Mar 28 2020
"Don’t be afraid of setbacks as you can only fail forwards."
As we celebrate our 2nd birthday, we want to dive into the stories of 3 of our featured creative partners to share with us their take on creativity, how they utilize it in their craftsmanship, and the impact it has on inspiring the creative community of tomorrow.
In Part III of our feature, we have Joanne, Founders of ETHER Jewellery to share with us her personal inspiration. Read on!
1. Tell us about yourself and your business.
I'm a Singaporean designer who spent an earlier part of my life as an advertising professional before discovering my passion for jewellery design.
Disenchanted with life in the corporate rate race, I decided to embrace the calling to pursue an alternate way of life. It took me some time to decide to leave all that I’d accomplish in the career I thought I wanted to pursue. The turning point came when I realized I wasn’t fulfilled by my current path anymore. Designing jewellery didn’t come to me immediately after I left my job. I just wanted to take some time off to find my motivation in life again. During that time, I took on some part-time work and dabbled in design and photography courses which eventually lead me to my creative calling in jewellery design.
I take pleasure in living a quiet life and reference the Japanese philosophies of Ikigai, Wabi Sabi and Kintsugi in my everyday life. I express my passion for creativity through artisanal jewellery design for the past decade. When I'm not creating jewellery, I enjoy traveling, spending time with my dog and two cats and find my inner balance through yoga and meditation.
2. How did the idea of materializing your creativity into physical products happen?
I feel accessories always complete the look of an outfit. However, I was tired of either poor quality or overpriced mass-produced jewellery. So one day out of necessity, I started creating my own minimalist designs. It was a welcomed surprise when I started to receive numerous compliments from my family and friends and they began to commission me to custom make some for them. Word spread to their friends and friends of their friends, and that’s how my jewellery label was born. I’ve never looked back since.
"Ether Jewellery is built on the percept of “Wabi Sabi”, that is to find beauty in imperfection."
3. What’s the message you wish to send out to people who come across your brand/products?
Ether Jewellery is built on the percept of “Wabi Sabi”, that is to find beauty in imperfection. Working primarily with gold metals and semi-precious gemstones, our minimalist designs combine the imperfection of hammered wire with the timeless beauty of natural stones, crafted in suspended forms you will treasure.
All our jewellery is made with 14 karat gold filled and gold plated findings. They are tarnish-resistant and without allergens like cadmium, nickel or lead.
4. What inspires you in your current and future works?
I am inspired by modern architectural art and nature forms I see from my travels and I create my jewellery designs with this inspiration in mind. During my travels, I sometimes come across rare and interesting stones which I will incorporate into my existing and new designs. These pieces are usually one of a kind and they are all highly sought after among my customers.
5. How have platforms like Naiise helped you in the growth of your brand?
I moved to Kuala Lumpur from Singapore about 2 years ago because of my husband’s work.
Having already established my jewellery label in Singapore, I was looking for retail opportunities that would support my business model here in KL. I keep my jewellery label intimate, thus allowing me to focus on the quality of my jewellery designs which are only created in small quantities.
I found Naiise Malaysia through an online search and I reached out to them because I identified with their brand values. They support and encourage the creation of original designs and also provide a retail platform where independent designers like myself can promote and showcase our work.
Working with Naiise has helped my jewellery label tremendously. Through their social media, traditional and digital media retail platforms, I noticed more people have not only become acquainted with Ether Jewellery here in Kuala Lumpur but we also have an increase in following on our Instagram page. And I am grateful for that.
6. How do/does you/your brand play a part now in inspiring the creative community to move forward?
I grew up in a time where you’re told that to be successful you had to have an office job. A career in the arts meant you probably end up scraping by to make ends meet. But times have changed and now, I see so many up and coming homegrown designers starting their own labels and coming up with these amazing products.
I hope my story inspires young creative people with an entrepreneurial spirit to be adventurous and start their own project or business. When you’re passionate about what you do, it shows in the work you create and people will acknowledge you for it. Don’t be afraid of setbacks as you can only fail forwards. Work towards your goals and don’t look back. Dream big.
I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve been given since I started my jewellery label and I believe in giving back to the community. This year in 2020, Ether Jewellery is teaming with an animal charity, Voice For Paws. We’ve specially designed an exclusive paw charm bracelet for them and 100% of the proceeds go towards the charity. Being an animal lover, this cause is close to my heart. The volunteers at Voice For Paws work tirelessly to rescue and rehome stray dogs and cats and it’s very fulfilling when you are able to support this good cause.
Check out the full collection of gold metals and semi-precious gemstones jewellery here. Grab a piece or two to support small homegrown businesses like Joanne's especially in a season of uncertainty as this.
Use our birthday code NAIISETURNS2 to get 12% OFF with no min. spend + FREE Jute Bag for all orders above RM100. Promo ends 31 Mar 2020.