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Wanda North Holt has spent nearly four decades flying the friendly skies as an international flight attendant. The fact that her most frequent stops are Shanghai and Beijing is no coincidence, for here she procures the semi-precious stones and South Sea pearls used in her exquisite custom-made fine jewelry.
Much like Charlie’s golden ticket to the fabled Chocolate Factory, Holt’s exclusive access to this treasure trove on the other side of the world has been a dream-come-true for the adventure-loving designer.
“It’s been a wonderful progression of my career as a flight attendantand my desire to make jewelry. It’s the best of both worlds,” said Holt, whose home base is Atlanta.
Style & Quality
Her lifelong passion for pearls – “I find them fascinating, with cute little personalities,” she says – led her to amass quite a personal collection during layovers in her early days with the airline. Along the way she started designing pieces for friends, as she developed her connections with artisans from Shanghai to Milan. Following an eight-year, part-time stint with a private diamond company, she launched Wanda Holt Design in 2012, with showcase space at Studio 305 in Buckhead.
From pendant necklaces with semi-precious stones to multi-strand bracelets with hand carved jade to inlaid opal earrings, her glamorous pieces continue to dazzle a growing clientele, many of whom want to create a family heirloom for weddings, anniversaries and special occasions.
“I try to design pieces that can be worn several ways, for example, bracelets that can be attached together to become unusual necklaces. I love to put a contemporary twist to the traditional pearl necklace for the younger generation who sometimes thinks of pearls as a gift from their grandmother and would not usually wear them with a casual outfit,” said Holt, certified with AJP and Graduate Pearls diplomas from GIA. “On the other hand, I do work with clients who will have an idea for a special piece they will wear and cherish for a lifetime.”
Her jewelry is made with top-of-line materials and very reasonably priced, starting from $200-$300, for sterling silver lariat necklaces to yellow and white gold pieces with South Sea pearls and Tahitians.