From 9 to 5 to a
Jewelry Company

Yes, it is true, I took a chance, a leap of faith perhaps and left a successful career in IT to create a company where I make one-of-a-kind, hand-crafted jewelry. All because of a beginner jewelry class taken many years ago. While working in a high-stress environment for a well-known software company, a jewelry making class was offered. While sitting in a classroom with 40 or 50 other willing learners who were given very little co-design guidance, my idea ignited. Everyone’s project was pretty much the same and no real learning or creativity occurred. While the class was average, it renewed a passion for a well-loved hobby from my teen years. And that is when it happened. My spark for making jewelry part-time started as my IT career continued. That was 2002.

From making jewelry on my own, it seemed a natural progression to honing my craft and start teaching jewelry making classes too. By 2014 classes were available all over the Triangle and beyond. Ladies hired me to do private groups, teen classes and more. Varying in skill levels and extent of projects, each student designs and creates their own piece of jewelry – leaving with a unique, lovely and treasured creation. Emphasis on each student’s preferences in design.

Eventually, my part-time ‘hobby’ and teaching of classes evolved into a full-blown passion in 2016 – Carolina Pearl, LLC. That is when I decided to leave corporate America.  My classes are taught at my studio in the Raleigh area, as well as the Town of Fuquay Arts Center, Town of Cary Arts Center, Fera’wyn’s Chocolate Café in Holly Springs, Durham Arts Council and other venues throughout NC. Constantly changing and improving designs, each piece is made with pride and the best grade of materials including pearls, Swarovski crystals, stones, beads, gold and silver of the highest quality. Also, in 2019 I became a Certified Pearl Specialist and in 2020 was awarded the ‘Pearls as One’ certification from the Cultured Pearl Association of America.

My work has been featured on TV and in several magazines, online interviews, and blogs. We even have a YouTube Channel: CarolinaPearl, LLC!

Going from the corporate grind to my own company was a risk. One worth taking. The result is a life well-lived, fulfilling, and one that brings me great joy. It is a one-of-a-kind life, hand-crafted by me. Just like every design that I make – full of sparkle and individuality – just like the woman who wears it. That’s the core of my business. Each piece is as beautiful and unique as you are.

Organizations I Support

I have bought a number of earrings and necklaces from Carolina Pearl for gifts and personal use. All of them have been beautifully made, reasonable in price and stylish. I will continue to use Carolina Pearl, LLC as my primary source for jewelry.

Sue O., Alton, IL

I have several beautiful pairs of earrings from Carolina Pearl, LLC. I have been a fan for years. My absolute favorite is the dragon flies I have two pair in different colors and always get compliments every time I wear them - great quality and workmanship.

Pam C., Durham, NC

Marilyn makes beautiful pieces and she also teaches fun classes. She has a great eye for making jewelry. She is a great artist in her field.

Tammy Z., Wake Forest, NC

I’ve bought two pairs of earrings from Carolina Pearl, LLC and love them! Great craftsmanship and so cute! Great prices!

Karin M., Plantation, FL

Excellent quality hand-made jewelry. Honest, reliable owner who works with customers to make sure they’re happy.

Deborah H., NC

Love the earrings I’ve received from Marilyn. Very classy.

Valerie B., Round Rock, TX

Fabulous jewelry, made for the individual.

Renee G., Destin, Fl

Carolina Pearl is simply awesome! I spoke with Marilyn, the owner and designer, about some jewelry for a Christmas gift and she asked me some questions and made several suggestions based on what I told her. I ended up selecting some earrings with purple crystals for my wife because she loved purple so much. Marilyn took all the time I needed and was great to work with — I was so pleased when my wife opened them and saw them and gasped at how beautiful they were. They definitely became her favorite ones. I would definitely go to Marilyn again and again when I need a gift for a lady. I can’t recommend her highly enough!!!

