Sustaining Skills and Livelihoods of the Craftsmen and Working with Renewable Materials
I fell in love not just with WoonHung’s statement, elegant and modern jewellery, but her approach to sustainability. Yvonne Chia is the founder of WoonHung. She looks not only to the choice and treatment of renewable materials but also the sustainability of livelihoods of the craftsmen she works with. I saw a synergy and wanted to collaborate with her and I first met her at her Essential Extra Gift Store.
Triana (T): Tell me more about yourself and your business?
Yvonne (Y): WoonHung is a Singapore-based designer who creates elegant modern jewellery for women, using only abundantly found and natural materials. My focus lies in creating everlasting designs that are simple, thoughtful and allow for the personality of the wearer to come through. WoonHung works closely with and is inspired by the skilled craftsmen and natural materials from Cebu, Philippines. I work with chief designers, craftspeople and design jewellery together with them. The jewellery are made from 1 superstar material - white wood or pangantuon - central to WoonHung Natural Collection. Apart from jewellery, I immerse myself in visual merchandising and illustrating.
T : What is your business inspiration?
Y : I grew up watching my parents recycle, upcycle and squeeze every ounce of possible ways to use the few functional things we have at home. We were poor but we were creative in using whatever little we had. It is a simple premise. My parents are my greatest inspiration alongside the makers in Cebu. The people in Cebu are my heroes.
T : Can you share more on how you support sustainability, craftsmanship and zero waste?
Y: The heart of WoonHung lies in sustaining the skill of the craftspeople and their ability to provide for their families now, and in the future. When you choose WoonHung, you choose to support a community of skilled craftsmen. Many hands, and many lives are involved and affected by the decisions we make. WoonHung’s approach to sustainability looks not only to the choice and treatment of renewable materials, but also, the sustainability of livelihoods.
T : What do you think of Livconsciously and its causes?
Y: We saw a synergy and collaborated with them. We stand by Livconsciously’s philosophy and approach.
T : What life mantra do you live by to keep you motivated and passionate with what you do?
Y: Keep working on becoming circular. I have to be brave and imagine the impossible. Expand the business towards using technology to harness creative circular sustainability. While I’m at it, I have a sense of humour and keep a healthy body, mind and soul.
*Check out Woon Hung’s statement, elegant and modern jewellery. WoonHung Natural Collection is made from White Wood, cut from wild mamalis wood or pangantuon from Cebu, the Philippines.