By: Lily Mattimoe
In this blog post, Samantha Siu shares her personal journey as the President and Chief Creative Director of Samantha Siu New York. Samantha's passion for crafting jewelry wasn't just sparked by chance; it was woven into her very upbringing. This background, rich with creativity, has seamlessly blended with her professional path, where innovative techniques have become her trusty companions on this adventure. Samantha Siu's jewelry is more than adornment; it's a reflection of a profound commitment to the enduring beauty of the world, and the remarkable stories that jewelry can tell. Now, let's delve deeper into her remarkable journey through a Q&A.
Q. Your journey in the world of jewelry is quite unique, growing up surrounded by the art and then later pursuing it professionally. Can you share some moments from your childhood that stand out as particularly influential in shaping your passion for jewelry making?
A. One of my earliest memories of manufacturing was playing in my aunt’s showroom, browsing next season’s clothes and touching everything in sight. This overstimulating experience at a very young age, helped me value the process of a product before it’s sold. It also allowed me to see that it starts within the hands of the people who create them; from the designer all the way to the shipper.
Q. Wax carving is a craftsmanship with ancient roots that you have revived and incorporated into your jewelry designs. How did you first come across this technique, and what draws you to it as an essential part of your creative process?
A. Wax carving is an essential part of the process in modern jewelry. It has been commercialize recently by the program CAD. Instead of wax carving with your hands, it’s created by using a a computer generated 3D model. I guess growing within an industry where I saw this market shift, I’ve realized how valuable of a skill it is. The imperfections of wax carving is what makes it the more perfect. Also, I truly believe the carver with wax is like the potter and the clay analogy.
Q. Your reversible necklace is a unique creation that showcases both your creativity and innovation. Can you tell us about the inspiration behind this design and the process of developing such a distinctive piece?
A. I’ve always wanted to develop jewelry different from what we always see on the market. Because I grew up in the industry, I didn’t want to just make a living off jewelry, I wanted to change the trajectory. The perfect concept came to me in a form of a commercial from the perfume, Chanel number 5. That transcendent frame where Nicole Kidman glides up the staircase with a necklace reversed on her back gave me the question of, “why aren’t we adorning the back more?”. I wanted to make something that was meant to be reversible, mechanically made sense, and can also change consumer habits for good. So hence the reversible necklace was born.
Q. Sustainability is an integral part of your brand ethos. How do you ensure that your creations remain not just timeless in design but also sustainable in their impact on the environment?
A. First it begins with design. I want to create jewelry that is meant to change consumer behavior for the betterment of society. Whether it is donating 10% of the net profit to causes close to my heart or creating designs that are multi-use; consumers can make an impact just by purchasing our product. As a company we actively purchase carbon offset in the open market and our factory is a member of Sedex, a sustainable alliance.
Q. What challenges do you face while designing jewelry and how do you overcome them?
A. A consistent challenge of mine is creating the clasp. It’s an integral part to all of my designs and you can see that we put a lot of thought into it. We overcome it by not being afraid to grow as a company. When we hear of any feedback we really take into consideration of how we can make the design better.
Q. How has your personal style influenced your jewelry designs?
A. My personal style heavily influences my creation. I love everything I make because everything I make is a representative of my personal journey.
Q. What are some of your favorite jewelry trends right now?
A. I love that seeing fellow upcoming designers create multi-use pieces. It really tells you where we are as a collective of makers.
Q. Who would you like to see where your jewelry and why?
A. Oh! There are so many people that inspire me and that I would love to see wear our jewelry. Oprah, Angelina Jolie, Ashley Graham, Rihanna, Billy Porter, Michelle Yeoh just to name a few. And to have a full circle moment: Nicole Kidman. *chef’s kiss*
Q. What advice would you give to people entering the realm of jewelry design today?
A. To not give up. When I started I had people tell me I was not going to amount to anything because my jewelry was too out there. The saddest part was that I heard it from friends to family. It’s going to take a while, but in the industry it’s who sticks around that gets noticed the most.
Q. What can we look forward to next?
A. We are going to showcase at NY Coterie from Sept 19-21! We will be introducing our new bracelet collection. We also have an amazing campaign planned for Q4.