Today #TeamIKI has the huge honour of interviewing Juat Li, the founder of JL Heart Online. JL Heart specializes in quality delicate necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings in sterling silver, pink and yellow gold. We love how the classy jewelry are specially handmade and curated by Juat Li.
Enjoy the interview!
IKIGUIDE: Hello Juat Li! Thank you for your time today!
JL Heart: Hello! Thanks for reaching out and having me. I love how your portal focuses on encouraging entrepreneurship and spreading positivity and perseverance. Great job, guys!
IKIGUIDE: What inspired you to study Jewellery design, and eventually start JL Heart design?
JL Heart: It was during a sort of sabbatical, after I’d moved on from my previous business designing false eyelashes under the brand Star Lash. I was getting really restless from not doing much with my hands. After a few attempts at barely edible baked goods, I quickly decided that being a baker was not my thing. I mean, if your pineapple tarts could be used as weapons (’cause they’re rock hard), that’s saying something, right?
So I moved on to tinkering with furniture and finally decided that it was more fun to make jewellery. One day, as I was bent over my work bench fiddling with tiny jump rings, my mum said: “Oh, you look just like my mum. She loved to make jewellery.”
And that was such a moment of epiphany for me.
It was like, I finally understood why I’ve always liked to work with my hands. I studied Accountancy in Uni and could never understand why I couldn’t just be an accountant or work in Finance? Why did I always have to be doing things with my hands? Because it’s in my DNA!
So then, I had closure, finally. It was like being set free. From there, I signed up for jewellery classes at JDMIS and have been loving my work since.
IKIGUIDE: We love your new logo! You mentioned on your blog that “JL Heart means great jewellery for every day”. What would you recommend to a working lady for a Monday in October, for instance?
JL Heart: Thanks! Glad you like it.
First, you must understand that women and cats will do as they please.
Some days, they’re going to feel really ladylike, and it’s going to be classic ear studs, and another, they’re going to be channeling their edgy energy and it could mean some dangling spikes.
So I’d recommend that they wear something that feels right that day. Don’t dress in a certain way just ’cause it’s Monday, dress like it’s gonna be a great day. So that’s essentially what JL Heart jewellery is about.
IKIGUIDE: What are your top three most popular designs?
JL Heart: Infinity Logo pieces, Pearl Earrings and Gemstone Earrings are always popular.
IKIGUIDE: Where do you usually get the inspirations for your designs?
JL Heart: From nature (cliche, but Mother Nature really is so wonderful!), architecture, interior design, children’s books (when I read to my kids), and often, it’s just by touching and feeling the gems I work with.
IKIGUIDE: Just curious, is there a story behind each and every gemstone?
JL Heart: Yes! They’ve got lots of interesting stories. Like the Aquamarine is called the Sailor’s Stone, and they used to bring it with them out to sea for good luck. Many gemstones are also linked to royalty and even breastplates of powerful priests in olden days.
In modern days, the Sapphire ring worn by Lady Diana and subsequently passed on to Kate Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge, also adds to the story and allure of the gem.
IKIGUIDE: What are three adjectives you would use to describe a JL Heart Lady?
JL Heart: Kind, Confident, Beautiful, Stylish, Assertive.
Wait, did you say three or five?
IKIGUIDE: On a parting note, do you have any tips for our readers when it comes to pursuing a career in jewellery design?
JL Heart: A career in jewellery design, or any creative work, is extremely rewarding and fun for the soul. If you feel like it’s something you want to pursue, do it!
But I’d suggest keeping your day job, the one that pays the bills, while you nurture your craft. Don’t go out and quit your job the day you decide that you want to take up jewellery design, furniture design and undertake any type of creative work, for that matter. It would put so much pressure on your creative venture if it had to give you joy, and pay your bills too.
Just hone at your craft till you think that you want to dive in and make it full-time. That may be in a year’s time, or never. And that’s fine.
And don’t let anyone tell you that because you’re making inexpensive jewellery, that it’s not worth your time. The first jewellery that people wore were objet trouvé – like pretty seashells they found on the beach or the tooth of an animal they killed (think survival, not sport).
So whether you’re creating a bangle with PET bottles and nail polish (really cool project I found on Pinterest) or a tennis bracelet with 1 carat diamonds is not the issue. Just follow your creative instincts.
Elizabeth Gilbert, one of my favourite authors, said in her latest book, Big Magic, that “The guardians of high culture will try to convince you that the arts belong only to a chosen few, but they are wrong and they are also annoying.”
Now that’s liberating.
All pictures here are lovingly provided by Juat Li. Have a great weekend ahead!