memorable customer experience with the aloha spirit, innovation, exceptional quality and timeless designs, Maui Divers Jewelry continues to lead the industry in creating exquisite jewelry inspired by the beauty and culture of the Islands.

Founded in 1959, Maui Divers Jewelry is the largest jewelry manufacturer and retailer in Hawaii today. Renowned for its unique, high-quality handcrafted designs featuring pearls, precious corals, Hawaiian gold, diamonds and other beautiful gemstones, the company owns and operates 36 concept locations via Maui Divers Jewelry, Island Pearls and Pick-A-Pearl brands.

Maui Divers launched six decades ago in Lahaina, Maui as a dive shop known for filling scuba tanks, selling equipment and providing island tours. Everything changed, however, when a diving expedition in the deep waters of the Kaiwi Channel led to the remarkable discovery of one of the ocean’s finest treasures: Hawaiian black coral. The coral boosted the company into the jewelry industry, with Maui Divers eventually expanding its operations and relocating to Honolulu, where it served as a jewelry manufacturer and wholesaler until opening its first retail store in 1982.

Bob Taylor

Maui Divers has become extremely successful, due in large part to the respect, accountability, integrity, dependability and customer-focus of the company’s 300-plus employees. Furthermore, 20 years ago, the owners and management of Maui Divers formed an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), which provided all employees a unique opportunity to take part in the profits of the company. Through the ESOP, employees receive shares of company stock without having to contribute, inevitably raising the overall commitment of staff in helping the company succeed. As a result of the ESOP, employees serve as the largest investor group in the company.

“We have an amazing staff that is vested in the success of Maui Divers Jewelry through the ESOP and wide-ranging employee benefits and perks,” said Bob Taylor, Maui Divers Jewelry president and CEO. “We’ve invested in our employees to ensure we fulfill our mission to prioritize not only financial profits but also a healthy and positive work environment.

“Our ohana culture also creates opportunities for career advancement,” he added.

The Maui Divers Jewelry Design Center — located in the heart of Honolulu, off of Keeaumoku Street — offers kamaaina and visitors alike a chance to witness the magic of jewelry design and craftsmanship from the beginning of the process through completion.

Manager Nell Redling happily helps a customer try on one of Maui Divers’ unique, handcrafted rings.

“In having a fully functioning design center open to the public, we are able to educate our consumers on the history, quality craftsman-ship and value of our jewelry,” said Taylor. “This added knowledge provides our shoppers with a deeper sense of personal value in the item that they have selected, creating memories that last a lifetime.”

Maui Divers Jewelry plans on expanding further with the addition of two new stores by the end of the year. Customers also can look forward to popular monthly promotions, including a 30 percent discount on the Puffy Plumeria Pendant, a 20 percent discount on a second item of equal or lower value (excluding chains) when purchasing an item of $200 or more, and the gift of a free Tahitian Pearl and Diamond Pendant after purchasing an item of $500 or greater.

Contact Patrick Klein at pklein@staradvertiser.com if you desire to have your company featured in this section.

THE 411

COMPANY: Maui Divers Jewelry

LOCATION: 1520 Liona Street, Honolulu (design center)

WEBSITE: mauidivers.com

PRESIDENT AND CEO: Bob Taylor

EMPLOYEES: 330

BENEFITS: Health, drug, vision, life and supplemental insurance; a flex spending plan, 401(K) and an employee-stock-ownership plan; paid vacation, sick leave and holidays; parking/bus pass reimbursement, educational assistance, service awards and employee discounts

NOTEWORTHY: First place for pearl jewelry in 2017JCK Jewelers’ Choice Awards