Saturday, November 30, 2013

Choo Yilin Sample Sale at Orchard Parade Hotel on 2 and 3 December

Choo Yilin Artisan Jewellery is popping up this December with a never-before price slash! We are selling old collections such as Dew Drops, Coral and Spider Webs, as well as some of our sample pieces for an amazing 50% to 85% discount.

VenueOrchard Parade Hotel
Date: Monday 2 Dec, from 10 am to 7 pm &
Tuesday 3 Dec, 10 am to 4:30 pm 

Please contact Eva @ +65 9237 6396 or for more information.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Choo Yilin launches Project Santarina

Caught in the act! Big Boss Santarina and Bad Ass Santarina spotted in the CBD at a law firm, solving harried legal needs with their treasure box of ready-to-wear collections and bespoke heirloom gemstones

Project Santarina sees the Choo Yilin personal stylists, dressed up in stylish santarina outfits, travel to busy professionals’ offices to offer a personalised concierge service.

The service is designed to take the hassle out of Christmas shopping by bringing Christmas-appropriate gifts to your doorstep and offering a personalised, no-fuss service for busy professionals who have no time to shop the traditional way. The service is free until 31 Dec 2013.

Choo Yilin’s team of personal stylist santarinas will come to your doorstep to solve your Christmas shopping woes. Armed with the brand’s collections, the personal stylists will make personalised gift recommendations, have them gift-wrapped on the spot or have the chosen pieces delivered to the recipients.

Added Tammy Soh, label designer, “While this service is for both men and women, we feel that this service is especially appropriate for men. We have many male clients who have mentioned their pain-points. They confessed to confusion, lack of time or desire to shop via the traditional routes. This doorstep service, where we make personalised recommendations for your loved ones, gift wrap, and deliver it on your behalf – is designed with men in mind.”

Email us at with your contact number to make an appointment to have these santarinas at your doorstep today.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Sculptural Jade, Cherry Blossom Collection

The Sculptural Jade, Cherry Blossom collection made its successful debut in Paris and London Fashion Week. Using cherry blossoms as the main motif, the collection weaves the sculptural flower with jade, bronze and natural gemstones.
Sculptural Cherry Blossom Grade A Jade Bangle in 18KT rose and white gold. Studded with brilliant round white topazes and moonstone cabochons. 

Intricate petals of this cherry blossom sits against the petite Grade A jadeite doughnut. Gemstones used Rhodolite Garnets. 

Founder and principal designer Choo Yilin shares, “Our label has become synonymous with making jade, a traditional Chinese icon, accessible to the modern woman and we wanted to bring even more of Chinese culture through our designs. When researching which icons to use, we fell in love with the cherry blossom because of its organic femininity”. 

Trio of bronze cherry blossom flowers in different stages of bloom rest on a Grade A jadedite ring. Gemstones used are london blue topaz, rhodolite garnet and white moonstone. 

Tammy Soh, designer to the label quips, “We have been talking about pushing the design envelope a lot and one of the ways to do so was to move towards an increased sculptural look that we don’t often see in the jewellery world. This collection shows our first collection that features the sculptural motif very strongly and we are very proud of that.” 
Grade A jade Sculptural Doughnut ring, embellished with a trio of cherry blossom flowers, in different stages of bloom. The gemstones used are white topaz, sky blue topaz and moonstone cabochon. 

The sculptural collection features hand-cut grade A jadeite in pale green and lavender, woven with bronze, sterling silver and 18KT gold vermeil with well-faceted, natural gemstones. 

A large sculptural cherry blossom sits nested amidst a woven trellis. Gemstones used above: Amethysts, pink amethysts, london blue topazes and sapphires. 

This ready-to-wear collection is available at Sulin Serio, Doorstep Luxury and What Women Want for a limited time. Email for pre-orders.
Open-ended cocktail ring, embellished with multiple gemstones: lemon quartz, blue sapphire, sky blue topaz and london blue topaz. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

We are gifting you 20% this November!

This November, we show our appreciation for all of you lovely ladies and gents!
From 18 - 30 November 2013, we are gifting you back with 20% of your expenditure with us. 

