The Jewelry Industry: Ever-evolving but Never Changing

An eye for detail and a love for jewelry inspired Shamaine Ng to offer personalized, one-of-a-kind pieces in her passion project: Shamaine Ng Fine Jewellery.

For Shamaine Ng, passion is the foundation of her business. “Ever since I was young, I’ve always adored my mother’s beautiful jewelry collection—exalting every ring and every necklace,” she begins.

The unique composition of stones, metals, and designs sparked a lifelong love for gems and jewels. This eventually led her to take a path toward starting her own jewelry line the moment she finished her graduate course in Gemology at the Gemological Institute of America in 2002.

And with that, Shamaine Ng Fine Jewellery was born.

For Investment or For Keeps

Jewelry joins the ranks of many luxury items, like designer bags and watches. With a hefty price tag to match its goods and a more limited market audience, getting into this industry may seem intimidating, unless you have a lot of capital to work with, an established name, and a loyal clientele to back you up. Despite all this, the luxury industry is still ventured into by just as many aspiring entrepreneurs.

“There will always be people who desire luxury, and investable goods—such as gold, diamonds, and other precious stones and metals,” Shamaine begins. “These are scarce, finite goods, therefore demand is always high.”

The country is no stranger to jewelry brands, given that the market is saturated with a mix of big-name brands, as well as independent jewelers. Each one specializes in a certain style and design, but above all, quality is what they offer and customer satisfaction is what they seek to obtain.

In a playing field this competitive, independent, homegrown brands are faced with the challenge of going up against big-name brands—figurative giants who have firmly cemented their place in the industry. Thus, like all businesses, Sharmaine needed a unique selling proposition (USP) for her brand.

For the jeweler, her strategy went two ways. One was to establish herself as a one-stop shop for all jewelry concerns. “Through our expertise, not only are we able to design statement pieces, but we also offer various jewelry repair and maintenance services. Clients are also able to contact us regarding piece appraisals and evaluations,” she reveals.

Her other approach focused on the very foundation of her business. And that is to create something unique—one-of-a-kind pieces for her clientele.

Sharmaine Ng
Only the Best—Jeweler and designer Shamaine Ng prides herself on only using premium gemstones and materials to create her one-of-a-kind pieces.

Exclusively Designed by the Client, For the Client

For Shamaine, her true strength lies in customization. As the brand’s founder and creative director, Shamaine has always had a genuine passion for her craft. With that came a very careful process that goes behind every piece that goes out into the world.

“I have always believed in being creative and unique. Unlike many brands and independent creators, my brand caters to those who require a specific flair. We custom-design pieces based on whatever our clients have in mind,” she shares.

“Every hand-crafted piece is born from a journey, and that journey begins with a concept,” she adds. “We design, source the finest stones, and then produce truly extraordinary, one-of-a-kind pieces—personalized to whatever the client wishes. Most of the pieces we produce are exclusive to them.”

For someone as passionate as Shamaine, it will be easy to understand why she doesn’t play favorites. “To me, every piece is like a son or daughter—I see something beautiful in all of them, and so, I cannot rank them. I did not create any single one to be better than another. They are individually exceptional in their own way.”

A lot of pieces are made to order and Shamaine emphasizes that clients seek them out, since these customized pieces are more special to them. However, those in need of pre-made pieces will also be happy to know that Shamaine has plenty on-hand.

Of Trials and Tribulations Faced

Running a jewelry business has its share of ups and downs and Shamaine candidly shares that the road was not an easy one. “When I first started out, the hardest part was making a name for myself. Since my family’s business alignment was not in jewelry or any other type of luxury good, I was a stranger to this trade.”

“As a result, I initially could not find the right suppliers who were willing to go on this journey with me, nor did I have an extensive clientele. While starting out may essentially be the most challenging part of a business, climbing that mountain is one of the most fulfilling feelings there is,” she adds.

That being said, her business is not one without challenges due to the many factors out of her control. After all, she, like many businesses, has borne the brunt of inflation and the rising gap between the peso and the dollar. “Considering the fluctuation of the peso, I feel like it’s temporary because of the dollar’s high-interest rates—and it’s not just the peso that is being affected.”

“The cost of stones, gold, and other fine commodities have greatly increased over the past few years, especially during the pandemic,” she says sadly. But to combat the issue, Shamaine has begun buying in larger volumes to keep her pieces at a preferred price. This also ensures that they’re always available at a moment’s notice.

Evolving the Business for the Better

In Shamaine’s line of work, she has found clients who share the same love for jewelry as her. And down the road, she hopes to meet more. “I would be delighted to have more clients, such as those who are true aficionados of jewelry and all of its relevant topics. Someone who can relate to me in this way.”

Shamaine believes staying true to who she is will also evolve the business for the better. “I believe that my jewelry business is ever-evolving, but never changing at the same time,” she opines. “The former is a result of our clients wanting something new and different, and the latter is because of my belief that the creativity needed to conceptualize and visualize can only be done by people—as it has been done for years and years.”

But amid the competition and even more new players entering the market, does Shamaine have what it takes to stay relevant? By constantly keeping up to date with the latest trends, catering to her clientele with the foundation of only using the best materials, and staying true to her passions, she has a fighting chance.

“Simply put, my business is here to stay,” she says confidently.

From One Businesswoman to Another: Shamaine’s Words of Advice

Shamaine’s story is a testament that while connections and well-established backing can immediately propel you to fame, those who start from the ground up also have a shot at success. In fact, according to the jeweler herself, aspiring entrepreneurs and jewelers need not be intimidated by the idea of having a hefty capital, as there are many options in the industry to explore.

“The field of jewelry and ornamental accessories is vast. One does not need fine stones and expensive metals to make ‘jewelry’,” she advises. “In the end, what matters is what a customer desires. It’s worthwhile to enter the business to learn market information such as supply and demand for certain products or extensions of jewelry, as one might want to ask, ‘is it scaleable, profitable, sustainable?’ Through this, one’s jewelry business path is revealed.”

If anything, it all boils down to determination. “Being entrepreneurial is all about having guts and courage. Do not be afraid to take calculated risks and always have a plan for if things go south.”

As for failures and mistakes, it’s all part of the process. “There is no shame in starting small and even failing,” she explains. “The greatest lesson I learned was to follow my passions, work hard, and adhere to my integrity. These few ‘tips’ have brought me to great lengths, and I’d like to impart them to whoever may need them.”

Shamaine also describes herself as someone who’s in-between work and family. “I am a mother of three. My family is my priority, but I’m also growing my business from the ground. I’ve always been accustomed to this. Actually, I feel like my business is not a job, nor is it work. It is more like a passion that I enjoy doing. If you adhere to your integrity, success will find you.”

Sharmaine Ng Jewellery
Made to Last—Beyond investment pieces, Sharmaine believes that jewelry pieces must reflect her clients. This is why she meticulously creates durable, premium pieces that will last a lifetime.

For appointments and purchases, you can contact Shamaine Ng through Instagram at @shamaineng.