Pearls for Patients

Julia Nall, Print Editor

Juniors Abby Catton and Presli Pendergrass are business owners with a charitable focus, following companies such as TOMS, the popular apparel brand which uses profits to support the impoverished. Fifty percent of profits from the necklaces Catton and Pendergrass hand-make and sell go to the cancer unit of Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

Named Pearls for Patients, the business has spread quickly since it started this summer, its necklaces often appearing as part of students’ ensembles.

The sales numbers reflect their popularity.

“We’ve made close to $500 [in profit] right now, [and] we still have a lot more to make,” Pendergrass said. “We’re hoping to get up to $1,000 [for Children’s Hospital].”

The girls just started making necklaces this summer, proving their productivity and the popularity of the jewelry. The business itself was spontaneous.

Catton and Pendergrass wearing their necklaces. | Julia Nall photo
Catton and Pendergrass wearing their necklaces. | Julia Nall photo

“It’s not even like we planned it,” Pendergrass said.

The initial idea did not include charity, which is now their focus.

“It all just kind of fell into place,” Catton said. “We were like, we really want these necklaces, so we’re going to make them. And it turned into ‘Okay, let’s sell them,’ [then] ‘Okay, lets donate the money!”

They don’t regret that decision.

The charity aspect has propelled Pearls for Patients forward, and the two are more than happy to help those diagnosed with cancer. Catton hopes to work with cancer patients in the future, and this is giving her a small taste of that life.

“I’ve always been interested in things to do with oncology. I’ve always wanted to do something with it, so it’s a start,” Catton said.

While Catton has a clear idea for her future, the future of Pearls for Patients is not definite. The two have an ultimate goal of raising $1,000 in donations, but past that, they have few plans.

“I guess we want it to be able to carry on,” Catton said.

Regardless of where it’s going, Pearls for Patients is here for now, and more people are beginning to notice.

“We’re just trying to get the word out,” Catton said.