Just drop us an e-mail at with the subject line 20% GIFT BACK, together with the pieces you'd like to purchase, and we'll gift you back 20% of the total amount in shopping vouchers, with a minimum expenditure of SGD200.

Shop now and design your story with us!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Designer Interview with Choo Yilin, on Bottica

Founder and principal designer, Choo Yilin, was interviewed by the lovely Kate, editor of We revisit her story a decade ago and learn about the beginning of the Choo Yilin Artisan Jewellery brand.
A Choo Yilin artisan working with a wax mould

When her husband’s job prompted a move to Thailand, former political analyst Choo Yilin found a chance to pursue her passions. She’d been designing jewelry for years, but while working with aid organizations in Thailand, she had the idea to work with small communities of artisans in Southeast Asia to bring her designs to life. She was thrilled to have the chance to pursue a more creative career while creating positive social change. “We create beauty, tell meaningful stories and create social impact,” Yilin says. “We do this by working with heritage and non-profit groups, building on their stories of conservation to create designs that are essentially visual idioms.” Through her jewelry, Yilin builds bridges that connect these small communities with jewelry-lovers all over the world. Like us, she’s mystified by the fact that so few fashion brands pursue this model. “Fashion is extremely powerful, and it has always been responsible for a lot of human behavior as well as consumption patterns,” Yilin told the New York Times last year. “And I always wonder why more fashion designers do not use the power that they have in fashion design to initiate some positive social impact.” With trailblazers like Yilin, perhaps more designers will follow this admirable path.
Founder and principal designer, Choo Yilin
Hello Yilin! Can you please tell us a little bit more about yourself?
Hi! I had started designing jewelry for fun way back in 2004 to stay connected with my creative side as I worked as a political analyst, which was a very left-brain job.
My husband got posted to Bangkok and I left my career as a political analyst to join him. There, I started working with developmental aid work, including founding a grassroots non-profit group that helped pair volunteers with the different non-profit groups in Bangkok that needed support.
I only started Choo Yilin when I was involved in developmental aid work with women’s groups in Bangkok, including starting a non-profit targeted for women. I wanted to tell the stories of the marginalized communities we worked with – work first started with the Karen Hilltribe Artisans with an incredible history of silversmithing culture. Combining my existing skills as a jewelry designer and my non-profit work in Thailand, I launched Choo Yilin.
In the last few years, CY has evolved into a designer jewelry label that attempts to bring three things together: we create beauty, tell meaningful stories and create social impact. We do this by working with heritage and non-profit groups, building on their stories of conservation to create designs that are essentially visual idioms. Then leveraging the soft power of luxury and media, we strive to get these messages across to delight and educate.
A sketch from a Choo Yilin bespoke heirloom project

Can you please tell us about your design process?
It always starts with a story we want to tell. Then we start sketching jewelry pieces, ensuring that each piece is like a visual idiom. The colorful gemstones that we’re known for are used to help illustrate the stories.

A Choo Yilin artisan setting a diamond of a bespoke heirloom project

Tell us about how you connect with these artisans and how you work with them.
Through a combination of my developmental aid work in Bangkok as well as going down the artisans’ workplace everyday to watch the artisans create.
We are insistent on working only with artisans from Southeast Asia, embracing and paying homage to our heritage, not only through the artisan techniques that are indigenous to the area, but also through the story-telling of certain aspects of our culture – i.e. the Peranakan heritage that is unique to this region.
We’ve worked with the Karen Hilltribe artisans based in northern Thailand, a traditionally marginalized group that originated from Myanmar. We have also worked with a Cambodian social enterprise that trains and develops artisans in different forms of artisanship including woodcarving and metal casting. Lastly, we deliberately seek out Thai artisans that work with us independently, separate from the more traditional “factory” that traditional fine jewelry manufacturing is associated with. This allows the Thai artisans to get a much larger cut then if we were to work with the factories.
An open-ended tree ring

