Emerald and Pearl Earrings
I just got back from Bangkok, Thailand. My partner and I spent the holidays there, as we were both in need of an escape from the chaos and grime of Kolkata. If you've been to Bangkok then you might be raising your eyebrows right about now thinking, "an escape from chaos and grime?" Yeah, it's all about perspective.
The Emerald and Pearl Earrings from Udon Thani-based Patch First Shop, well, aren't _really _made of emerald. They're made from green Swarovski crystals nestled against silver diamante rondelles and white pearls, which are held together by a tiny 18K gold-plated stud so that the earring dangles barely a half inch away from the ear lobe. The finished product is inexpensively elegant—not the cheapy hippie-cum-hipster-traveler kind of thing you'd see in the tourist ghettos of the Thai capital city. (Although mine did arrive in a very cute purple velvet bag with a pink snowflake embroidered on the side.)
I'm usually pretty averse to cookie cutter tourist spots, but a year and a half of Kolkata had me craving Mexican food and Guinness, so Khao San Road hit the spot after the two and a half hour flight to Bangkok. A few drinks into dinner, my partner and I started to ponder the success of the Thai economy, the second biggest in Southeast Asia. Tourism is an obvious, and increasing, source of upping the GDP, but Thailand's export-dependent system is at the center of automotive and electronic goods manufacturing. The Thai economic stability acts as an anchor for its developing neighbors—Laos, Burma, and Cambodia.
Patch First Shop may not be rapidly growing the Thai GDP, but it is fulfilling one woman's passion to support herself through her creative endeavors. She envisions your wearing her jewelry at your wedding, but I'm more a fan of wearing it on the day to day. Prices are low ($10) and shipping is free (!), so take advantage of global capitalism via Etsy, folks.