For today’s guest post, how about a bit of bling to usher in the Holiday Season? Please welcome Pelf Nyok — and she’ll introduce us to Malaysian jewellery designer April Yim whose opulent designs are inspired by the culture and folklore of the East… ~ Jen
April and her Hand-made Jewellery
Malaysian lass, April Yim, started making some really adorable polymer clay earrings about 2 years ago, and a year and many pairs of polymer clay earrings later, she ventured into jewellery-making where she experimented with real beads and pieces.
And what started as drawings on paper turned into jewellery-designing and making a natural process for April, who now owns a website — Vanity Vault — where she showcases and sells her products.
“Vanity Vault is not a real profit-making business. It started off as a way to fuel a girl’s obsessive hobby and I really intend it to stay that way. It also keeps me from staying in a healthy activity and de-stresses me…”
The expensive hobby
To date, April must have spent thousands of ringgits* on the raw materials for her jewellery. She was still a student when she picked up the hobby two years ago, and it was undeniably difficult on her pockets. In fact, a huge portion of her first pay cheque went to purchasing the raw materials (beads and stones) for her jewellery, which were imported from a variety of places.
“Each region of the world specializes in different parts and pieces. Cultured pearls are imported from Japan, China and the islands in the South Pacific, Swarovski crystals direct from Swarovski, Austria, and of course semi-precious stones are from all continents of the world.”
Each piece of jewellery can take as short as 5 minutes and as long as 5 days to complete. In fact, according to April, jewellery-making is definitely NOT a solitary craft because it requires a collective set of skills (such as beading, wire-work, moulding, painting, needle-work, metal-works, glass-works and of course, design). Moreover, the time needed to complete a piece really depends on the set of disciplines involved and how complicated the design is.
Despite holding a day job, April manages to make an average of 8-10 pieces of jewellery per month. And 3 of her favourites are:
- Favourite necklace —
There are more than 36 ways in which you can wear this convertible necklace. It is completely changeable into a necklace of different lengths, 3 different bracelets, a belt and a bag charm.
- Favourite earrings —
It features a very intricate design on a gold leaf shaped filligree, nylon coated gold wire, mirror beads with gold rim coating in green, black pearls and Aurora Borealis Czech glass beads. Note how the colours blend so well with the feature of the design.
- Favourite bracelet —
The colours are in sync with one of April’s favourite ancient dynasties.
If you haven’t noticed it, besides designing and making jewellery, April is also a huge fan of names (did you see how she named the bracelet Cleopatra?!). She feels that each name should give each individual piece its own character and individuality. In fact, a lot of the names for her jewellery have been derived from stories she’s heard of or read about. Besides, she was sometimes inspired by the local and foreign languages, characters from ancient folklore and catchy quotes or phrases.
The other side of April Yim
In the past, April had donated some of her jewellery to raise funds for another Malaysian blogger, Yvonne Foong, who has Neurofibromatosis Type II (an incurable genetic disease). April also sponsored some of her items to raise funds for other charities and to help the less fortunate.
She would definitely love to work with more people in the future, so if you are organizing a charity event or fund-raising activity, do remember to contact April!
Note: The current foreign exchange rate is 3.3 Malaysian Ringgit to 1 US Dollar.
Pelf Nyok, the author of The Giving Hands, is a grad-student who is trying to save the turtles, the environment and humankind. Charity, conservation and volunteerism are things that are very close to her heart.
pelf-ism is contagious!