At the start of this year, we talked to the founders of popular Singaporean jeweller Jannpaul, a trio who believed that no one should overpay for a diamond ring.
Even so, a typical solitaire ring can set one back by a few thousand dollars.
Logically, if your partner spent so much on your ring, you’d want to wear it out all the time right?
Having friends who are either engaged or married, one of the most common reasons some give for not wearing their rings is their fear of losing it.
Founder of Kyky Jewel, Wilijanty (33), knows that feeling, and shared with me about the time when she made the difficult decision to leave her engagement ring at home because she was afraid of losing it while on holiday with her husband.
“This incident prompted me to look for rings that are classy and affordable,” she said.
However, in spite of “searching extensively” online and off, she was unable to find a piece that spoke to her.
And just like many of the self-starters that we’ve covered, she decided to give up the futile search and create her own line of jewelry instead.
It helped that she also had an “undeniable love for jewelry” since she was a child.
“When I was around 8, I would always explore my mother’s jewelry box, pick out my favourite pieces and wear them,” she reminisced.
In Secondary School, my best friend and I would save money to buy matching bracelets. After I started to earn my own money, my spending on jewelry would easily surpass my clothing expenses.
“I think the right jewelry can lift up an old outfit and give it a flair that makes it stand out.”
Trading Operations In A Bank For Jewelry-Making
Having lived in Singapore for 22 years now, Wilijanty (or Yan), was born in Indonesia, but moved to Singapore when she was 11 because her mum wanted her to study here.
“I moved to Singapore as the country has a globally renowned education system. My mum wanted me to be a bilingual learner and acquire proficiency in both Mandarin and English.”
Even after graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Finance, she stayed in Singapore to work and last held an operations job in a bank.
“My experience in the bank was challenging and satisfying at the same time,” she shared.
“[However,] owing to certain family commitments, I was not able to work long shifts and could no longer continue my employment.”
“Withdrawing from the bank was indeed one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make. Fortunately, my bosses and team members were very understanding of my situation and provided their full support throughout the process.”
It was around then that the fateful holiday with her husband happened, and she decided to turn her pain point into a business.
Gold-Plated Bling For Just $80
Naming it “Kyky”, after her 4-year-old daughter Kylie, Yan shared that the core idea of the business is to “address the needs of customers that are looking for elegant, stylish, and exclusive rings that are reasonably priced”.
“We use high quality cubic zirconia stones and for many, it is very hard to tell the difference between diamonds and cubic zirconia.”
These pieces are a perfect pick for women who love decently-sized diamonds […] but do not wish to spend five-figure amounts for it.
With a price range from $50 to just over $80, the gold-plated pieces are perfect for those who need to travel, but don’t want to compromise on accessorising either.
“I think our key value proposition would be the [affordable] price point [that still] makes the wearer feel and look like a million dollars.”
Sold Out Half The Collection In A Month
Investing a small amount of her savings into the budding business, Yan revealed that she was lucky not to have faced any challenges so far.
“I am also extremely lucky to have received the unwavering support of my husband, family, and friends as I took the step towards entrepreneurship. They were very happy when I embarked on this journey and continue to show their encouragement to this day.”
Kyky Jewel was officially launched in September 2018.
For many business owners, getting the attention of customers tend to be one of the more difficult parts in the early days, but this wasn’t a problem for Yan.
“At the beginning, I was just reaching out to friends [who said that] they really loved the rings,” she recalled.
“They started to wear them to gatherings and the brand gained momentum and visibility from that point forward. I would say that word of mouth has been an important marketing tactic for us because it helps cement trust in the product.”
Half of Kyky Jewel’s first collection sold out in just a month from launch.
“The response from the customers was overwhelmingly positive as the brand was bridging a significant gap in the current market,” she beamed.
‘I Would Especially Love For Women And Mothers To Be Part Of Our Team”
Yan is still at the start of her journey with Kyky Jewel, but she already has big dreams for it – one of which is to growth the brand “on an international scale” and have a network of “wholesale partners across the global”.
“[Additionally,] I would especially love for women and mothers to be a part of our team because they can truly understand the essence and emotion behind the brand.”
I’d like to thank Yan for her time!