What challenges have you faced?
Brand building is a never-ending process, especially luxury brand building. Throw in the social impact angle, and well… you can still say we’re working hard at it.
The way we’re going about it is to really stay true to your brand DNA and communicate it the best way you know how. Work with important stakeholders – clients to be brand ambassadors, the media, other brands that are associated with your DNA – reputable non-profits in our case.
Who is the Choo Yilin customer?
The cosmopolitan woman that wants much more than “just a” beautiful product – they want a piece that tells a meaningful story, a piece that they can emotionally connect to.
Sculptural Jade Cherry Blossom Rings and Earrings

Do you have any favorite pieces?
My days tends to be pretty casual – I’m always up and about in humid Southeast Asia with artisans and the rest of the team – so I wear our everyday pieces like our XO, Cherry Blossom pieces, stacked and layered.
XO, Cherry Blossom bud and bloom rings stacked

Can you share some advice for other independent designers?
Work really hard to delve deep and understand your brand DNA. Stay true to that. There will be many times where you will wish to create something “different” just to stretch your creative muscle – don’t avoid that, but ensure that the brand aesthetic is consistent with what you are trying to communicate.
You can also read the interview at 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Project Peranakan Olympics from M's eyes

We published the story of M & K with Project Peranakan Olympics in an earlier post and now we share with you the engagement story from the eyes of M.

After years of fun-filled times and adventures, M and K knew that they were ready for the next stage of their lives together although there was the slight problem of geography. You see M had just moved to London to work on the Olympic Games whilst K remained back in Australia holding up the fort for the months they were to be apart. Not an ideal situation to plan a proposal and hunt for engagement ring but one that required a dedicated team, which could not only work around these challenges, but also produce a spectacular result to ensure success. That’s why M called approached Choo Yilin Artisan Jewellery.

I am M and this is my story of a Choo Yilin’s bespoke heirloon jewellery project of Olympic proportions… literally!"

It was only a few weeks into our relationship that K pulled me aside to show me some eye-catching jewellery pieces she had seen by Choo Yilin Artisan Jewellery. She admired the way they were able to use traditional elements such as sapphires and diamonds to produce some unique yet very wearable modern interpretations. Being a guy (sorry dudes for the stereotype, but it’s true), I simply nodded and pretended to know what she was saying when I was really thinking intently about what we were having for dinner that evening. Nonetheless, the name “Choo Yilin” did stick with me and when the time came to get our engagement ring developed, I knew they were the team to produce what I wanted – a ring that was modern and unique that not only paid homage to K’s Singaporean and Perankan heritage, but also told a story of us, our relationship and our future.

I had zero knowledge of how or what was involved in producing an engagement ring (not like I had done this before). From the outset, the Choo Yilin team were not only professional but also actually made the process fun! Initially making contact via email, given our restrictions around geography with the team being in Asia and myself in London, they were very accommodating. Through a series of emails and Skype sessions, they took the time to understand the relationship between K and I, before we even talked about the ring. I think this extra level of caring for their customers and deep understanding not only made me feel more comfortable in the process but made the eventual design truly reflective of K and I.

Working through my ideal sapphire cuts and colours for the project (who knew there was more than one colour option of sapphires??), the Choo Yilin team began the search for the stone. I knew that K would love for the stone to come from a sustainable mine and I definitely loved that it would fall within the budget I had set! Once we found and decided on the sapphire, the process rolled on with the project team talking me through various inspirations on the ring design. They worked with me closely and listening to my input, which I felt was very important, together as a team we were about to produce a ring design, which we all felt would knock K’s Peranakan socks off! Even having this design produced in a wax rendered model was great as it then felt tangible and real. Finally we gave it the go ahead and the engagement ring was produced.

With a little help from a nice carrier pigeon, the Choo Yilin Artisan Jewellery engagement ring for K arrived in London just in time for the proposal. Opening the Choo Yilin box for the first time, it felt surreal to have the result of the sapphire search, the designs, the wax rendering, all the hard work of the project team encapsulated in this tiny engagement ring. But the result was beyond anything I had hoped.

