Definition: Multipearl. Noun. A place of business that hand selects various baubles of the vintage variety; a source of fashion wonder and dedication; family owned; a piece of world history; a piece of San Francisco.
When I first walked into Multipearl, based in the heart of SOMA, on the 3rd floor of a super chic, modern building, I was overwhelmed with excitement. It was like a scene from Goonies, discovering a bevy of treasures (“Hey, you guys!!!”).
There was a heartbeat, if you will, a heart and soul that had been poured into the discovery and the repurposing of each, glorious piece. Multipearl is dedicated to providing innovative custom design and offering a large and varied treasure trove of vintage, estate and cutting edge jewelry and components. MGK Style had struck gold and I quickly set to work in creating custom pieces for a client’s most recent ad campaign.
The story behind the company is equally compelling.
Multipearl was founded 60 years ago by European immigrants Herbert and Lee Schein. World War II found Herbert Schein, a young Austrian immigrant, living in Shanghai and dreaming of coming to America and operating a fine jewelry business.
The Scheins are survivors of the Holocaust and have grit, integrity, soul and a pick yourself up by the bootstraps business philosophy – imagine that nowadays with our current selection of celebrity-turned-designer lineup. Years later, the Schein’s dream became a reality when they opened Multipearl in San Francisco.
Karen Shein, Multipearl’s present-day owner, gemologist, designer and daughter of Herbert and Lee, greeted me on a perfectly sunny, October day with a shy smile, bright eyes and a curiosity that could only be explained by her somewhat under the radar, yet deeply-hearted personality.
In her own words, Karen describes Multipearl as a company that “is inspired by antiquity, history, family stories, fashion, global art and design and the beautiful people of California.”
Multipearl believes in creating for like-minded clients, clients that appreciate the “story” behind each piece. Karen is conscious of the blood, sweat and tears her parents have endured in life and have invested in the company and believes in upholding their mission.
You can find exquisite, vintage gold broaches and clip on earrings, one of a kind beads dipped in gold and lined in crystal, layers upon layers of baroque pearls and multicolored, luminescent beads. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, Karen and her mother will make it for you.
If you want to be an original, this is where you go. It is like taking a step back in time and shopping your grandmother’s jewelry box. I’m fairly certain there is nothing better.
Karen Schein Phone, (415) 543-9353
Multipearl Import Co., Inc.
601 4th. Street #314
San Francisco, CA 94107