June 2021 marks the 10th anniversary of Stones that Rock.
It seems hard to believe that what started as a hobby in Shanghai has now grown to become a business recognised as one of Singapore’s most enduring boutique jewellery brands.
In those early days, Shanghai was a revelation; the sheer availability of everything – markets overflowing with pearls, semi precious stones and anything else you care to think of. The beauty of the raw materials, the inspiration I felt at being in an amazing new country and the willingness of store owners to indulge every creative whim, meant I started to design my own pieces. At first they were just for myself, then became gifts to friends and family around the world and soon enough developed into custom orders.
Stones That Rock was officially launched in Singapore in 2011 in partnership with my dear friend Anne-Lize Tsinonis. Annie too had lived in Shanghai and as a naturally creative person had also been inspired to start designing jewellery for herself and her friends. From the beginning our business philosophy mandated a commitment to quality and ethical production using the best quality materials. Securing relationships with suppliers and manufacturers still current today enabled us to achieve this and gave us the confidence to bring a sense of fun to our design process.
In those early days we became part of a community of emerging lifestyle and fashion brands in Singapore. Working together enabled us to grow our businesses, strengthen our profiles and in 2013 we partnered with Desti Saint Handbags and opened a showroom where we could invite customers to workshop and shopping events.
Desti Saint – “Desti Saint Handbags and Stones That Rock have had a really happy collaboration over the years. We have shared showrooms, ideas, campaigns, pop ups and whenever one business had an opportunity, we always tried to include the other. There have been a lot of laughs and the odd tear; so many designs and ideas and through it all a super strong bond and friendship.”
Retail opportunities followed in Singapore and overseas and in 2014 we founded our charitable initiative, Glamorous Giving which worked firstly with the Singapore Committee for UN Woman and latterly with United Women Singapore. As a bi-annual sale event, Glamorous Giving primarily seeks to raise funds and the profile of United Women Singapore (educational programmes and support for women and girls.) The event also provides small retail businesses with a vehicle to sell off their excess stock in a fun, collaborative way. Glamorous Giving has grown to become one of Singapore’s best curated sale events with more than 60 participating brands and a waiting list of people wanting to join once the days of Covid restrictions are behind us.
Georgette Tan, President, United Women Singapore – “United Women Singapore is grateful to Stones That Rock and Glamorous Giving for their generosity and support over the past several years. Stones That Rock and Glamorous Giving have been one of our longest and most committed retail partners - their support for our organisation and work to empower women and advance gender equality has made significant difference.”
Working closely with other designers, brands and organisations has long been a trademark of Stones that Rock. From the creation and organisation of Fashion Lunches, Dinners and Shows to Charity Events, Giveaways and Workshops, we have always sought to bring brands and people together. This policy of collaboration has been enormously rewarding, forging creativity, ideas and many lifelong friendships.
Chantal Travers from Emperor’s Attic “We love working with Stones That Rock. Owner Leah Lambert definitely keeps us on our toes, as she is so professional, organised and knows her customers and stock so well. Leah and STR have been a huge support to us over the years on several levels, personally as a trusted friend and mentor to me and as a supportive and proactive ‘partner brand’ to EA. Never forget either Glamorous Giving, which has been amazing for us in terms of both brand awareness and sales. Again, so well organised, busy and fun. We miss it!
In 2016 following Annie’s move to Australia, I became the sole Director of Stones that Rock but the Company’s philosophy has remained the same, a focus on design integrity and the creation of beautiful, cost effective jewellery.
Over the last two-three years we have switched emphasis to operating much more of an online sales model. This has meant that providing our shoppers with the very best customer service experience is more important than ever. We have worked hard to ensure all our customers feel valued and very much part of the Stones That Rock family. This has become even more important as we continue to navigate the challenges provided by the Covid 19 pandemic.
In line with a worldwide decline in production and a shortage of materials, the fashion industry has witnessed a global shift away from seasonal high fashion and is witnessing a return to the comfort of high quality, classic design.
Hailing the resurgence of the statement piece or ‘wardrobe builder,’ at Stones That Rock we are embracing this new normal by encouraging our customers to really embrace our classic pieces.
The enforced seclusion of the past year has delivered opportunities for reflection and has given many designers the gift of time to think and reimagine, something that has not always been easy during the hurried normal of our usual day to day existence. This gift of time has enabled me personally to take a step back and to think about what the future might look like for me and Stones that Rock - I look forward to sharing these ideas with you over the coming months.
This pause in our hectic lives has also given me the opportunity to relish the journey I have undertaken with Stones That Rock. The friendships, challenges and opportunities I have been lucky enough to experience have enriched me beyond measure. More than that though, is my heartfelt gratitude towards all the people who have been part of that journey, my family and friends, business partners, models, retailers and staff, all of whom have contributed to the success and fun of this first decade.
Owner, Stones that Rock, Singapore