Founder of Carrie K.
The thing I'm most proud of is bringing together a team of like-minded talents who share the same purpose - to spark joy in people's lives and celebrate milestones and personal triumphs, whilst growing pride in our Asian heritage.
Tell us your story, how did you get here?
I’m living my second life as the founder of Carrie K. In my first life, I was the head of an international advertising agency. In 2009, when I was travelling in Florence, Italy, I met a silversmith who taught me how to make jewellery. I knew then I wanted to be a jewellery designer. Carrie K. was born with a passion for storytelling and an appreciation for craftsmanship.
After winning several awards, working with global brands like Disney, and going international with our brand of trendy storytelling accessories, we rebooted in 2019. It was a scary decision as we decided to focus on fine jewellery imbued with people’s stories, marking their milestones through precious wearable reminders. We focused on creating versatile, modern heirlooms inspired by people’s stories and our Asian heritage. Designing jewellery that mums love and daughters want to “steal”.
We’ve also channelled some of our passion and energy to supporting other women through Daughters of Tomorrow, Aware, and United Women. The thing I’m most proud of is bringing together a team of like-minded talents who share the same purpose – to spark joy in people’s lives and celebrate milestones and personal triumphs, whilst growing pride in our Asian heritage.
What impact have you made in Singapore?
In 2011, Carrie K. launched Keepers to grow appreciation and support for our independent Singapore designers, artists and craftsmen who have a unique point of view and quality craftsmanship. What started as a modest goal to spotlight four or five names every quarter grew into a monster community of creative souls centred around Keepers: Singapore Designer Collective.
We featured over 100 designers, artists and craftsmen and had more than 200,000 guests, both local and tourists, over 16 months. That paved the way for the Design Orchard, which now sits at the same address. Through Keepers, we spotlighted Singapore designers, artists and craftsmen through events such as the Keepers Majestic Playground in 2016 and the Keepers Playground of Infinite Happiness in 2018.
Today, we focus on building a positive community of women. Our efforts look to support women in need through Daughters of Tomorrow, who help upskill single mums so they may provide a better future for their family, as well as Aware and United Women. I personally mentor women through the CHIJ alumni and support a fantastic women’s community called She.Brilliance.
What does 2022 look like for you?
My mother, who passed away last year, had a huge influence on me. 2022 will be dedicated to living the lessons she taught me. My strength and self-belief come from having a strong pillar in my mother. So, through Carrie K.’s CSR programmes, we’ll continue to build up other women to help them shine.
Mum also instilled in me great pride in our Asian culture and heritage. She always shared stories about our culture and heritage, the reason and meaning behind various traditions. That inspired me to share those stories through our jewellery so that the appreciation of our culture and heritage will continue through generations.
For example, we’re creating modern heirloom jewellery for milestones significant to Chinese customs such as wedding si dian jin. By designing jewellery that tells heritage stories in a more relevant way to modern brides, I hope to take this message beyond Singapore, so that we may grow pride in our Asian culture and heritage wherever we may be.
What do you love most about Singapore?
I love our “kampong spirit” or spirit of fellowship that has allowed our rich and diverse cultures to thrive together. I hope we never lose that.
What’s the one thing you’d wear for the rest of your life?
I’m a jewellery addict, so the one thing will have to be my Carrie K. pearl necklace. It’s a bit of a cheat because it’s designed to be super versatile. This one necklace with its accessories can be worn in over a hundred different ways. I’m a bit of an eclectic soul, and this necklace can be styled up for the red carpet or styled down for everyday wear.
Who is your Local Legend, and why?
This question took me a long time…. My local legend is Lee Kuan Yew. He left us the greatest legacy we could have – a home that’s safe, prosperous and respected. And a self-belief that anything is possible with a clear vision and the coming together of the right people working towards a shared purpose.