The Story of Pearl

Well Hello There!

I figured if you’ve come this far, you’re most likely interested in the story behind the name of my business “The Printed Pearl”. The thing is, the Pearl in this story is not an object, but rather a person. Pearl was one of the most important people in my life. 

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My grandmother single handedly had the GREATEST influence on my life-- and yep you guessed it, her name was Pearl. I may be wildly biased, but she was the best grandmother a child could have ever asked for. She picked me up from kindergarten everyday and took care of me until my mom would get off work. She let me drink apple juice from the can and play “hide the thimble” for hours on end (she loved to sew and thimbles were the closest thing to a toy). Today, I describe her as being one of the most gentle and loving people I ever knew. I can even remember telling my mom as a young girl “I love grandma Pearl because when she brushes my hair she doesn’t tug on my tangles and make it hurt.” Oh the things that can win over a child’s heart!

As I grew up she continued to win my heart over. I had always been drawn to my grandma and the human she was. She was kind, she was sincere, she was a woman of God and she had a gentle heart. I fell in love with the way she talked and adored the vocab she used. I wish I could ask her to take one more walk around the park just to hear her say, “Okay! Let me go put tenny-runners on!” I wish I’d kept all her birthday cards signed with her handwriting. I wish I would’ve taken more pictures, hugged more and said, “I love you” more.

Her passing a few years ago seemed like the worst thing that could have ever possibly happened to me. Seeing her lose her memory with dementia and her body weaken just about broke my whole soul. I still miss her like crazy, but I’ve been able to reassure myself of how incredibly lucky I was to have a love that grew like a wildfire for a woman who served as the ultimate role model.


After discovering my love for calligraphy and hand lettering, I knew I wanted to do it all-day everyday for as long as my right hand could function. After casually entertaining the idea of turning my dream into a reality, my husband encouraged me to take it seriously.

So naturally, I called to order a brainstorming session for a business name. It had to be meaningful, creative, unique… and of course related to calligraphy & lettering (that’s all, right?). I honestly don’t think it took very long to link my grandma to this thought process. I even looked up “Pearl” in the dictionary to see what sorts of things came up. And wow, did it give me the chills. The word “pearl” had become a metaphor most commonly used for something “rare”, “fine”, “valuable” and “admirable”. Those words perfectly described my grandma while at the same time perfectly described what I wanted my pieces to be to others. I played around with all sorts of variations using the name Pearl and fell upon “The Printed Pearl”.  I was sold.

Months of researching and looking into building my business, I came across the amazing Studio Twenty-Two workshop called “Neon Headquarters”. It just about included everything I needed to build, design & launch my business.

So I hit the ground running and haven’t looked back since! I am so incredibly grateful for all the opportunities and support I have been given to follow my passion and share my gift with the world. All in honor of my Grandma Pearl!

Shea Hignell