Delane S., Whiteville, NC

Marilyn’s craftsmanship is exceptional. I have given many Carolina Pearl gifts to friends and they always are treasured. Love the earrings and a special bracelet she custom-made for me years ago, and still receive compliments on it!

Harriet N., New York City

Cannot say enough wonderful things about Carolina Pearl and the owner Marilyn.

My first experience with Carolina Pearl was because it was the jewelry I wore along with several other “cover girls” in the 2019 May Issue of the Cary Lifestyle Magazine. Every piece was so stunning and perfect for every woman. From there I “liked” her Carolina Pearl Facebook page where I found she offers classes!! I cannot wait to take some girlfriends for a day out. Marilyn was so wonderful to work with, she made me feel so beautiful and one of a kind.

Erica D., NC

I love my coin-pearl necklace and matching earrings with blue Swarovski crystals. It is a stunning set and I always receive compliments about the design. I also took one of Marilyn's classes and had fun making a pair of earrings! Didn't think I could, but I did.

Nola G., New Orleans, LA

Thank you so much for the beautiful earrings that your custom made for my Mother. They are stunning and she gets compliments on them every time she wears them. I love the quality and the craftsmanship. You saved me by having them shipped directly to her for Mother’s Day. I cannot wait to order more items from you.

Traci G., NC

Marilyn Slinkman is an amazing artist when it comes to making jewelry. I have several pieces of her jewelry, and I am very pleased with the quality. She really puts her heart and soul into making her jewelry. Thank you, Marilyn.

Pam D., NC

The jewelry made by Marilyn at Carolina Pearl is amazing. There is so much detail put into every piece. The colors she uses and the designs make each set different and unique from the others. I love wearing my pearls

Sandra L., Washington, DC

Marilyn's work with pearls, especially coin pearls, Swarovski crystals and gems, is beautiful! She makes the prettiest necklaces and earrings. I have some beautiful earrings I purchased that are the prettiest pink stones with yellow gold. If you are looking for something special for yourself or a special someone, you won't go wrong with Carolina Pearl, LLC.

Christine W., Boston, MA

Marilyn's pieces speak to me with elegant simplicity. I am a fan of pearls anyway, but only Marilyn pairs pearls and beads in hues that so obviously belong together!

Erin K., Baltimore, MD

I took a class with a friend about 6 months ago and made a beautiful necklace. I had a wonderful time and Marilyn Slinkman, is a wonderful teacher!

Rhonda S., NC

I cannot say enough good things about Carolina Pearl! I initially had bought several pairs of earrings, which I love! I wear them every day! The Swarovski crystals with the coin pearl is stunning! Then I took a class, hosted by Marilyn, the owner/artist/creator and it was very informative and fun! The class was for necklaces and Marilyn provided all of the tools, stones, crystals, and patient instruction. I never thought that I would be able to make something so lovely but I did with Marilyn’s guidance and support! I highly recommend Marilyn’s pieces and her classes! She is really a jewel on many levels!

Grace L., Hartsdale, NY

I was first introduced to Carolina Pearl jewelry about 15 years ago when my husband, who has known Marilyn for years, surprised me with beautiful pearl earrings and necklaces. I have continued to purchase many beautiful items throughout the years. I love wearing the jewelry.

Kathleen R., Myrtle Beach, SC

Carolina Pearl designs are beautiful and unique and truly one-of-a kind. I asked Marilyn for a set of red, white, and blue patriotic earrings. Marilyn's design was nearly perfect and she worked with me for a little tweak to make the set absolutely perfect! I'm happy to purchase from Carolina Pearl, a Veteran owned business!

Carolyn C., Fountain City, IN

Marilyn is amazing at jewelry making, teaching and creating. She has such a love for what she does and it definitely shines through her business in all she does. She is such a joy to know!

Michelle D., NY

Marilyn is amazing at jewelry making, teaching and creating. She has such a love for what she does and it definitely shines through her business in all she does. She is such a joy to know!

Michelle D., NY