This is the first post in a new ‘Day in the Life’ series that I am hoping to be organised enough to publish on Changmoh about once a month. Each one will feature an insight in to the daily life of someone interesting. Katie is a great person to be kicking off this new concept for Changmoh – she’s not only a Scottish lass like me, but lives in – and loves – Asia (and in the interests of full disclosure, we have known each other since we were small). Her Weave necklace collection is my favourite of all her designs, with its shakable loose gemstones contained within a woven ‘egg’ and designed to your specifications.
Over to you Katie:
I’m the co-founder of kinnari.com, a website that lets you design your own jewellery. You can choose your favourite style, precious metal and gemstones and watch your design transform right before you on our 3D interactive design tool. We then make your design in our workshop in Bangkok and ship to your door anywhere in the world. I’m 33 years old, married and living in Bangkok.
Here’s my diary..
7.30am Alarm goes off. I have breakfast with my husband before doing a routine check of any urgent emails or comments on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram pages. We are an online business so are open 24/7.
9.00am I take the skytrain to my office, a 40-minute journey across town. My office is in Silom, the heart of the gem district in Bangkok. Every company in our building trades gemstones, so just walking in the door is inspiring. I’ve been working in the Bangkok gem trade for 8 years now and I seem to be the only western girl living and working in the industry here so everyone is very friendly! Here are some of the gemstones I see on my way to the office every day:
9.40am Start off with catching up on emails. My co-founder Sally Bowers and I work in different time zones (she moved from Bangkok to London when we launched Kinnari in 2012 to take care of our jewellery distribution, marketing and customer service), so I always have quite a few emails to wake up to, which I like to answer first to help me plan my day.
10.00am I group our new orders together and put them through to our workshop. We have a very detailed order sheet which records everything we need to know including workshop jewellery details, gemstone requirements, ring sizes, chain lengths, delivery dates and shipping info. We have a fantastic workshop who are very accommodating to our unique ‘design your own’ concept. Most workshops in Bangkok mass-produce jewellery, however ours will make according to each of our customer’s individual designs, so we are very lucky to have found them. Here’s a picture of our craftsmen setting our Oval cabochon gemstones into our bangles.
11.00am Each day I usually have gemstones to sort through and buy from our suppliers so I like to do this in the morning while the light is at its best. We have developed really good relationships with our local suppliers and we only buy gemstones from suppliers we have worked with and trusted for years. I sort through the gemstones to select the ones we want in terms of colour, quality and cut. Most of our gemstones are actually cut specifically to fit in our jewellery. Today I’m selecting gemstones to use in our new Spike collection!
1.00pm Head out for some lunch – usually some nice Thai food from my local restaurant.
2.00pm I collect any finished orders from our workshop and carry out a final quality control check. We pride ourselves on our carefully selected gemstones and high quality craftsmanship so it’s vital I check each item before the shipment is sent off to Sally in London. I photograph the finished jewellery and select my favourite Customer Design Of The Week. This is a feature we announce on our social media pages and has become a fun tradition. Our followers love to see what other customers are designing on kinnari.com. Our latest selection was this amazing customer design set of Weave Egg Earrings, Pendant and Band Ring – all in Sterling Silver set in beautiful Green Tsavorite gemstones:
4.00pm Now it’s 9am in the UK and so it’s time for my Skype call with Sally. Firstly I give her an update from Bangkok in terms of production and gemstones. Then we’ll discuss things from her side in London such as Marketing and PR, customer relations or website development. We’ll always finish our conversation by setting a plan for the next 24 hours in our respective time zones.
5.00pm Usually a parcel arrives from our gem supplier around this time…so I have a quick look to check all the gemstones are there and then lock them in the safe to check in the morning light the following day. We use a variety of gemstone cuts in our jewellery so I keep an organised stock list of all the gems I’ve received and all the gems that are with our workshop. So far we use Cabochon cut gemstones in our Oval Collection, small Pavé & Rough gemstones in our Weave Collection and soon we will be using small round and square Sugarloaf cut stones in our new Spike Collection. Here is a parcel of some rough gemstones I received recently. From left to right: Chrysoprase, Amethyst, Blue Topaz and Rose Quarts to go in our popular Weave Large Basket Pendants.
5.30 – 6pm I head home on the skytrain. We live in an apartment on Sukhumvit Road and it’s become a lovely haven in a very busy area. We have a pool and a gym on the ground floor so I try to have a swim or do a short run before heading to the supermarket to buy food for dinner, or else we’ll head out to meet friends and try some new restaurant. Bangkok is one of the best foodie cities in the world!
9.00pm – 11.00pm Due to the different time zones between Thailand and the UK, I always have to keep an eye on emails or Skype in the evening, in case Sally needs to discuss something. Luckily my husband also has a business partner in London so he has to do the same thing. He has his own Architecture company called FourFourSixSix. I am also in charge of all our social media so in the evenings I try to catch up on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram before heading to bed around 11.00pm.
Sally & Katie