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Chasing a dream…

06 august 2018

elina_chan_xx.pngElina Chan, MD of Shenzhen Shi Qing Yu Zhubao Ltd completed her higher education from Xiamen University and Master’s degree from Hong Kong University. To achieve her dream to start a business, Elina gave up numerous job opportunities in Hong Kong and moved to Shenzhen where she founded her company. Striving hard for 6 years to provide good quality products and services, her company has now earned an extraordinary reputation in the industry.

Elina started her business aiming to excel in e-Commerce and also supply customized products to jewellery connoisseurs. When not running her business, she spends ample time teaching ‘Chinese’ as a second language to foreigners.

Here, in an Interview with Rough&Polished, Elina takes us through her ‘voyage’ to achieve her dream with elan…

Some excerpts:

When was Shenzhen Shi Qing Yu Zhubao Ltd established? What is the size and strength of the company in terms of employees, production volume etc?

Shenzhen QingYu Jewellery Co. was established on 2nd July 2012. We have a staff of over 30 people in various departments namely sales, jewellery design, manufacturing, financial and IT departments. We provide customized manufacturing services for jewellery brands … using gemstones, white and fancy colour diamonds, jade and pearl. We do hand drawing, 3D model till the final setting in-house. Our highly skilled staff possess on an average atleast 10 years of experience in the customized jewellery industry. We receive about 1500 customized orders, based on personal demands. We focus highly on the customized orders.

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Can you tell us briefly about yourself prior to starting your business? Do you have a family background in the jewellery business or you started it on an impulse? What inspired you to start your own company?

I was born in a small city called Lanzhou. The dream was to walk out of the mountains and be a successful businessman, to contribute to society and gain valuable experiences. After the Chinese college entrance examination, I was admitted to Xiamen University, but due to insufficient scores, I was unable to obtain the Economics and Business Degree. Instead, I was then assigned to the Chinese Department. After 4 years of university, I volunteered to teach the Chinese Language for 1 year in Satun, a southern province in Thailand. During this time, I learnt a lot of different things. I started thinking about what I should do in the future, and this led me to have strong ideas in my mind. I had only 1 persistent idea --- to start a business and one that is meaningful. My parents were not in the jewellery industry, they are simple people. After I returned from Thailand, I searched online regarding entrepreneurship and stumbled upon a site giving information on the concept of jewellery customization. This gave me the interest to set foot in the jewellery industry.

What type of jewellery does your company manufacture? Gold, precious stone studded, as well as diamond jewellery as well? How is the demand for colour diamond jewellery in China?

The company mainly focuses on the white diamond, colour diamonds, emerald and pearl jewellery, as they are the most popular and in demand. At present, colour diamonds are an in great demand in the jewellery market in China. More and more people are beginning to understand and purchase colour diamonds. However, there are not many factories that manufacture jewellery of colour diamonds. We have been studying the setting for colour diamonds for quite some time now, and there are many secret technologies in regard to this. Many of our customers have manufactured their jewellery in Taiwan before, but are now doing it with us instead.

Do you manufacture your own 'Brand' of jewellery – for example, your own specialized jewellery? If yes, please give details?

We are positioned as an up-scale supply chain production service provider, specializing in providing services to jewellery brands. Currently, we do not sell in the retail market.

Does your company cater only to the domestic market or are you in exports as well? If so, to which countries do you export? Do you undertake orders from other companies/buyers for customized jewellery?

QingYu mainly focuses on the domestic market. This is because it is very easy to sell here, as people can accept mobile internet transactions, after which they can sell to their foreign clients. This year QinqYu actively participated in jewellery exhibitions in China and has now begun to process jewellery for foreign jewellers as well.

And what about the e-commerce scene... do you have a presence on the online platform? Do you think it's the future of jewellery retail? What's your opinion?

QingYu took 4 years, before and after technical upgrades several times to build a successful jewellery system that shows member information, product information, order information, production stage and other links that are connected. This internet technology has allowed the factory to transform into a modern informative factory. Our system can establish a sub-station platform for different jewellery brands, and provide resources for online promotion. The future must be in a 2 line business model that emphasizes online information and off-line experience.

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What is the demand currently for gold and gold jewellery in China right now? Is gold jewellery looked upon as an investment even now as in the past?

The overall jewellery consumption is on the rise in China. People are gradually becoming aware of buying jewellery as an investment and consumption concepts. However, due to the impact of the current economic environment, the jewellery industry is currently in a transitional and suspension period. The future prospects are still very clear and worth investing.

It is reported that luxury products, fancy overseas travel, high-end cars/ artwork, etc., are of more interest to Chinese millennials. Has it negatively affected the gold and diamond jewellery sales in the country? Your comments.

Jewellery consumption and investment is equally needed in the market. Other products and luxury goods are too difficult to replace the eternity and meaning of jewellery. Therefore, I think the jewellery industry will not be greatly affected or impacted.

What’s your opinion about DeBeers’ lab-grown diamond fashion jewellery company ‘Lightbox Jewelry’. Will the ’natural diamond’ jewellery demand be hit when the Lightbox jewellery is launched in China? Your thoughts?  

De Beers is selling synthetic diamonds that will only cater to the low-end consumer market. But for the consumers who want to actually buy real diamond jewellery, it will not have any impact.

Aruna Gaitonde, Editor in Chief of the Asian Bureau, Rough & Polished