Two weeks later, when K and I reunited and were travelling through Europe, I popped the question to K in Tuscany. Actually, I made her dig up the ring box during a truffle hunt and the first thing she noticed was the Choo Yilin Artisan Jewellery box. Reflecting back on those first few weeks of our relationship, it felt right that she first noticed that. Opening the box, her hands were shaking – she knew what was in there. Staring back at her was a priceless engagement ring that not only showed to her how much I cared for her but also honoured her Singaporean and Perankan roots whilst looking forward into our future together. Getting down on one knee, I can gladly report that she said “yes!” with the team at Choo Yilin Artisan Jewellery playing apart in making both K and I so happy that we had found each other and excited for the journey together we had ahead of us.

I can’t thank the team at Choo Yilin Artisan Jewellery enough for helping a young man with zero knowledge on what or how, produce an engagement ring beyond expectations. Now hmmmm… what should I have for dinner??

Get the latest updates on Instagram. View the full behind-the-scenes images of Project Peranakan Olympics on Facebook.

Friday, November 8, 2013


We invited all of you to Something Unique where you could find something special for yourself and your loved ones this Christmas!

Founder and principal designer, Choo Yilin, with a guest trying out a jade sculptural ring

Last evening, some of you got to meet and greet our founder and principal designer, Choo Yilin, who was in store to present our latest XO, Cherry Blossom and Jade Sculptural Collections. Some of you got to say hi in person to customise your own pieces with your birthstones and preferred colours, and learn more about the aesthetics with her.

XO, Cherry Blossom and Jade Sculptural Collections at Something Unique

Don't fret if you missed her then because we are still there today! The Choo Yilin design team and stylists will be present at Doorstep Luxury from 11am to 8pm for all your customisation enquires. We can't wait to meet you too!

View the Something Unique Event Photo Album here.

Event Details
Venue: Doorstep Luxury@163 Telok Ayer Street
Date & Time: 6pm to 9pm on 8 Nov (Fri) 
& 11am to 8pm on 9 Nov (Sat)
Tel: +65 6328 5528

Monday, November 4, 2013

SAVE THE DATE: SOMETHING UNIQUE by Doorstep Luxury with Choo Yilin

Personalised jewellery by Choo Yilin, custom embossing on Zatchels bags, and more!

Looking for something unique for Christmas? You're invited to SOMETHING UNIQUE by Doorstep Luxury this coming Friday and Saturday!

Event Details
Venue: Doorstep Luxury@163 Telok Ayer Street
Date & Time: 6pm to 9pm on 8 Nov (Fri) 
& 11am to 8pm on 9 Nov (Sat)
Tel: +65 6328 5528

Come say hi to Choo Yilin in person for one evening only, who will be presenting her XO Cherry Blossoms customised jewellery range; get your name embossed on-the-spot on a super trendy Zatchels bag; and come see our full range of cult designer handbags and jewellery from Rebecca Minkoff, Orla Kiely, Liebeskind Berlin and more.

The Choo Yilin design team will be present on 9 November for all your customisation and pre-order enquiries, if you can't make it on 8 November.

Receive 10% off storewide when you RSVP here

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Project Peranakan Olympics

A story that spans across 3 continents as one amazing man, M, carefully plans that perfect engagement ring for the love of his life, K. M was based in London and wrote us a heart-warming letter describing his intention in getting a ring that had its own story to tell. He wanted a ring that captured the personal elements of their relationship his then-girlfriend K, before going down, metaphorically, on bended knees asking her hand in marriage.

M, an Australian, was involved in the 2012 Olympic Games and was thus based in London. On the other hand, K, a Singaporean, was based in Australia. Given that our team was based in both Singapore and Bangkok, we had to thank technology for much of the communication.

Because of K’s Peranakan heritage, the one requirement he had for us was that the ring had to contain strong elements of her culture. Weaving that with the unheated sapphire centrepiece, we were careful not overwhelm the blue sapphire while designing the Peranakan-inspired heirloom piece.

The ring finally made its way to Italy, where under the pretence of having looking for truffles in Tuscany, M proposed to K. Amidst the picturesque countryside, with the arrival of autumn, as the trees shed one of the last few leaves, M and K went from “dating” to “engaged”. M and K wrote to us detailing the proposal and it felt as if we were there. We’re incredibly happy for this couple and know that their years to come will be as eventful and joyful as this story.

Get the latest updates on Instagram. The full behind-the-scenes of Project Peranakan Olympics available soon on Facebook.