By Dana Sleger //
Pamela Galen is the owner of 12:13 Jewelry, a unique faith-based business on the Gulf Coast that designs handcrafted specialty lines.
Born in New Jersey to a Jewish family, Galen was given two names: Pamela, her American name, and Peshah, her Hebrew and preferred name.
“The name tends to carry a proclamation of very high goals and aspirations,” she says. “Because the Jewish people have been such a persecuted group, that drive to aspire beyond circumstances is very much built into our upbringing, and a name is an expression of that.”
Around the age of 5, Galen remembers telling God that she wanted to create and help people. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in counseling with a focus on art therapy and holding administrative positions in the corporate sector, she found herself wrestling with boredom and looking for an outlet to feed her spirit and exercise her creative DNA.
In her mid-20s, Galen discovered her calling when she met an elderly woman who owned a gem mining company in Virginia.
“I visited this woman who had a little rickety workshop in the country,” she says. “She gave me an hour lesson in how to design jewelry, and after that, I bought a set of tools and supplies and just started creating. I have been designing ever since.”
Galen moved to the Gulf Coast in April of 2005. Her generationally inherited mind-set of tenacity and fortitude helped her to press through one of the most difficult seasons of her life after Katrina and led to the development of 12:13 Jewelry.
The name of the business was another divine moment for Galen: “My ah-ha moments always include the Lord God Almighty,” she says. “The number 12:13 kept coming up, and I love the book Ecclesiastes because it’s very much about the fabric of life.”
Ecclesiastes 12:13 says, “The purpose of a man’s life is to revere God and keep his commandments.” For Galen, this scripture ties the meaning of her Jewish name, Peshah, and business mission together.
12:13 Jewelry is “dedicated to supporting the arts and molding a better world through creative endeavors.” One core component of her business is partnering with nonprofit organizations as a mode of fundraising and to raise awareness for different causes.
Galen designs a line of jewelry for a specific organization, and at the first of every month, a percentage of the sales go back to community-supported efforts.
As 12:13 Jewelry continues to grow, Galen’s expanding vision will include a line of handbags, scarves, and eventually, microcredit loans to help people open their own businesses, so they, in turn, can help others to do the same.
Galen says her business is a lot more than a jewelry company, and the ultimate goal is to help people achieve their dreams.
“I want to do this because people have stellar ideas, but they may not have the mind-set or belief in themselves to think they can do it,” she says. “They can do it because they are fearfully and wonderfully made in the image of God and they just need for someone to believe in them and invest in them. You have to start wherever you start, but where you start isn’t where you finish.”
WHERE TO FIND HER PIECES
12:13 Jewelry is available online at 1213jewelry.com and at these locations:
Adele & Grace Consignment Boutique, Ocean Springs
Bridget Blue, Pascagoula
Dempsey’s Seafood & Gift Shop, Kiln
Fashion Express, Bay St. Louis
Freedom Hall, Gulfport
Mardi Gras Museum, Biloxi
Maritime & Seafood Industry Museum, Biloxi
Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile
Ohr O’Keefe Museum of Art, Biloxi
Something Special, Bay St. Louis
Southern Bound Bookstore, Biloxi
Starfish Cafe, Bay St. Louis
Walter Anderson Museum of Art, Ocean Springs