Cover The Birds in Poetry collection by Simone Jewels

In the first of a two-part series, we speak to the founders of Simone Jewels, State Property and Jaipore by Ritu Aurora about the challenges and triumphs they’ve experienced in 2021

Singapore’s top jewellers have more in common than just their “Made in Singapore” hallmark. The seven profiled in this two-part series are weathering the ongoing storm, and thriving in spite of it. Each has their own secrets for success, but there are common themes of being perceptive of clients’ needs, open to adopting new technologies, and adaptable in their approach to making the best of the situation. It’s little wonder that these jewellers are creating their best works yet. They share their reflections on the current state of affairs.

Simone Jewels

Tatler Asia
Above Simone Ng, founder of Simone Jewels

On the pandemic’s key lessons: “The pandemic has been a good learning experience. We realised that having a positive mindset and being adaptable were crucial. In fact, the brand’s growth—both locally and internationally—was greater than projected due to our out-of-the-box thinking. Cultivating the right culture within the team to prioritise pushing boundaries and introducing new experiences has also strengthened our internal dynamics, and brought us closer to our clients.”

On staying nimble: “We embraced the norm of living in a new “virtual” reality, and met with clients online to continue sharing our expertise through events such as our Gemstone Masterclass webinar, so our clients could fully understand what they’re buying. We were thus able to help them make the right decisions. Upon request, we also offer doorstep delivery via our white glove concierge service.” 

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On giving back: “We know how important it is to give back, so we donated an entire collection from [sister brand] Jouer by Simone to the World Health Organization, and worked with a social enterprise that provides jobs to women with the goal of helping them build better futures for themselves.”

On their proudest achievements: “Celebrating 15 years in the business is one. Growing internationally into London and Los Angeles, while also expanding into the world of e-commerce is another. Most importantly, it’s growing stronger with the team that I also call my ‘work family’.”

— Simone Ng, founder of Simone Jewels

State Property

On the silver lining: “We’ve seen some great upsides and taxing downsides this past year, especially in issues revolving around travel. The fact that our clients are unable to travel means they’ve got a little bit more to spend. We find ourselves selling more items on the pricier side than our pre-pandemic average.

On the challenges: “However, not travelling has put a damper on our relationships with potential retailers, suppliers, and clients from our overseas market. Not being able to travel and observe how people live, what they wear and how their preferences shift is challenging for our creative process.”

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On always being prepared: “Luckily, we were better prepared for remote work since we had already moved all our processes online. This was done to give the team more flexibility to accommodate travel schedules and families. In hindsight, it has been invaluable. Our social media presence has helped us to stay in touch with clients despite restrictions too. Most importantly, we acknowledge the psychological toll of the pandemic and its related restrictions since we’ve experienced them first-hand. Some of our team members haven’t seen family in almost two years, so we know how important it has been to remain flexible with our work process.”

On their proudest achievement: “Being onboarded onto Net-a-Porter. It was a major highlight, especially since it was a retailer that had been on our wish list from the very inception of the brand.”

— Lin Ruiyin and Afzal Imram, co-founders of State Property

Jaipore by Ritu Aurora

Tatler Asia
Above Nikhil Aurora and Ritu Aurora, director and founder respectively of Jaipore by Ritu Aurora

On changing directions: “Pivoting to the new norm had to happen, and this second year of the pandemic has proven that it was better done sooner than later. We challenged ourselves to create statement pieces that were one-of-a-kind but also functional. Since travel was out of the question, we had the opportunity to focus on customising special pieces for our local clients.”

On how they keep their clients at the forefront: “Even with the difficulties we’ve faced, we believe we’ve been able to properly engage our customer base and maintain our appeal through the pandemic for two reasons. First, our clients trust our quality, design and creative process. We’ve also done our best to manage our prices. We keep our clients in mind throughout the creative and production processes, and have been able to limit costs despite the rise in gold and diamond prices. This is something our clients are highly appreciative of.”

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On their proudest achievement: “Setting up the New York office, and thus having better access to larger diamonds of all shapes and colours. We even have the option to set them by the very craftsmen who also work for the world’s leading jewellery brands.”

— Nikhil Aurora and Ritu Aurora, director and founder respectively of Jaipore by Ritu Aurora

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