Fran Riddell's Political Pearls


Fran Nause Riddell was selected to be one of only 25 merchants to represent their products in the 2020 National Republican Convention in August.

Riddell owns two jewelry businesses, the Fran Riddell Renaissance Collection and Political Pearls, and Political Pearls had a surge of popularity when her bracelets ended up in Washington, D.C. through — wait for it — members of the Secret Service.

“I do trade shows, and during one of the shows I got bored and decided to purchase some pens for Trump’s campaign,” Riddell said. “I have a friend who owns a bank in New Orleans who is a close friend of President Trump. He bought 5,000 bracelets and gave them to his friends. Some of them ended up with some Secret Service agents. Then they landed in Washington, D.C., and I received an invitation to apply to the Republican National Convention and participate in it.”

Riddell first started her jewelry making in her 20s and discovered her love for it when she job shadowed Lee Latwinswinger at Carter Jewelers.

“When I shadowed at Carter Jewelers, I learned how the business worked and loved it because I also love sales and marketing,” Riddell said. “I’m fascinated with the mechanics of it and the jewelry business just intrigues me.”

Riddell’s jewelry is made from pearls purchased from Asian pearl farmers, and her work is sold here in Mississippi and the Renaissance shopping complex as well as stores in Alabama and Louisiana.

Riddell gets her inspiration for calling her other jewelry the “Renaissance Collection” from the meaning of Renaissance, rebirth.

“I take old pieces of jewelry and other dormant parts and breathe new life into it,” she said. “It’s exactly what God does with us. We sometimes think we’re old and less valuable, but God is there and he breathes new life into all of us.”

Due to COVID-19, merchants are not allowed to show up in person to the Republican Convention, but Riddell was still chosen to be one of 25 merchants to represent their work digitally on the official convention website.

“I’ve been told I am the only businessperson in Mississippi that will be representing in this convention,” she said. “It’s a huge honor.”

Riddell said she was originally going to make bracelets for both Republicans and Democrats out of respect for both sides, but at the time of starting the bracelets, the Democratic Party did not have an official candidate on the ticket. She decided then to focus on Trump 2020.

“I want someone to take pride in the political process,” she said. “Take the opportunity to push a button and vote for someone. This is a very dignified way to show your support for the candidate of your choice.”

Riddell originally gave her bracelets to close friends and as Christmas gifts, but when her Political Pearls Facebook page blew up, she realized she had a business on her hands.

“I’ve worked in a lot of fields, such as sales, marketing, and advertising. At some point I became very ill with Crohn’s Disease,” she said. “After that, I realized God still had a purpose for me here. What started as an inspiration blew up into a fun business.”

Riddell sees jewelry as ways to keep memories alive, and prefers to sell her work directly to individuals.

“Selling it right to someone gives me a chance to teach them the history behind the jewelry,” she said.

To purchase Riddell’s work, she can be reached at 601-201-8688, and by her email at She also has a Facebook page, Fran Riddell Collection or Political Pearls.