A Work Week With Yasmin Tjoeng - Founder and Designer of Maison Tjoeng

The everyday grind behind the glitz and the glamour of being a jewellery designer

MONDAY 

First thing this morning I wake up and do ‘The Class’ to set an intention for the week, luckily online classes make it easy to access so many classes from around the world. I feel so rejuvenated and ready to start the work week. I have a meeting with my master craftsmen to discuss bespoke designs and items in production, we also discuss my new designs and sourcing different diamond cuts. Next, I tackle all the emails and administrative tasks that need attending to, it helps to make space for anything else that might pop up during the week. 

I speak with my PR team in the afternoon on editorials, features and iron out all the details on launching the Maar collection. I love collaborating with my PR team on bringing my designs to the world. 

Late afternoon I begin working on a new collection. 

TUESDAY 

This morning I liaise with buyers from America, as today is Monday in the US and the beginning of their work week. I am happy to tell them the new collection has launched and available to order- buyers work months in advance, always sourcing for the next season, keeping in mind important seasonal events such as Christmas, valentine’s day, graduations and the summer wedding season. We also discuss any specific items that clients are looking for, it seems like bangles are very popular right now. I also answer any queries from customers shopping on the various online platforms that carry Maison Tjoeng. 

I have an online Q&A session today about my experience as a jewellery designer and answering questions for those who are considering studying jewellery design. I enjoy sharing my passion for jewellery and design with anyone who is looking to get into this field. 

WEDNESDAY 

Today I have a meeting with a private client who is interested in a custom piece. I love meeting with private clients where I can create something unique and beautiful for them, help them tell their story through jewellery and make a piece which will last many generations. 

After the meeting I speak with my gemstone suppliers and try to source the best possible stone for the bespoke piece. I also enquire about other stones for my collection. Whenever I find interesting and beautiful gemstones, I like to buy them for any future collections or to create one-of-a-kind pieces. Sometimes a single stone can inspire a whole collection. Each gemstone is completely unique and often it is impossible to find any gemstone exactly the same, which is why many designers are also gemstone collectors. 

I meet with fellow jewellers and members of the Diamond Exchange Singapore and discuss fine jewellery and jewellery design in Singapore. We are working as a collective to find innovative ways to shine a light on the exceptional local fine jewellery talent and craftsmanship and put Singapore fine jewellery on the map. The Diamond Exchange Singapore is also planning an upcoming event in collaboration with a museum in Singapore, we went over the smaller details of the event, making sure everything is perfect. 

THURSDAY 

I take a much-needed run through the Botanic Gardens this morning, nothing like getting out into nature- however I am always stopping to take photos of a leaf, flower or line of a branch which catches my eye. A lot of my designs are inspired by nature and the Botanic Gardens is such a rich source of inspiration. The arrangement of the plants has been so well designed, in terms of scale, texture and tones- the same design rules apply to all disciplines. I am inspired and sit down to create sketches and lay out ideas for new collections.  My favourite thing to do! 

I have a call with the product photographer about the aesthetic for tomorrow’s photoshoot of the new Maar collection, we decide on paying homage to the namesake of the collection, Dora Maar. We come up with a scene which takes elements from Dora Maar’s most iconic work and lends itself to the surrealist aesthetic. 

FRIDAY 

First thing I take the Maar collection to the product photographer for professional editorial style photos. I do some administrative work till lunch. I pack and get orders ready to be sent out, the couriers arrive to take these beautiful pieces to their new homes.  

In the afternoon, the light is perfect for taking photos of jewellery for social media, and spend the next few hours doing that, it’s much harder than one might imagine- it can be difficult to capture the brilliance of jewellery. I sit down and continue work on the bespoke pieces for the client I met earlier this week. 

My partner and I go out for a lovely dinner at Dempsey Hill, a nice end to the official work week. (I work weekends, as an entrepreneur the mind never stops!)


Written by
Poppy covers a wide range of topics at Billionaire, having spent the past 13 years at companies including Singapore Tatler, Her World Plus and Harpers Bazaar UK. She has a passion for fashion, jewellery and travel as well as an avaricious fascination with crime novels. Follow her at poppypskinner on Instagram. 

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