For this up-and-coming young jeweler, customization is the secret of his appeal.
By Ricky Chee
He’s young, entrepreneurial and creative, with a knack for fashioning pretty shiny things from scratch. Last month, Jeron Teo successfully scored a door for his line of hand-made jewellery at the spanking new W Hotel, a luxury boutique hotel at Sentosa Island.
Teo is the founder and chief designer of Rezilienz, a brand of artisanal jewellery customized to each client’s taste and preference; no two pieces are alike. What started as a hobby for this young man took a professional turn in 2006, when Teo was 17.
Now 23, he finds his creations stocked under the same roof as those by Alessandra Gallo, an Italian designer who designed the blood diamond pin worn by Leonardo DiCaprio during the 2007 Oscars ceremony in support of Amnesty International’s campaigns against child soldiers and conflict diamonds, as well as Carrie K, another notable local designer.
It may therefore come as a surprise to many that Teo is not a design student but an engineering graduate from ITE College East. After a working stint at a fashion retail store while running Rezilienz on the side, he officially launched the brand on July 3, 2011 after much support and encouragement from his friends and his pastor from City Harvest Church, Lily Yong, who heads the JAMs Church ministry where he serves.
Teo’s break came when he was manning his booth at the Suntec City Convention Center during an exhibition, and he was approached by the store manager of W Store, Dwi Lestari, to design and sell his products at the shop. “I didn’t know about W Hotel or W Store, as they were new in the market so I did some research before accepting their offer.”
“Workshop” for the self-taught jewellery designer is his humble desk at home; the only tools he uses are his bare hands and a pair of pliers. All his pieces are handmade from raw materials namely Swarovki element crystals, stainless steel and rhodium (a type of silver-white metal resistant to corrosion similar to platinum. Unlike silver, it does not cause allergies in wearers with sensitive skin).
Each piece may take as long as six hours to complete, after the initial planning phase where he discusses his clients’ preferences drafting up a design. Once that is done, he begins work on the piece. “This input gathering process also gives my clients a feeling of ownership over the finished article as well,” Teo explains.
His designs currently range from necklaces and bracelets to bangles and earrings, and he is looking into designing rings. A man full of ideas, Teo also has a vision to have his own runway show, open his own shop and start a line of jewellery for men.
As with many young entrepreneurs nowadays, he generates much of his business from word-of-mouth publicity as well as Facebook. Prices start from S$150 for a piece of jewellery.
Log on to www.rezilienz.com for more information.