*Produced by SilverKris for Poh Heng Jewellery*
Jewellery has always been integral to Pamela Seow’s career. After all, the scion of the Poh Heng Jewellery empire has been in the business since she was a teenager – she’s the granddaughter of founder Chng Tok Ngam. Part of her longevity has been her ability to understand what clients are looking for, thanks to her start behind the counter at a Poh Heng store. However, after almost 14 years, Seow says that understanding the creation process and your customer are only small parts of the equation.
“More importantly, it’s the cherished memories that are tied to each piece of jewellery,” Seow explains. Poh Heng’s firm belief in preserving heritage and helping make memories has made them the go-to jewellery brand for Singaporeans over the last seven decades.
Balancing past and future
While Poh Heng takes heritage seriously – they were the first jewellery brand to be conferred the Heritage Brand award in 2005 – the secret is creating a balance with the new, says Seow. Poh Heng highlights the very best that Singapore heritage has to offer, weaving it with modern patterns and in-demand designs. The new Poh Heng Legacy collection is an embodiment of this approach.
“We wanted a collection that was able to showcase Singapore through Peranakan culture,” says Seow. The third installation of the Poh Heng Legacy collection incorporates new-age gemstones such as lapis lazuli, malachite and agate for their amazing pop of colour, as well as classics such as mother of pearl. Paired with intricate Peranakan motifs, the collection embodies a fresh take on Singaporean heritage.
More than just jewellery
Despite its long history, what also sets Poh Heng apart is its forward-looking perspective and its collaborative, progressive ethos. For the Legacy collection, for example, Poh Heng teamed up with heritage candy brand Jewels Rock Sugar by Cheng Yew Heng. “Jewels Rock Sugar’s exclusive Peranakan set, which features five Peranakan-inspired flavours and edible 24k gold flakes will be given with every purchase of the new Legacy collection,” Seow shares.
Poh Heng collections are also coupled with conversation-starting campaigns that pay homage not just to Singapore’s past, but also its contemporary moment. While other brands are only now scrambling to be inclusive, Poh Heng embodies its values through inclusive brand campaigns.
“We wanted Singaporean personalities from various walks of life to front the Legacy campaign,” says Seow. The new collection is represented by lawyer and former Miss Universe Singapore Nuralisa Osman, actor-comedian Kumar and banker Germaine Fraser.
A brand is nothing without the people that support it – something Seow understands intimately – and Poh Heng affirmed its commitment to diversity and inclusivity with its beautiful and talked-about Created for Love campaign earlier this year. “We may have had a Chinese founder, but he spoke the language of Singaporeans and that is how we saw our future campaigns going forward,” she explains.
Created for Love shines the light on traditional bridal jewellery, but with a modern twist. More importantly, the campaign celebrates brides from each of Singapore’s main cultures. Pieces feature elements from Chinese, Indian and Malay cultures, set in 18K, 22K and 24K gold. Aside from spotlighting the rich, buttery colours and beautiful patterns of Poh Heng Jewellery, the Created for Love campaign is a testament to Poh Heng’s commitment to be a brand for all Singaporeans.
With the launch of the campaign, “we embarked on a People programme, which includes extensive training including learning about Singaporean cultural weddings,” Seow adds. As a result, the culture and traditions are preserved, “but the jewellery is interpreted in today’s design language to suit our consumers,” she shares.
More importantly, the campaign is a reaffirmation of Poh Heng’s founding values. “An immigrant himself, our founder wanted to be trusted as a brand that offered the community exquisite pieces that would be treasured by generations to come,” says Seow.
What’s next for Poh Heng
Poh Heng aims to continue pushing the limits of what a Singaporean jewellery brand can be. According to Seow, Poh Heng will keeping engaging with its loyal customer base through various channels. And while Seow is proud of the contemporary elements that are now part of Poh Heng’s jewellery offerings, she is also determined to maintain the rich history behind each piece, while staying true to the brand’s founding values.
“In every company, there will always be [reluctance] to change, but this is a challenge we have overcome, and will continue to overcome to propel the business forward.” After all, everything Seow and the team behind Poh Heng aim for, they achieve with careful planning. “Every decision we make is done because we truly believe in it; because we believe in walking the talk.”
Discover Poh Heng Jewellery’s Legacy collection on their official website.