Hartley Jewelers Designs Custom Pendant Necklace For Miss Washington USA
For many years, Hartley Jewelers has donated and presented a custom designed gold and diamond pendant for the newly crowned winner of the annual Miss Washington Pageant. Last year, the company was appointed official jeweler of the prestigious organization. They celebrated by redesigning the Miss Washington ring, and designing public supporter rings; the proceeds of which help support the scholarship organization.
The larger, national Miss USA Pageant is owned by Donald Trump and NBC Universal. Last October, Cassandra Searles was crowned Miss Washington USA. She had worked with the Miss Washington Pageant and knew of Hartley Jewelers’ cooperation with the state organization, the largest scholarship provider for young women in the world.
“I’ve been a volunteer with the Miss Washington program for a couple of years,” says Searles, “and I remembered that Hartley Jewelers made rings for all the new winners of the Miss Washington Pageant. I wanted to see if they could design something for me.”
Searles contacted Hartley Jewelers through the company’s Facebook page.
Searles had seen a picture of a custom-made necklace worn by the reigning Miss Texas USA, in the shape of her state. “I had her send me a picture, and then showed it to Hartley Jewelers,” says Searles. “I asked if they could make something similar, of Washington State.”
“I told them I wanted to have something to remember my year by, maybe a necklace,” says Searles. “I wanted something easily recognizable that would pay homage to my state.”
With just a phone call or two and several emails back-and-forth with sketches, the custom-design process began and the pendant necklace — created by Rick Hartley — came together quickly.
“I live in the Seattle area, so I love the Space Needle,” she says. “Rick did a couple of sketches, one with the space needle, and I thought it was absolutely perfect.”
The finished piece is the State of Washington wrapped in a Miss Washington USA-emblazoned sash, with the space needle rising out of it.
She especially likes how the necklace’s chain slips through the top of the space needle.
“My evening gown for Miss USA is going to be emerald, to represent the Emerald City,” Searles says. “I asked if we could throw some emeralds into the design, and Rick suggested incorporating a row of alternating diamonds and emeralds into the pendant.”
“It was really easy, there was absolutely no stress,” says Searles. “And, they worked within my timeframe; I wanted to have it ready in time for my send-off party.”
Searles’ full-time job and Miss Washington USA duties keep her extremely busy. She is now a devoted Hartley Jewelers fan, though she’s never stepped foot in the West Olympia store. “I was very excited that I was able to do it all electronically,” she says.
And how does she feel about the finished piece?
“I’m wearing it right now and it’s amazing,” she says, laughing. “I’m obsessed with it.”
Of course the pendant will travel with Searles later this month for the 19 days she’ll spend in Las Vegas, competing for the Miss USA crown. “I’ll wear it as much as I can during the pageant, whenever it matches my outfit,” she says.
Regardless of the pageant’s outcome, Searles will continue to proudly wear her custom-made Hartley Jewelers pendant necklace for years to come, to commemorate her time as Miss Washington USA.