Tahia’s name appears all over shop signs; however few people know that a French Polynesian female designer and entrepreneur is hiding behind this brand. Hiding is an appropriate description, for despite her imminent success, Tahia Haring prefers to maintain a low profile. Her character and journey have been extraordinary and exemplary. An authentic daughter of our islands, she was born on Moorea, Tahiti’s sister island; a land that is deeply rooted in Polynesian landscapes and spirit. However, Tahia has a mixture of other heritages with a Swiss father, as evidenced by her foreign last name, and a half-Marquesan mother. This beautiful diversity reflects Tahitian pearls. “Since the beginning, I never tired of pearls. We have the most beautiful pearls in the world! They can have such varied nuances in color, much more than pearls from elsewhere. This is an incredible richness that we must promote even more.”
Tahia has captured this richness with her incredible journey that now includes six Tahiti Exquisite Tahitian Pearls stores in Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora. However, this young Polynesian came from humble beginnings with a father who worked in the tourism industry in Moorea. He provided her a space across from Club Med. “I started just like that, selling loose pearls in a 3 square meter space (10 sq. ft.),” she smiled. Ambition and success arrived quickly. “I have always been drawn to fashion and design, especially pearls and jewelry. I then attended jewelry school at the prestigious Gemological Institute of America in California where I studied Jewelry Arts and design and the particularities of diamonds and pearls,” she added. She passed an important milestone in her development through selling mounted jewelry instead of just loose pearls.
Like the beginning of many endeavors, she had to then put her nose to the grindstone. She started piercing and gluing pearls herself. Importantly, she was creating jewelry. Bit by bit, her designs became more upscale. “I took what I learned from my studies and started to create more elaborate designs. I read fashion and jewelry magazines. After a few years went by, I attended large jewelry shows and networked with major jewelry finding suppliers. I now work with them directly.” Tahia comes up with the idea for the jewelry designs and creates them right here in Tahiti. Part of the manufacturing is done abroad, but the final project is always completed in Tahiti where Tahia employs two jewelers for the selection, placement and assembly of the pearls. By the end of the 2000s, Tahia received international recognition for her designs with evocative names such as “Choral Garden,” or “New Moon in a Choir of Stars.” She humbly stated, “I took a chance with a few pieces and it worked out.”
Tahia likes to merge pearls with precious metals and stones in a beautiful union between quality pearls, gold or white gold, silver, sapphires and diamonds. This precious matter merges with a fierce desire to provide the highest quality in terms of jewelry and customer service to our islands’ visitors. She draws inspiration in large part from Tahiti’s exceptional environment and abundant nature, as well as its colors highlighted by painters and photographers from all over the world. “When I manage to have a quiet moment, I go to Tahiti’s peninsula or to Moorea with my little notebook to come up with my designs.” But the real secret is above all the passion she has for her work: “I have always loved beautiful things and beauty always sells!” Tahia smiled.