Shirleen Jeweliciouss: Affordable Malaysian Handmade Jewellery
Author’s Blurb: I’m sure all the girls have tried handmade jewelry before. I had a little playset with strings, plastic beads, and charms to string together and make little friendship bracelets for my friends.
After graduating in 2013, Shirleen embarked on creating handmade jewelry for sale at her online store that bears her name, Shirleen Jeweliciouss.
“Back then I was an engineer and handmade jewelry was just something I did as a fun exploration in my spare time,” she says.
Becoming addicted to the craft, she began to buy, accumulate and explore more materials as her ideas continued to come.
She finally quit her job in 2016 to develop the brand and focus on it full time.
“I think it was my growing love of jewelry making, the steady income from this business and my savings that defined the moment and sparked this decision,” she said.
Chain the Biz together
Handmade jewelry is something that I come across quite often. In every bazaar I stumbled upon, at least one or two stores would sell some great knickknacks.
I would hang out and browse through decorative knickknacks for a little while, chat with vendors, and usually walk away empty-handed.
But it is usually because of the price that each small item can cost.
Shirleen Jeweliciouss was established to provide Malaysians with stylish fashion accessories at an affordable price.
All of her jewelry is sold below RM100, where necklaces are priced between RM35 and RM98; the earrings are between RM20 and RM60.
Other small brands of handmade jewelry like Poppylab and Shedazzles rate their necklaces between RM49 and RM213 and their earrings between RM38 and RM99.
It’s safe to say that Shirleen’s deals are more affordable. However, these prices may also depend on the materials used in the accessories, but we’ll talk about that later.
Despite its lower prices, the biggest difficulty it faced in its early days was gaining the trust of customers.
Entering this rapidly changing consumer goods market has not been easy. She needed to convince them to buy her products.
Therefore, she decided to create a social media presence to share her work. This gradually helped her connect with more customers.
This online presence also caught the attention of Four Seasons Resort Langkawi, who asked them to do door gifts for their private event in 2016.
“I was asked to prepare 117 flower hair chopsticks for their Japanese themed events,” she said.
The adrenaline rush to prepare all orders before the deadline was rewarding, especially when she received positive feedback from her customers.
She was also hired by Setia Eco Templer’s Mother’s Day event to prepare DIY sets for children to create jewelry for their mothers.
Reinvest profits on supplies
Shirleen’s creations feature many trinkets such as crystals, gems, Swarovski stones, charms and clay flowers.
These materials, she said, come from years of hoarding throughout her artisanal journey.
Despite an increase in both revenue and customers over the past year, it tends to reinvest most of its profits into purchasing new and additional materials, which it buys in bulk to keep costs down.
“I guess artisans can figure this out, it’s never enough and we always feel like we need more materials to create better parts for our customers,” she says.
But sometimes, materials can also be the source of inspiration for new collections.
As a solopreneur, Shirleen singlehandedly manages all the ins and outs of her business.
“Time management is the key to processing high volume orders, which means sacrificing sleep,” she said.
She has the support of her husband and a relentless passion for the craft to thank as the avenues that have kept her motivated to this day.
“I never feel tired and appreciate the satisfaction when my designs are sold and enjoyed,” Shirleen said.
As the products are sold exclusively online at the moment, his long-term goal for the business would be to expand and form a team to help him.
She also hopes to someday own a store for Shirleen Jeweliciouss.
For now, her focus is on work-life balance.
“I take care of my 4-month-old daughter on my own, while keeping my business running,” she says.
While balancing her job and being a mother comes with her challenges, she still expressed her gratitude for being able to do what she loves in life.
Conclusion: I have always viewed jewelry as a simple yet thoughtful gift for my friends. It covers large grounds like a simple gift; it can represent sentimental value, appeal and practical use. Good points if you can come up with a touching story about why you also picked a particular room.
- You can read more about Shirleen Jeweliciouss here.
- You can read more about other Malaysian startups here.
Featured Image Credit: Shirleen, Founder of Shirleen Jeweliciouss
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