Anthea’s Jewellery Inspires You to Be Your Confident, Natural Self
What’s your story?
My Anglo Indian heritage, and combined passion for art and design, inspired and drove me to become a jewellery designer. I grew up in Australia with my mum gifting and sharing her treasured pieces of jewellery with me. After completing a jewellery design course at Gemlabs, in the Philippines, I knew it was time to follow my passions. Living and travelling abroad has influenced my designs, but my Indian heritage, and love for nature, play strong roles in my creations.
Jewellery is not just an accessory to me, it’s about helping women feel confident in exploring new styles, and empowering them to embrace their uniqueness. After all, jewellery is a unique way to express your individual beauty. I love and wear all kinds of jewellery, so deciding on my signature style was not easy. Working on and launching my first collection, Floral Escape, really allowed me to express my creative style. My next collection, to launch soon, is very different, though it is stylistically similar in that it is contemporary, timeless and versatile enough to compliment an everyday wardrobe, and transition from day into night.
What excites you most about your industry?
The creative aspect of course! Creating new and unique collections that make women feel good about the way they look and feel. I love seeing positive reactions to my designs and I work hard to create distinctive designs that coalesce into unique, wearable, and beautiful pieces. It’s exciting how many design options there are when using a variety of different types and shapes of stones and materials. I love how semi precious stones are not perfect, yet they are still beautiful. And, I love how jewellery can tell a story and have vastly different meanings to people.
What’s your connection to Asia?
Both my parents were born in India so I have a strong heritage there. I lived and studied in the Philippines for 2 years, where I met so many amazing designers. For the past four years I have lived in Hong Kong, and it is one of the best places to set up a business, not only logistically, but for the community of entrepreneurs here.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Hong Kong, for its many networking, trade and retail pop-up opportunities. I’ve been able to meet like minded entrepreneurs, join some great entrepreneurial groups, attend jewellery trade shows, and grow my customer base with physical pop-up stores.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Just go for it! Before I launched my business, I wanted every tiny detail to be perfect, to have the best processes in place, and learn all the information I could about starting a business. So I kept holding off on the launch. My sister in law, bestie, and successful entrepreneur, told me to just go for it. She pretty much said, you will never know everything at once, and you can improve and learn as you go. Otherwise you’ll never start. Her advice has been very true, so far!
Who inspires you?
The amazing women who surround me. I have met so many strong, independent women who are hardworking, kind, and honest. I’ve a lot of friends in business who inspired me to start my own, and I keep meeting more along the way! It’s so refreshing, and I love it. If I were to think of someone famous who inspires me, I’d say Gabrielle Coco Chanel, for her bold and unique style and her ability to not waver from her belief in her creations. If I were to choose an inspirational jewellery designer, it would be Samatha Wills, who is an excellent designer and entrepreneur, and who loves to give back by helping other women in business.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I’ve been impressed with the community spirit of how people are coming together online and offline to support each other personally, and in business, during these difficult times.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I believe everything happens for a reason and you learn from your experiences, whether it’s good or bad. So I can’t say I would do anything differently.
How do you unwind?
Netflix, Yoga, Socialising and Nature.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
I’d have to say Bali! It’s so relaxing and has a mix of everything: affordable resorts, a happy vibe, fun for the whole family, easy access to pampering, Yoga, great food, shopping, as well as a vibrant nightlife.
Everyone in business should read this book:
“Daring and Disruptive: Unleashing the Entrepreneur,” by Lisa Messenger.
Shameless plug for your business:
When you wear a piece of my jewellery it will make you feel beautiful from the inside out.
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connects’ series of more than 500 interviews
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’ and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.