If you are one of Jamie Yeo's 103K followers on Instagram (@iamjamieyeo), you'll know that she started her own jewellery label earlier this year. And if you've been swayed by how pretty she looks modelling one of her dainty rings and necklaces on IG and bought, say, a US$450 (S$619) gold ring with tiny diamonds from her Lula J label, you'll have gotten your hands on a solid piece of jewellery you can maybe pass down to your daughter, and also contributed to her fledgling label's impressive showing after just half a year in business.
Jamie tells 8days.sg, "I haven’t done any marketing apart from posts on my own IG, but we are nearing a six-figure revenue for this year, so we are very humbled by all the support. We try our best to provide the service that our supporters deserve. So we fix things for free without questions asked, and do free exchanges and refunds with no questions asked as well. Since our customers trust me, I have to do my best to make sure I don’t take that trust for granted."
The label, whose name Lula J is a combination of her kids' names (Luke and Aly) and her own initial, J, launched in April this year. Jamie started it as she had trouble finding fun and casual jewelry that was affordable yet real, as in made of solid gold with natural diamonds, as opposed to gold-plated costume jewellery or really high-end pieces.
"It was hard to find something in between," she tells us. "At some point, women want to get something real as they have some money to spend, and have it be something that is of better quality and can last longer, that they can pass down to their daughters. That's why I started Lula J. Also, I wanted something I could do when I get older and can no longer do what I do now [which is hosting and doing livestreams]. I needed something that was easy to store in my house, non-perishable, and that I could sell online instead of in a store."
All very practical thoughts, and she's made it work, and then some. While it wasn't easy launching in the middle of a pandemic, not to mention during the Circuit Breaker at the time, Jamie was fortunate to have some ready stock back in April, which she started selling on her Instagram, to great success.
We got on a Zoom call with the erstwhile DJ and current host, jewellery girl boss and mama of two, and asked her to show us some of her favourite pieces.
Jamie is quite open about the fact that she's not a jewellery designer, and instead, is more of a curator, scouring the Internet looking for designs she likes, and asking a designer to put together different elements from different pieces to create a brand new piece that has her stamp of approval. The jewellery is then crafted in Jaipur and Hongkong.
She aims to keep the pieces affordable, with nothing over US$1,000, which means she cannot have anything too chunky, as her pieces are made of 14K solid gold, and gold is, well, expensive. The result is dainty pieces, some with small natural diamonds, with rings going for US$100 to 500.
So how did Jamie manage to make an almost six-figure sum in just half a year with no marketing efforts? A strong Instagram account, loyal followers who want what she has and will buy what she promotes, and star power. "I think it helps that people trust me," she tells us. "There is still a stigma buying jewellery online, like, is it real? But it helps that people know me. Like, I cannot run away! I have a reputation — if anyone finds out something [negative], that’s it, I’m gone!"
"I personally delivered my products and made friends and got to know a lot of ladies — you'd be surprised by the number of independent women who buy their own jewellery, and that’s what Lula J is all about. Some have bought multiple pieces from me and they've got kids as well and we meet up for coffee now — it’s been great. So yes, I have made quite good sales — it’s more than what I hoped for. A lot of the investment I put in, I’ve made back."
"It's good to know I’m doing something that is my own thing, that I can work hard at and not be so dependent on others; on clients. We have this big dream of moving to the UK and having a big space and garden. I thought it would be good for my kids to grow up and go to school someplace else. But I have to do well enough with the jewellery business and it has to be big enough for me to have a steady stream of income, but that's not anytime soon! Anyway, we can’t even go and visit my in-laws now!"
Lula J is at https://lulajjewelry.com.