Some jewelry in the market, despite its luxurious design and costly price, can feel impersonal, but for Suki Jewelry, their pieces are forged in a way that can make you feel as if you’re wearing a story. This is one of the things that Sharlynne Cabigas and her husband Aaron proudly uphold in their jewelry business.
Founded in 2018, Suki Jewelry's goal is to cater closer to consumers, allowing them to express themselves with their adorning pieces of diamonds and gold.
According to Sharlynne, the motivation behind Suki Jewelry was rooted in her husband’s shared frustrations with overpriced jewelry being sold in the Philippines. Sharlynne saw that she couldn’t bring herself to associate with the expensive market of lackluster jewelry in the country.
“That’s where the frustration lies; a frustration to find the perfect jewelry that I could relate to; a frustration to find up-to-date designs that are made of at least 14-karat solid gold that won’t break an arm or a leg; a frustration to wear a brand that speaks to consumers like us,” said Sharlynne.
These disappointments then led Sharlynne and Aaron to come up with a business that they thought would address the gap. With Sharlynne as the Sales and Marketing Head of the business and her husband’s four-decade family business for jewelry manufacturing, the two were set off to build the success of Suki Jewelry.
"Our vision is for every Suki girl to have her own piece of fine jewelry that is not handed down or given to her as a present. Just like Suki, we want you to go after the things you want and not wait for things to come to you," she added.
Continue reading Sharlynne’s interview with PhilSTAR L!fe as she shares insights about Suki’s soulful vision and how the business managed to share its craft with love.
What is the story behind your brand’s name?
'Suki' is such a beautiful name that we instantly fell in love with! It means "to love" in Japanese. Who wouldn’t want to buy pieces of jewelry that your loved ones will treasure for a very long time? They say that jewelry embodies generations of love, support, and commitment. And that’s what we hope to provide to you: a bond between generations.
Lastly, it also stands for something that almost all of us, Filipinos, are familiar with. We use the word "suki" to refer to both buyers and sellers with unspoken equal roles and a relationship that is beneficial to each other. We wish to be your trusted and favorite jewelry brand! We hope to be a part of your wins, celebrations, milestones, or to just be there for you each time you feel like rewarding yourself. We aspire to be your trusted and reliable fine jewelry store. We sell directly to you and at the same time, rely on your recommendation to keep us growing.
We do not want our brand to exist to solely make profit. We intend to create art and enjoy how people have different interpretations of this art.
How does your Filipino heritage influence your brand values and identity?
My husband’s father firmly values hard work, superb craftsmanship, good customer service, and fair treatment among our factory staff and artisans. In a way, he has influenced us a sense of rightness in running the business — to ensure each and every piece must be meticulously done using only premium materials and to deal with our clients and employees with integrity and transparency.
We make our pricing fair for our clients while making sure that we have enough elbow room to take care of our employees. Most of them have been of service to our factory for more than a decade already, others for almost two decades. Our employees, especially the artisans, play a vital role in our family business because without them, we won’t be able to produce high quality jewelry for our loyal clients. In return, we take good care of them. There is a sense of family in the workplace.
There are so many competitive brands within the world of fashion right now, how do you make your brand stand out from the rest?
We are one of the first online fine jewelry brands in the country to introduce ourselves as a direct-to-consumer jewelry brand. The traditional fine jewelry world has always been intimidating, overpriced, and generally unappealing (in terms of product designs) to the younger market. We knew we needed to make a difference by breaking the traditional mold. We knew we needed to redefine the concept of fine jewelry by introducing a new kind of luxury to the new generation and the generations to come.
Apart from providing thoughtfully priced premium products to our clients, we have always thought of growing Suki to be more than just a jewelry brand. We do not want our brand to exist to solely make profit. We intend to create art and enjoy how people have different interpretations of this art. I think that’s why the younger market love our products because we know that there’s NO one-size-fits-all approach and we are here to help them express their individuality. Here at Suki, you can mix and match pieces from our website catalogue and collaborate with us to create pieces for you. Our wide range of styles allows us to cater to the ever-evolving styles. We believe that it’s different strokes for different folks!
From your own experience, how has social media helped your brand?
We have been an e-commerce business since day one. When we established our online platform four years ago, there were significantly less Filipino jewelry brands present. This has been an advantage for the brand. The accessibility of social media, most especially Instagram, allowed us to strengthen our vision, credibility, and philosophy. It enabled us to build a good client base, maintain relationships with clients, and build new ones with potential customers. We continuously leverage on that trust to grow the brand.
For instance, being an e-commerce business particularly helped us during the height of the lockdown. We witnessed a high influx of orders since people shifted to online shopping and had to do away with traditional brick-and-mortar stores. And for that, we have our customers to thank for.
How do you want your customers to feel when they’re wearing your products?
We want our customers to feel empowered. Our brand intends to live with you and join you in your small wins, milestones, life’s challenges and changes.
We have always envisioned Suki, our products, to be a part of your lifestyle and hopefully to inspire every individual to create and push the boundaries of possibilities through our art. I think Suki is a destination for people who are boundless, expressive and dynamic. Purchasing a piece of fine jewelry is an investment, thus, instead of just owning one, we want you to create authentic, unique and memorable experiences with each and every Suki piece — pieces that you’ve always dreamed of, and suddenly could not live without.