A RARE GEM
SIMONE JEWELS PTE LTD
“We have built ourselves a good solid foundation over the years. More than just making calculated risks, it’s about staying consistent and upholding the highest quality of products and services.”
An award-winning jewellery designer and certified gemologist, 45-year-old Simone Ng is no stranger to the local jewellery design scene. Named among Singapore’s top 10 designers for four consecutive years since 2015, the founder and creative director of Simone Jewels clinched the Luxury Jewelry Brand award in 2016 and the Most Promising Brand Award in 2018.
Born to a family of entrepreneurs with jewellery being one of the businesses, Simone grew up among many colourful varieties of gemstones her maternal grandparents brought back from their travels. Desiring to own something nobody could buy, she started designing and making jewellery for herself. This eventually led to the creation of many unique pieces that won the compliments of those around her.
With the encouragement of her spouse later in life, Simone established her company in 2006 to much acclaim. In 2013, her “Reverso Necklace” was successfully auctioned at Sotheby’s Asia.
Tell us a little more about Simone Jewels.
We design and produce ready-to-wear fine jewellery in the form of “wearable art”. Each piece created would remain the only piece, meaning that there would be no reproductions and each is created with the highest quality gemstones. An annual collection story is created as an inspiration for our designs and told in the form of jewellery. Customers appreciate that as it makes owning a piece even more meaningful.
What are some unique features of Simone Jewels? What makes it stand out from its competitors?
The highly exclusive nature and rarity of the materials we use and the time spent per piece is aimed at women of discerning tastes. We offer highly personalised services. We do not operate retail outlets and all our customer engagements, besides events, are by private appointments to enable us to dedicate ourselves wholly to the customer. Custom pieces are designed according to specific requirements during such appointments. Also, we specialise in rare coloured gemstones. Many of the coloured gems are actually rarer than diamonds in nature, representing exceptional value and potential asset appreciation. The characteristics of these coloured gemstones are much more interesting and that enables us to engage with and educate customers.
To what would you attribute your success? What mindset do you adopt?
I attribute it to my loved ones for being my pillar of strength unconditionally. My mum taught me, “Be true to yourself and stay grounded. All things may change but nobody can ever change who you are. Integrity is important and this will take you a long way.” And my husband and best friend who said, “There is no hurry in chasing success. Success comes from patience in building a strong foundation. Without it, you will have nothing to fall back on.”
What was a particularly memorable challenge or hurdle?
In 2017, when everything was going at full swing, I lost all my staff at the same time. One left to start her own company as a direct competitor and the other left due to family circumstances. It was a scary moment as I felt the challenge physically and mentally. At that point, I decided to never allow myself to be in that situation again. We reorganised the business and tripled the headcount over one year.
What are your expansion plans for the business?
Our expansion strategies lie in internationalisation, extension of a subbrand and developing a B2B model to expand regionally. We have begun exploring Malaysia and Hong Kong markets. And we have just launched jouerbysimone.com to cater to the mass customisation trends and to target fast-rising millennials who appreciate the experience of customising their own jewellery. We are also working on a model to expand our design through other businesses and partners.
This year Simone Jewels has also created for itself a digital presence. Tell us more about that.
We played on the O-to-O concept, meaning going offline-to-online and from online-to-offline, and it’s important for us to look into this because consumers don’t shop online or offline exclusively. Going digital helps us reach more customers. How the younger generation shop is not the same as the previous generation, so the way we market to them is also different. So we launched our second brand, Jouer by Simone Jewels, to enhance their shopping experience.
How is Jouer different from the main brand Simone Jewels?
Jouer by Simone features hip, modern, cool jewellery for people on-the-go, the creations are easy to wear and go with any outfits, and are categorised by personalities instead of style. People customise their own jewellery and as a finishing touch, we offer personal engraving for their jewellery. One good thing about all this is that we don’t need to hold any stock; with customisation, customers are willing to wait a little longer for their items.
What do you think are the rewards of going digital?
It’s a much faster way of communicating our products to our customers. We are also informing our existing customers about it and they are excited by what they see. Going digital gives us a platform where people can browse and customise their own jewellery. It’s altogether a different concept from the main brand.