Hong Kong sees a 3D revolution in jewelry making

September 24, 2018 | 02:09 pm GMT+7

Ejj Jewellery is a top brand that has become the first firm in Hong Kong to print out creative 3D designs to make affordable jewelry.

Designer Elaine Shiu had never thought of opening a jewelry business until she worked as an interpreter at an international jewelry conference in Hong Kong.

After a year, she decided to quit her job to start her own company. She was the CEO of Shanshu Jewelry, which focuses on selling jewelry made from precious corals, from 2010-2015.

Ejj Jewellery is Elaine Shiu’s second company, started with two others. Her partners are responsible for business development and marketing, while Elaine’s focus is on researching designs and creating new products.

She searched for new material and focused on application of digitization. In 2017, Ejj launched jewelry products created with a 3D printer, becoming the first brand in Hong Kong to utilize this new technology in jewelry making. It took her a year of study, research and experimenting before the creation of the first product.

The company started with the aim of conquering the Hong Kong and China markets. To compete with individual designers, as well as top jewelry corporations, Elaine Shiu opted for product diversification. A special feature of Ejj is that the shine of Italian silver jewelry depends not on the gemstones, but on the cutting technique.

A bracelet made with the 3D printer has a unique color and design.

A bracelet made with the 3D printer has a unique color and design.

Before the product is loaded into a specialized printer, it is designed entirely through digital graphic applications like Autodesk Fusion 360, SketchUp and Rhinoceros. This allows Elaine to fine-tune every detail, control the parameter as well as the size of the product so that it suits many customers.

Then, the design is entered into the 3D printer to create shape, and color according to pre-determined settings. After finishing this part of the process, the product’s surface is treated and added gems to create highlights. Thanks to the elasticity of the material, finished products like bracelets can be easily adjusted to fit the size of the wearer by lightly squeezing it 1-2 times.

With the application of technology and reducing the manual process, the product price, ranging from HKD 750 to HKD 1,500 (equivalent to USD 96 - USD 192), is quite reasonable and suitable for young people.

Elaine also uses 3D printers to create innovative designs for silver and gold jewelry, shortening production time but still able to deliver unique designs.

A stylish 3D ring design from Ejj

A stylish 3D ring design from Ejj.

"Jewelry made with 3D printers is still a new thing, and even though it has not been received as well as the traditional products, sales are still impressive compared to our company’s initial expectations. We're confident that this product line will grow due to its unique advantages," said Elaine Shiu.

For achieving breakthroughs in the use of new material and designs, Ejj was honoured with the "Hong Kong’s Most Innovative Jeweler 2017" award. Elaine Shiu also received the "Asia-Pacific Enterprenuer of the Year 2017" award, given by NGO Enterprise Asia.

Ejj Jewellery’s products are being distributed through Design Gallery chains managed by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTDC). The brand has also extended its reach to major cities in mainland China, including Shenzhen, Shanghai, Chengdu and Chongqing.

Elaine Shiu took her products to In Style  Hong Kong Exhibition, held in HCMC on September 20th- 21st.

Elaine Shiu took her products to In Style – Hong Kong Exhibition, held in HCMC on September 20th-21st.

In 2017, Ejj successfully cooperated with luxury hotel group Banyan Tree in Bangkok, Thailand. Currently, the company has started negotiations or franchising, which has the potential to raise the number of its stores to hundreds. Elaine Shiu also lists Vietnam as a market with high potential, given its population of more than 90 million and many similarities with Thailand.

On September 20-21, Ejj Jewelry was officially available in Vietnam via the In Style - Hong Kong Exhibition.

Elaine Shiu said that she hopes to find a right partner to expand her market.

Bao An

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