‘The timing for publishing this interview couldn’t get any better as yesterday (August 9th) Singapore celebrated the country’s Golden Jubilee for 50 years of independence and the whole nation participated in SG50 festivities.’
Simone Jewels (Singapore based jewelry and design house) celebrated its 10th year anniversary earlier in March this year by holding a Gala Dinner at Pan Pacific Orchard Hotel in Singapore and the release of ‘One Thousand & One Tales’ collection.
I had the honor of meeting Simone Ng the outstanding designer behind Simone Jewels while I was visiting Singapore International Jewellery Expo 2015 back in July. During her very busy schedule, she was kind enough to let me ask few questions about the brand that she made and her passion for gems and jewellery.
Here you can read the complete interview conducted by Champagne Gem exclusively with Simone Ng;
CG: Thank you Simone for taking the time to show me around your fabulous booth, to start with tell us more about your background and how did you start Simone Jewels?
SJ: I was born into a family of jewelers. My parental grandfather was a craftsmen and goldsmith who also made gem-encrusted mother-of-pearl tables for wealthy individuals. My maternal grandmother was a private jeweller and my mum loves designing jewellery as well. From young, I had a creative flair and loved artistically designing various things. I went to Australia to pursue an illustration course at a reputable design institution and trained under a well-known Australian fashion designer. After having my two kids, I went for further education in coloured gemstones at various institutions as well as diamonds at HRD Antwerp. After spending most of my time designing for my friends and myself, I decided that I was ready to share my designs with others. Simone Jewels established in 2006 with a small collection of 20 pieces of which half got sold within 30 minutes. Today, it has 200 over pieces of one-of-a-kind jewellery sold in Singapore at all the public exhibitions & private events.
CG: How do you come up with such unique designs, what are your inspiration?
SJ: I am quite a history buff. I love to read about histories of different countries and draw inspirations from the fusion of different historical events, folklore, cultures and architecture. This year we went back to ancient-day Persia where the magical and mystical stories of the “One Thousand and One Nights” was told by Scheherazade. Inspirations from Aladdin, Sinbad, genies, flying carpets, supernatural animals and the unutterable beauty of princes and princesses has spun into a collection of jewels that enchants its wearers with its colours, multi-dimensions and whimsical aura.
CG: Are fashion and current trends influential on your designs?
SJ: Yes we follow fashion trends very closely and always encourage our customers to wear jewellery in more edgy and fashionable ways. Transformable jewellery is our signature and every piece is carefully designed so it can be worn in multiple ways allowing our customers to express their style as they create new looks with different combinations.
CG: How long do you spend on creating every single piece from design to final piece?
SJ: The pieces are designed and produced in-house with the highest quality. They are all handmade by the best craftsmen in the region and it takes about 18 months to create a piece from conceptualization to finish. The combination of unimaginable inspirations and fine craftsmanship makes every piece at Simone jewels truly ‘one-of-a-kind’.
CG:How do you define your clientele?
SJ: Our clients are women that value art and want to stand out with a piece no one else has. Our mission is to help them choose a piece that enhances their beauty so they can feel confident, empowered and happy.
CG: You have stated that Simone pieces are unique and one of a kind, could you elaborate more on that?
SJ: Yes we believe in making wearable art that only has one masterpiece. Every piece being only one-of-a-kind builds a special bond with its owner and is treasured by each generation. For the same reason, we enjoy customizing jewellery and involving our customers in the designing and decision making process so they can truly admire their creation that will hold a significant value in their life.
CG: Do you work with diamonds and coloured diamonds or Simone jewels are mainly focused on gemstones?
SJ: We work with diamonds and coloured stones but our focus is on coloured stones because that is where customers can derive investment and value. Coloured stones command greater value because of their rarity. The fact that the supply of coloured stones is much lesser than diamonds, there is a greater potential for price appreciation. The most popular are the rubies, emeralds and sapphire but nowadays people are more educated and realising the potential of stones like Padparadscha Sapphires, Paraiba Tourmalines, Spinels, Opals, Oxblood Corals & Garnets.
CG: Do you hand select every single gemstone?What are your standards for a gemstone? In general, when buying a gemstone, what should we look into as for quality? This can help our readers to understand gemstones better.
SJ: Yes I personally hand pick the gemstone that catches my attention. Every family of gemstone has different characteristics and when picking the perfect gem, I pick the most outstanding member of the family. When buying gemstones, as a rule of thumb, one should always look out for the most valuable hue and perfect combination of tone & saturation and inquire if the stone has undergone any treatment. An untreated stone with a vivid colour can be very valuable.
CG: When are you launching your latest collection and what we should be expecting from Simone Jewels in near future?
SJ: Our next collection previews in October this year. I will give you an exclusive preview into the theme for the next collection soon. We are extremely excited with the designs and looking forward to launch it in October.
CG: Do you have any plans to expand your vision and brand globally?
SJ: Over the last ten years, we have made a strong foothold on Singapore and now we’re ready to make Simone Jewels an international brand. We are planning our expansion overseas and invite retailers to contact us if they wish to carry our jewellery worldwide.
CG:Where can customers find you?
SJ: They can visit our website www.simonejewels.com and contact us for an appointment. Alternatively they can find us at Singapore’s trade shows, Singapore International Jewellery Expo & Jewelfest. For overseas customers, they can shop the latest promotions and best buys from our online shop on our website. We hope to do our debut international showcase next year. More information coming your way very soon.
CG: Thank you again for your time, wish you all the best and looking forward to the launch of your new collection.