Curating Gems and Jewels: Q&A with Angela Loh, Founder and CEO of JeweLuxe®

“I don’t believe in competition. Rather, I am all for partnerships and collaborations to create a viable business eco-system that is able to generate larger market traction and create win-win business outcomes for all.” – Angela Loh

The iconic Singapore JewelFest, Singapore’s most prominent luxurious jewellery exhibition, was the brainchild of Angela. She was invited to spearhead the event by the Singapore Tourism Board. Angela rallied various stakeholders to create a world-class festival year after year for 14 years, and established it as a renowned platform for jewellers around the world to showcase their finest and rarest gems and jewels.

As creator of the iconic Singapore JewelFest, Singapore’s most prominent and perhaps even Asia’s most luxurious jewellery exhibition, Angela has mastered the intricacies of producing a compelling multi-million dollar showcase. An Honours graduate from the National University of Singapore and a member of the Chinese Women’s Association, Angela applies precision and a strategic approach in planning and executing conceptual events of value proposition to shoppers.

LadyBoss spoke to Angela on her JeweLuxe journey and what you can expect at the upcoming event!

Q: Tell us more about JeweLuxe Singapore… 

A: JeweLuxe® Singapore, a curated showcase of exceptional design, craft, artistry and innovation from all corners of the globe, will debut in Singapore this October at the custom built TENT@Ngee Ann City on Orchard Road.

Open to the public from 6th October to 15th October 2017, visitors to the exhibition will be inspired by a showcase for collectors, connoisseurs and aficionados across all segments of sophisticated living, including jewellery, timepieces, vintage, eyewear, fashion, art and living style.

JeweLuxe® marks the first time that the multi-sensory experience of a regional exhibition will take shape in the digital space. While the exhibition provides shoppers with the opportunity to interact directly with world renowned designers and artisans and build preference, the e-commerce marketplace (www.jeweluxeworld.com) ensures shoppers a connected experience and the convenience of making their purchases at any time of the year.

Q: What is your business philosophy?

 A: SERVICE THAT GOES BEYOND

I believe that for a business to succeed, it is key to serve customers beyond their immediate business needs by offering added strategic value. That’s why JeweLuxe Singapore is positioned not just as an exhibition but a curated retail concept. Our aim is to close the gap between our exhibitors which are world class independent designers and brands, and their customers by enabling a year-round online retail proposition that is supported by JeweLuxe Concierge, to ensure peace of mind shopping.

COLLABORATIVE BUSINESS ECOSYSTEM

I believe in building a brand and business with a distinctive brand proposition and tangible brand value – and letting clients make their own educated and discerning choices. As such, I don’t believe in competition. Rather, I am all for partnerships and collaborations to create a viable business eco-system that is able to generate larger market traction and create win-win business outcomes for all.

NURTURING GREAT TALENT

I have learnt over the years that motivated and like-minded individuals are key to growing the business. Fitting people to roles and functions are not as important as compared to people who believe in the company’s vision as they become instrumental to making the “impossible” happen. For me, quantity of staff is less important compared to quality of staff. I see them as the “stakeholders” of the business.

Singapore JewelFest was a big challenge for me as it was started with only five of Singapore’s leading jewellery retailers and it took more than a decade to garner the international constellation of jewellery brands and designers…

Q: What were the challenges you faced starting JewelFest & JeweLuxe and how did you overcome these?

 A: Introducing a new concept is never easy as there are no benchmarks to reference.

Singapore JewelFest was a big challenge for me as it was started with only five of Singapore’s leading jewellery retailers and it took more than a decade to garner the international constellation of jewellery brands and designers that the festival became renowned for.

JeweLuxe Singapore comes with the support of international brands and designers that already have positive experiences with Singapore JewelFest. With this momentum, we are able to garner more world-class brands to come on board.

The challenge lies in conveying the brand proposition to non-jewellery brands as JeweLuxe offers not just jewellery but other segments of sophisticated living, including timepieces, vintage, eyewear, fashion, art and living style. To ensure the success of JeweLuxe, we are investing in the participation of non-jewellery brands by putting more resources into creating and marketing curated spotlight showcases such as:

Icons of America showcase of contemporary creations and vintage jewellery from celebrated American designers. This showcase will introduce top of the line vintage jewellery and also pre-loved timepieces curated by America’s trusted jeweller since 1897.

Extraordinary League of European Excellence presentation will feature not only fine jewellery but also works of art as well as handcrafted silverware, handbags and timepieces by renowned designers, craftsmen and brands.

