Diamonds are recognised and well-regarded for their clarity, but Evelyn Chung founded her custom jewellery brand, Twomorrow, to spotlight salt-and-pepper diamonds, ones that sport black and white inclusions, instead. Launched just last November, Twomorrow represents the latest move for the former banker and financial consultant, who believes that “leading by example is the best way to inspire and motivate others.”
“It is something I have always kept in mind, exemplified by an insightful quote that I resonate with: ‘How you do anything is how you do everything’. By embodying what we stand for and striving ahead through hard work and dedication, we can take on our own goals with strength and courage.”
Here, Chung shares the ups and downs of her journey building Twomorrow.
Read More: 5 Women CEOs in Luxury on How They Lead
What are the particular joys and difficulties of being a female founder, in your experience?
As a female founder, I hope to be part of an inspiring initiative that can show other women how important it is to take bold steps and chase their dreams. It’s incredibly rewarding for me to know that my actions may encourage others around me and give rise to the belief that anything is possible.
Despite facing challenging times where my vision was not taken seriously by some, this didn’t solely stem from being a woman—it was more indicative of conquering obstacles as any entrepreneur would. Instead of allowing my gender to dictate how far I could go in life, staying determined has enabled me to defy expectations and rise above them.
What have been the challenges of establishing your jewellery brand, especially one where a “flawed” material is at the core?
I’ve always believed that viewing something as flawed can be a matter of perspective. These seemingly flawed unconventional diamonds possess an enigmatic beauty, the product of Mother Nature’s artistry. However, establishing my own jewellery brand to showcase these imperfect diamonds was no easy feat, let alone transitioning from the world of finance to becoming a jewellery entrepreneur.
While it was completely unfamiliar territory to me and I was starting at the bottom of the learning curve, it pushed me further to equip myself with the crucial knowledge necessary in accessing diamonds and jewellery design. To acquire the knowledge to confidently select these diamonds for Twomorrow, I invested in my own education. Now, I’m proud to say that I am a GIA graduate of the Diamonds Program and a diploma holder of Fine Jewellery Design at Jewellery Design & Management International School.
During my preparatory period, I was also given numerous opportunities to explore and get hands-on experience with custom pieces, which provided me with invaluable insights into the industry. Even before launching the jewellery line, I had been reaching out and working with these diamond suppliers to understand the craft, and gained new knowledge and experience to supplement my certifications.
With my acquired education and honed experiences, it made it possible for me to handpick these gems for optimal quality despite their perceived flaws and preserve the integrity of each diamond in a remarkable fashion with Twomorrow.
How do you work to make Twomorrow stand out among jewellery brands, local and also international ones?
The heart of our brand lies in its message to reach out to people who resonate with our intention. Empowering people to view life, matters and things from an alternative perspective, our intention is to create a new tomorrow where unconventional ideas are celebrated, imperfections embraced and multiple perspectives respected—which is symbolised by the ‘Two’ in Twomorrow.
As a digital-first custom jewellery brand, we also want to champion a new era of purchasing custom jewellery. With fully transparent pricing available on our website, our clients will always know what they are paying for and they will have peace of mind during purchase With this, unconventional diamonds are made more accessible, allowing more clients to celebrate their perceived flaws and embrace their individuality. We believe this helps us to organically stand out from the crowd.
What sparked your interest in jewellery and gems, and salt-and-pepper diamonds in particular?
I am not someone who uses a lot of accessories, but a single chance encounter with salt-and-pepper diamonds got me intrigued and curious. They are so visibly different from what we usually see in a jewellery store. Instead of being like their perfect counterpart, they are oddly shaped, asymmetrical, and have imperfect characteristics—all aspects that run contrary to the traditional diamond grading system. I loved how they defy typical standards of perfection.
From here on, these salt-and-pepper diamonds sparked my interest in jewellery and gems. They also prompted me to take the plunge and pursue my second calling as a gemologist specialising in unconventional diamonds.