Powered by a community of skilled craftsmen from Cebu, Philippines, WoonHung offers elegant modern jewellery that is built on the pillars of Renewability, Sustainability, Cottage Industries and Traditional Craft. Known for handcrafting modern, natural and handmade designs, WoonHung is a Singapore-based designer who creates elegant modern jewellery for women using only natural materials. Her focus lies in creating everlasting designs that are simple, thoughtful and allow for the personality of the wearer to come through.
Meet Woon Hung ( Yvoone Chia ), Chief Designer & driver of the brand
It has been a one-woman show until recently WoonHung
Online store kick-started & expanded to a 4-person operations
WoonHung is an eponymous brand after her Chinese name given by her grandfather, which means a balance of soft & strong. WoonHung hopes to achieve that balance in her designs & steers towards evergreen classic accessories using sustainable & renewable materials.
She’s been working with natural materials for the past 5 years, and prior to that, also worked on 18k gold jewellery on a smaller scale. Followers of WoonHung know her star products as light-weight chandelier earrings that come in various sizes.
I took a 3-year break to study & teach,
& converted jewellery-making into a hobby
Both the 18k Gold and the Natural collection started in 2010 in Japan before they were launched in Singapore in 2011. I had begun making jewellery full-time back in 2004, but had to take a 3-year break to study and teach. During this time, jewellery-making was converted to a hobby. My big break came in 2010 when I joined IE Singapore’s “Japan Export Programme” & my designs were picked up by 3 established retail brands – Isetan for Shinjuku, Estnation Tokyo & Kitson Japan which distributed nationwide.
I generally leave it to customers to define what they think of WoonHung designs. From my perspective, I think customers enjoy my jewellery because I’ve stayed true to my vision. Ultimately, I’d like my USP to be apparent in the finished design. The product should speak for itself.
WoonHung 18k gold collection chandelier earrings are ultra-feminine & lightweight, created from scratch. They’re made in Singapore, using imported findings & materials. Some of the findings are customised to create WoonHung signature pieces.
On the other hand, Natural Collection is made solely from sustainable & renewable materials from Cebu. They’re lovingly handmade, with detailed work that is best achieved by the skilled craftspeople who live & breathe the environment.
WoonHung 18k Gold Collection & WoonHung Natural Collection are very different from each other, but they share the same traits – they’re both elegant yet distinctive in character. Perhaps similar to the name WoonHung, which means soft & strong, a split personality of a boy & a girl finding some sort of balance.
Powered by Renewability, Sustainability,
Cottage Industries and Traditional Craft
I hope to bring to the table the possibility of updating classic designs with forgotten traditional craft and neglected natural materials. There isn’t a demand for such crafts anymore, with trends moving toward cheap metals, fast fashion & mass production. I found it intriguing when I first stumbled upon these skilled makers and their knowledge & love for the materials & craft.
What drew me in was the community behind this cottage industry. If and when 1 factory closes down, the 30 staffs aren’t the only people losing their livelihoods. The community of freelance makers, hundreds of them backing this factory also lose their livelihood along with their family members. So for each necklace made, that necklace has gone through many different hands. Each one with a story to tell, I think it is worthwhile telling that story and putting my effort into saving 1 factory at a time. Currently, I work with 3 factories.
Challenges & Aspiration
There are several challenges we face, for example, convincing our customers that the cost of buying a handmade product is worthwhile, without the burden of heavy marketing & advertising.
Limited time & resource constraints are some of my challenges. I prefer to channel my focus & attention to my work in Cebu as I have a lot to learn from my makers. I am still a student in their eyes. I think my time is best spent working with the makers, to refine designs and prototypes. At the same time, I understand that I should spend more time marketing my products on social media or join pop-ups and events. Someday, I hope to create enough demand so that craftspeople who depend on their skill for a living can continue to survive & pass that skill down to the next generation!
When you choose WoonHung, you choose to support a whole lot of goodness that goes towards the community
To view more of Woon Hung designs, visit www.woonhung.co