Our very first feature by the Chinese press!
Within 3 years of the conception of her artisan jewellery label, Choo Yilin’s design-driven jewellery has won two international design awards as well as national grants to exhibit in London and New York, She was simultaneously selected to be part of an ethical panel during London Jewellery Week 2010 as well as the JA New York’s “New Designer Gallery”, the latter seeing only 10 designer participants worldwide. Her creation works has meaningful themes; for example, fusing high end jewellery with Thailand’s Karen’s traditional handiwork while collaborating to raise funds for the Karan people. In addition, she has become the first Asian designer to work with not-for-profit group Too Precious To Wear where both of them work to communicate environmental conservation messages such as protecting corals and marine creatures.
Q Why did you choose this line?
I was originally a political analyst; jewellery design became my hobby for me to unwind from work. However, I moved to bangkok with my husband and decided to convert jewellery design into a business.
Q As a young female Asian jewellery designer, what was the hardest part? How do you overcome it?
I was in a completely foreign country with no connections, and in an industry that was male-dominated. Thus, I had to work extra hard, and had to prove to my industry counterparts that I was serious and could be trusted.
Q Where do you derive your greatest sense of satisfaction?
The jewellery I design isn’t just jewellery, it’s jewellery that holds deep meaning. For example, one of my jewellery line hopes to communicate that it is possible to create beautiful jewellery without destroying the environment; the pieces look like coral, but they are actually made from recycled precious metal. (This is because wearing real coral is extremely destructive to the environment.)
Q To enter into an industry, what are the prerequisite conditions?
Constantly reflect, constantly improving, constantly listening, and continually growing.
Q What advice would you give people who want to develop in this area?
To have very clear goals, be humble and to learn, and to find a suitable partners to collaborate with.