Jewelsalem stands for romantic and elegant fashion, branded through our unique jewelry, floral hair accessories and unique preppy clothing.
The name Jewelsalem is inspired by Jerusalem; an ancient holy city where the footsteps of Jesus can still be traced. Being a Christian, I want my shop and my brand to have a connection to God. When I embarked on this solo entrepreneurial journey as a crafts-business-woman, I prayed for a worthy name for the brand I was about to create. A name that would bring glory to the Lord, reflect my faith and empower me to navigate this exciting new shore of e-commerce and design. "Jewelsalem" was the sign I needed to begin.
THE DESIGNER AND HER JOURNEY:
My name is Sereine. I was born in tropical Singapore, a city-state, which many would agree is one of the most westernised countries in Asia. Indeed I grew up in a culture where east meets west, and it was here, a creative seed was sown in my heart. My mother told me that since I was a child, I had gravitated towards floral designs and anything that was vintage and quaint. I would like to attribute that to the fact that my maternal grandmother's name in Chinese, is "Bloom", and coincidentally (or not), she had loved wearing floral prints. This memory had remained with me, perhaps cultivating my love for flowers from a tender age.
As a child, whenever my mother would sew dresses for my sister and I, I would always choose floral prints. I also often picked out her vintage jewelry to wear with my frocks. It was during this period when I began a life-long love affair with dresses and jewelry. I remembered the first books I read were from Enid Blyton, Louisa May Alcott and Charles Dickens. In that nostalgic old world, I found myself wishing I exist. In that quaint universe, I was unknowingly developing a sartorial sense that I would eventually come to identify with.
Being a student in Raffles Girls' School in my formative teenage years played an important role in nurturing creativity. It was here where we were taught to dream and to dream big. When my peers were preparing themselves for a career in medicine or law, I felt like a drifter, unsure of my destiny. It was in the classroom of great literature teachers where I acquainted myself with poetry, and in those proses I strangely began a yearning to visit a Victorian-era London. It was also during this time when I learned French, listened to Edith Piaf and dreamed of seeing Hemingway's Paris some day.
When I was pursuing a business management degree in Singapore Management University, I ventured to Spain for a term, studying in Barcelona, picking up Spanish and falling in love with jamon and verdejo, Art Nouveau and Gaudi. I also fulfilled my childhood dreams, having lived briefly in Paris, polishing my French and staying in London, to soak up its metropolitan vibrancy. One element that stood out during my trip was how beauty was everywhere. From the way the ladies dressed, to how the shop windows were displayed, to the glorious art in museums, and the magnificence of the architecture. I was transported back to my childhood, at the same time re-discovering my visceral interest through the works of Monet and Mucha. European art, architecture and fashion became the source of where I draw so much inspiration from when I started Jewelsalem.
During my travels around Europe, I befriended many locals and fellow travellers. What impressed me most was the passion these individuals had, for their work, for their lives. After my solo journey across Europe, I felt an awakening, and resolved to carve a career doing something creative, which I am passionate about, at the same time combining design with commerce, making good use of my business degree. The search began as I explored various artistic avenues, taking extra classes after my nine-to-five office work.
A few years later, I decided to return to Europe and visit those beloved cities which had once inspired me. This time, I landed in Amsterdam to see van Gogh's paintings. Standing before his Almond Blossoms, I wept with joy. My love for flowers was accentuated in the land of tulips. It was also in Netherlands where I connected with an old friend who was also my soulmate; and in Paris, where we traveled to together, we fell in love.
This was a time of new beginnings. Remembering my roots, the inspirations from Europe and my love for vintage floral designs, I felt ready. In 2011, I became a craftswoman, an entrepreneur and an advocate for floral designs. I currently split my time working and living in Singapore and Europe. Jewelsalem is a global brand, just like its founder, who is a citizen of the world.
ARCHITECT OF ROMANTIC FLORAL NOSTALGIA:
The designs of Jewelsalem are romantic and inspired by vintage designs and flowers. I have and will always be a romantic at heart, and I wish for my work to represent that. Jewelsalem aims to bring back romance and old world charm into our modern lives. The best way to carry a little nostalgia with us, is in jewelry and accessories. But looking around, many mass-produced accessories seem similar and often lack soul.
Yves Saint Laurent once said that fashion fades, but style is eternal. I want to create products that customers can wear all the time, with pride. Recognising the need to minimise waste, and wanting to give every customer something unique, every piece of jewelry from Jewelsalem is handcrafted. Working closely with each client, we are able to customise the design of the jewelry. Through the philosophy of made-by-hand and made-to-order, we have accumulated many happy customers, who over time, have returned to support us. The trademark of every Jewelsalem design lies in the marvelous combination of colors and texture, dreamed up from my travels and the inspirations I gathered along the way. Think of Monet's Giverny, the English gardens in Jane Austen's world, the pale green shop front of Ladurée along rue Bonaparte, the yellow of Schonbrunn Palace, the blue of a sunny Barcelona sky, the purple of the lavender fields in Provence....
Being one of the pioneering brands to introduce affordable bespoke floral headpiece to the world, I am proud of my work and how far Jewelsalem has come along. I enjoy making bridal hair combs, especially when the brides contact me for custom designs. I'm grateful for their trust in me, allowing me to help create a beautiful and unique item for their most important day. Many brides have also sent pictures of their wedding day to share with us, some telling me they will pass down the hair accessory to their children and hope that becomes part of the family history. Others describing how happy their bridesmaids, sisters and mothers were, to receive a Jewelsalem piece.
Another achievement of Jewelsalem is our assortment of modern jewelry. We have reinterpreted some vintage motifs such as birds and flowers, offering them as modern pieces for customers seeking versatile designs.
The ladies who wear Jewelsalem are citizens of the world, travelling for work and play across the globe. In summer, in addition to vintage floral designs, they might opt for chic, modern pieces to complete a breezy outfit. To accessorise in colder seasons, a simple necklace or a little pair of gemstone earrings never fail to add glamor to the winter wardrobe.
So this is the story of Jewelsalem. And I would like to hear yours.