This year was a major milestone for Carrie K. We celebrated our 10th birthday. The journey has neither been straight, nor has it been easy, despite what it may seem from the outside. But one thing is clear, I have never felt more blessed. I have been blessed with an amazing village of clients who have become friends, and a Carrie K. family who live and breathe our mission to spread positivity through the stories we tell through our jewellery designs. And CSR programmes like our Pearls of Society initiative, created to bring together like-minded people who share our passion to give back to our community.
I started Carrie K. off my kitchen table after meeting a silversmith in Florence who taught me how to hand craft silver into jewellery. Some thought I was insane to give up my role as the managing director of an international advertising agency. Thankfully, family and friends supported my impossible dream and encouraged my jump from the corporate race to the uncharted course as an entrepreneur and designer.
Carrie K. has grown up over the past 10 years, fuelled by what you have taken the time to tell us. You told us that you value the meaningful stories that seed our conversation-starter jewellery designs. And you like the versatility of our stackable, mixable and mashable designs. Many of you told us that you have heirloom pearl necklaces that only come out to play once a year.
So, this year we reinvented the way you can wear the classic pearl necklace. Not only can you wear it for special occasions, you can now funked it up for your everyday look too. We injected youthfulness in traditional gems to create valuable modern heirlooms that mums love today, and daughters want to steal.
In fact, we have discovered the best muses are amongst you, as many of you are jewellery addicts too. So we plan to start our Carrie K. jewellery junkies club where you get to preview and play with prototypes of upcoming collections, truly becoming a part of our design journey.
We hope that you enjoyed the new stories we shared this year. Our jewellery are imbued with thoughtfully selected stories inspired by our heritage and culture in the hope that these heartwarming reminders continue to be passed on.
Here are some of this years' new stories:
The Icon collection celebrates the power of collaboration and takes inspiration from the iconic diamond façade of the National Theatre. The National Theatre was crowd-funded in the 1960’s. The public put in a dollar a brick, and the government funded the rest. It was such an uplifting example of how small contributions add up to make a big difference that changed the landscape of Arts and Culture in Singapore.
Can you see the iconic diamond feature of the National Theatre in the collection?
The Blessings collection is inspired by the ancient Chinese concept of wu fu, (五福) or the five blessings. It is a reminder to do good, and in turn, be blessed with the five fortunes – longevity, prosperity, health, love of doing good, and dying contented knowing that you’ve lived a long and good life. We want to spread good wishes and positivity to celebrate life’s milestones and as timely counter balance to today’s topsy-turvy world.
Featuring five bats which are seen as a symbol of luck in Chinese culture because it shares the same phonetics as “Luck” in Chinese.
At the beginning of December, we launched the Wisdom Collection, our first made-to-order fine jewellery collection for both men and women. This collection is a collaboration with fellow jewellery addict, Norman Tan, the editor-in-chief of Esquire Magazine. Inspired by King Solomon and his hallmark as the wisest man in history, the design features a modern medieval crown to remind us that knowledge is true wealth. What started out as a Bespoke Wisdom crown bracelet to commemorate Norman’s grandmother, one of the wisest people he knows, became a collection that includes a handcrafted Wisdom crown ring in 18K gold. Each luxurious piece is painstakingly handcrafted on order.
The Wisdom bracelet features a seamless hinge and one-handed release clasp which took half a year to design and engineer.
We served the community through our Pearls of Society initiative.
For our 10th birthday, the Carrie K. family wanted to create a long term initiative that would positively impact our local community. We asked ourselves what impacts community? Families impact community. Who impacts families the most? Mums. From there, we focused our CSR efforts to help single mums in Singapore.
We found out that AWARE Singapore has a research programme to help affect policies that will make a huge impact to the lives of families raised by single mums. We didn’t want to wait till “one day when we are big and successful…” We wanted to contribute in our own small way NOW. So we pledged to donate a small percentage of profit made from every pearl necklace sold.
We created an initiative called Pearls of Society – a community of people who share our desire to pay it forward. In October, we worked with Daughters of Tomorrow to host our inaugural Pearls of Society programme for a small group of mums at the most perfect venue, sponsored by Trehaus. We organised activities for our VIPs mums and Daughters of Tomorrow looked after their children, so our mums were able focus on the four special workshops. One was hosted by Dr Jade Kua who shared invaluable insights on children’s health. Elizabeth Wu of Trehaus shared tremendously helpful advise of the emotional challenge of overcoming barriers to communicate with their children.
Aarika Lee styled our guests with clothes sponsored by Pasar Glamour. Many of the clothes were beautiful Singapore designer pieces that the ladies could take home after their “pretty woman” styling transformation. They said they felt like supermodels, getting their portraits taken by Chiew Huan Chong for their CV or simply to have a beautiful family portrait. I thought we were spending the day to make these mums feel like VIPs. But the emotional experience filled with happy tears and warm hugs from our guests made us feel we got the best gift. We felt truly blessed to nurture a special community of mums through our Pearls of Society initiatives. We are ever grateful to have the support of our Pearls of Society volunteers who carved time out of their busy schedules to help make our inaugural Pearls of Society event intimate, and relevant. With the overwhelming response from the mums, we have plans to grow our Pearls of Society community in 2020.
Thank you for being a part of our journey. We wish you all the blessings that life has to offer and we look forward to sharing more stories in the coming new year.
Founder of Carrie K.