Q: What are your plans to bring affordable luxury to more women & millennials by taking JeweLuxe regional?

A: We work collaboratively with our participating brands to showcase their exclusive creations for collectors and connoisseurs. We will present an affordable range of iconic designs that are below SGD 10K and whenever possible pieces below SGD2K so that everyone can enjoy a piece of “affordable” luxury at the exhibition and online at the JeweLuxe World e-commerce marketplace.

We are also planning curated showcases in key cities in the region to bring the JeweLuxe sophisticated living propositions to their doorsteps – enabling tangible brand and product appreciation that can enrich the online shopping experience.

Q: Any insights on how women who want to invest in jewellery/watches etc can do so?

A: I believe that knowledge is the basis for discernment. With the internet, it is easy to garner knowledge of any product categories however for serious investments, in-depth insights from credible experts are important.

Knowing the spectrum of options enables comparison for effective decisions. Nothing beats seeing the “real thing” – seeing, touching and feeling the pieces to understand their value.

Learning from the experts and sharing of insights and personal experiences are some of the key ways to understand the “investment” and one’s preference.

JeweLuxe Singapore also presents The Savoir Series line-up of events that are presented with curators of the respective genres to enable more in-depth appreciation and knowledge.

Q: Who are you thankful to for your success?

I have a long list of people to thank and without their support I wouldn’t have come this far. The most important are namely, the shareholders of Singapore JewelFest, my business partners and long-serving manager and now close friend, Elaine Kok as well as my ever-supportive friends in business and society.

I am also fortunate to have met many inspiring women designers and jewellers that have motivated me in my personal journey in entrepreneurship through their passion and dedication to their craft.

Q: What motivates you personally?

A: The desire to create something meaningful and making the best of what is presented to me has led me on the path of entrepreneurship and into the arena of fine jewellery and sophisticated living. I have a deep appreciation and love for the finer things in life, which makes this business I am in that much more enjoyable.

I appreciate and value true talents and their passion for creation. This has led me to this business of curating (with the help of experts) and showcasing the works of talents I believe in. This gives me a bigger purpose that is beyond monetary rewards.

I am also fortunate to have met many inspiring women designers and jewellers that have motivated me in my personal journey in entrepreneurship through their passion and dedication to their craft.  I hope that I can similarly inspire and guide other women to realise their potential in business through my participation in the activities organised by the Chinese Women’s Association; and I am planning to support the causes of my old school, Convent of the Holy Infant Jesus in the near future.

Q: What can visitors look forward to at the upcoming JeweLuxe?

A: Visitors to the exhibition will be inspired by a showcase for collectors, connoisseurs and aficionados across all segments of sophisticated living, including jewellery, timepieces, vintage, eyewear, fashion, art and living style.

Edition One of the exhibition (6th October to 10th October) casts a spotlight on the rare and the iconic. Designers who are Icons of America curated by Paolo Costagli are Kimberly McDonald, Sylva & Cie, Amedeo and Moritz Glik who will be making their Asia premiere at the inaugural JeweLuxe®. Some of the prestigious jewellery houses showcasing jewels of rare and exceptional gems are Mouawad (U.S.A.), Glajz (Singapore), DeGem (Malaysia), Hans D. Krieger Fine Jewellery (Germany), Karen Suen (Hong Kong), Scavia (Italy) and Moiseikin (Russia). Iconic jewelled eyewear by Lotos (Germany); and rare vintage timepieces, jewels and objects presented by Betteridge (U.S.A.) and Revival Vintage Jewels & Objects (Singapore) are some of the sophisticated living propositions showcased.

Edition Two (11th October to 15th October) will be a curatorial showcase of extraordinary European and Asian excellence. Featured is a stunning line up of European jewellery designers and brands such as Federica Rettore (Italy), Federico Buccellati (Italy), Magerit (Spain) and Rodney Rayner (UK) who are making their Southeast Asian premiere; as well as Heinz Mayer (Germany), Castaldi Gioielli (Italy) and Rota e Rota; and award winning Asian designers including Shirley Zhang (China), Caratell (Singapore), Simone Jewels (Singapore), Kavant & Sharart (Thailand), and Baerjewels (Hong Kong). Handcrafted handbags and timepieces by Graziella (Italy) and Zannetti (Italy) will also be displayed.

Collectors, connoisseurs and aficionados can also look forward to a series of high quality educational and appreciation events on design, craft, artistry and innovation with The Savoir Series®.

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