Palms and Pearls: The summer adventure that birthed Salt Wholesaling

A collage of Brendon Maddock from pearl farming to a bustling Brisbane studio.

From stranded sailor to gemstone guru

Salt Wholesaling was born out of a wild summer adventure that took place over 25 years ago and forever changed the life of our founder and owner, Brendon Maddock. After the boat he was commissioned to sail across the vast Pacific Ocean from South America to Australia ran out of funds, Brendon was left marooned on the idyllic island of Tahiti. Little did he know, this misfortune was about to lead him to an extraordinary opportunity.

With no plane ticket home or money in his pocket, he took on some local construction work and started saving for his trip home. Fate stepped in when the work took Brendon to a small island in the Tuamotu archipelago, located far to the east of the Tahitian mainland where black pearls are farmed in the crystal clear lagoons of the island chain.

Teaming up with a local family, Brendon dove head first into this new venture and a new business farming the highly sought after Tahitian black pearls was brought to life. What started as a tale of misfortune turned into an impossible tropical fantasy with Brendon living footsteps from a pristine coral reef. With some of the greatest surfing, diving and fishing spots on his doorstep, what more could you ask for!

After travelling back and forth between Australia and French Polynesia for several years, Brendon returned home to Australia and added coloured gemstones and the famous white and golden South Sea pearls to his range. The next few years saw Brendon driving up and down the east coast of Australia in his 20-year-old Datsun selling his wares and making the most of the best surf spots along the way.

Fast forward to today and you will find Brendon in his happy place, busily sorting pearls and gems in his Brisbane studio or catching waves up at Coolum.

With over 25 years in business, he has accumulated quite the treasure chest. From the brilliant and exquisite, to the rare and desirable, to the weird and wonderful, our gemstones are curated with you in mind - the retailers, designers, and creators of fine jewellery.

At Salt Wholesaling, we continue to explore, discover, and bring you the finest gems, just as we did all those years ago, when our story began on that fateful summer adventure. So come along and join us on this journey of a lifetime. Let us help you to create something extraordinary!

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