BOLD AND BEAUTIFUL
“I design for strong, powerful women,” says Yasmin Tjoeng, founder of the Maison Tjoeng jewellery brand. “I’m not a dainty designer, I make bold pieces with strong meanings behind them.” Yasmin is a relative newcomer but is quickly making a name for herself on the international jewellery design scene, with her striking pieces crafted from gold, silver, precious and semi-precious stones.
“I originally studied interior design and intended to set up my own interior design business,” she explains. “But I changed tack after meeting a jewellery designer in Hong Kong and realizing that I could turn my love of jewellery into a career.” Yasmin enrolled on a course in Singapore, where she studied skills such as silversmithing and gemstone setting, and launched her own label shortly after graduating in 2014. She confesses that learning about running a jewellery business on the job has been challenging at times, but the quality of her designs speaks for itself and she now has clients all over the world, particularly in the US and Europe. On May 2019 Yasmin was accepted to the prestigious Couture Design Atelier for a three-year programme.
Yasmin draws inspiration from nature, art and fables, and from the influences of her own very multicultural upbringing. Now based in Singapore, Yasmin is of Chinese and European heritage and was raised in Papua New Guinea and Australia. Her jewellery pays homage to the cultures of her childhood – from the ornate designs found in New Guinea and China to the more understated Australian aesthetic. Her designs bring these many cultural references together in statement pieces that are both contemporary and timeless, intended to be worn and treasured for generations to come.
Maison Tjoeng jewellery appeals particularly to women who already have the “classics” in fine jewellery, such as eternity rings and simple gold bands, but are looking for something a bit different. Coloured stones feature heavily in Yasmin’s collections, along with more unusual stones such as lapis lazuli and azurite malachite, and her pieces are made to stand out. Yasmin has also found that her collections, as well as appealing to women, are popular with men. “I design with women in mind, but I’m delighted that my jewellery has universal appeal,” she says. “I want to get away from pigeon-holing people, and this crossing of boundaries sits very comfortably alongside my desire to be a truly global brand.”
Yasmin’s ready-to-wear pieces are available to purchase through her website as well as from selected international retailers, with prices ranging from around $1,800 to $19,000. She also creates bespoke pieces that are completely handcrafted and tailor-made to the client’s requests. Eventually Yasmin would like to open her own Maison Tjoeng store, but with such an international approach it is hard for her to decide where this would be based.
For now, she is excited about growing her brand and building on her already flourishing reputation in Europe and the US. Most of all, she wants to continue crafting pieces that really mean something to their wearer, making them feel empowered every time they slip on a favourite necklace, ring or bracelet. “It’s more than just a product,” says Yasmin. “I want people to feel something when they’re wearing my jewellery.”