Business Times Weekend
5 June 2020
JEWELLERY designer Michael Koh leaves nothing to chance. When proposing a design for a commissioned piece, he sends and requests a lot of information to and from each client. He asks for images of their ears, necks, jawlines, fingers or any other body part to be adorned by the piece. He then sends via Whatsapp several illustrations of suggested designs, and videos of the gemstones arranged accurately in mock-ups.
One longtime client, YC Chan, needed to bespoke jewellery for her youngest daughter’s upcoming wedding. She says: “I had difficulty visualising the completed product without looking at the actual piece – such as its size, colour and how the piece would look when wearing it. Michael resolved this by taking pictures in a way that reflected the accurate size of the jewellery. And Achillea, his wife, modelled the earrings to help visualise how the item would look like when worn.”
Another longtime client, Lillian Lee, commissioned a pair of earrings and a ring cum pendant for her eldest daughter’s upcoming wedding. “We haven’t even discussed the price yet. We’ve only talked about the main stone being peridot, the birthstone of my daughter. But he’s started work on it.” Ms Lee’s son also decided to commission Caratell to create a jewellery piece for his girlfriend. “My children have become so accustomed to me referring to Michael as my friend that they too have started cultivating a relationship with him. Even my mother became a fan, after Michael took what was then her old and worthless-seeming set of pearls and turned them into a brand new necklace, ring and earrings. Her eyes popped when she saw them.”