Shining closer to home: This jewellery brand aims to be a local star after success overseas

J&CO Jewellery started life on a popular US online marketplace. Now, the accessories label aims to become a household name here

J&CO Jewellery’s mission is to create high-quality everyday classics that are accessible to all, and suitable for everyday wear. PHOTO: J&CO Jewellery

J&CO Jewellery may not be a household name in Singapore just yet, but its handmade, personalised designs and dainty pieces have won over many customers in the United States, Canada and Europe. More than one million pieces have been sold in these markets. 

Founder Jenny Kwang hopes to create a dazzle here and in the rest of Asia soon.

In 2014, she turned her passion for making jewellery into a viable business by selling her creations on US online marketplace Etsy. 

“Once I realised how unnecessarily expensive jewellery can be, I felt that I could make a difference. I want people to be able to afford them, so ensuring that prices are reasonable while maintaining quality is key,” says Ms Kwang, 44. 

From working solo at home, she moved on to launch J&CO Jewellery’s online flagship store in 2016. She now spearheads its creative vision and strategy, managing a team of 16 including artisans who make the items, as well as designers and photographers who execute the brand’s social media and campaigns.

J&CO Jewellery has grown so fast that this year it will move to a space in Tai Seng that is seven times larger than its present 2,150 sq ft premises in Ang Mo Kio.

Building credibility and loyalty

J&CO Jewellery specialises in demi-fine jewellery, a category that sits between fine and costume. The pieces are crafted with silver and gold, and incorporate precious and semi-precious stones. The cost of raw materials is relatively expensive, Ms Kwang says, but operating online has helped to keep expenses and prices down. 

“Our absolute revenue growth was about 800 per cent from 2017 to 2020.” 

Ms Jenny Kwang, founder of J&CO Jewellery. PHOTO: J&CO JEWELLERY

Best-sellers such as a 14-karat gold filled stacking ring start from $20, while personalised pieces – whose global popularity shows no sign of waning since Meghan Markle wore a letter A necklace (a nod to Baby Archie) at Wimbledon 2019 – retail from $125 for a silver charm bangle.

Fair prices, however, do not mean compromising on quality, says Ms Kwang. “Our sterling silver jewellery is hallmarked 925, and our 14K Gold Filled is marked 14K. The gemstones in our pieces are ethically sourced, and we only use high-grade materials with hypoallergenic properties.”

All its jewellery also comply with European Union and US safety standards, she adds.

Over the years, the brand has built up valuable customer goodwill. 

Ms Kwang recalls an incident where a customer complained that her order was not what she had expected, and called J&CO Jewellery a “scam company”. “But even before our customer care personnel could respond to her concerns, several of our customers defended us against her claim and provided positive feedback about our products,” she says.

Once the customer’s issues were resolved, she was happy with the service from then on.

Looking ahead to new markets

Ms Kwang now wants to expand market reach to Asia, Oceania and the Middle East. 

“Our biggest consumers, both retail and wholesalers, are in North America (55 per cent) and Europe (30 per cent), with Asia accounting for just 15 per cent right now. This year, we hope to tilt towards the Asian market, especially in Singapore,” she says.

As J&CO Jewellery steps up another gear, Ms Kwang wants her growing team to stay nimble in the face of new challenges. It is mulling over setting up a physical store in Singapore.

Her vision for the business, however, remains the same: to make high-quality, timeless jewellery that is accessible to all, and ensure that every purchase brings delight.

“It makes me really excited whenever a customer tags us on Instagram wearing our products. That motivates me further to want to create more jewellery for them.”

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