Caratell's Fearless Forecast

by Portfolio Magazine
Photos courtesy of Caratell
24 Sep 2020

Caratell’s years in the industry, coupled with a nimble approach to the business and understanding of both the market and their clients, results in an optimistic view of the future.

There’s no denying that the future seems uncertain for most – especially those working in the luxury industry. With tourism at a standstill coupled with cautious spending, businesses are unsure how to proceed. But for Singapore-based jewelry brand Caratell, their view seems to be a bit more optimistic. Why? Because of industry expertise, a pool of loyal clients, and a well planned vision keeping them on track.



Caratell's Mr. Michael Koh

Working Through the Pandemic

“As a jeweler, I believe that it’s not just about trading,” says Mr. Michael Koh, jewelry designer and founder of Caratell. “It’s about professionalism and it’s something we are continuously working on. These days, we are ramping up customer service efforts like extended operating hours, a refreshed website, and giving clients the option of chatting with our sales staff online. Within the company, we impart our staff with further knowledge of gemstone and jewelry fabrication.”

Mr. Koh is optimistic that jewelers will be able to weather the storm. “I feel that jewelers should stand together to **** the uncertainties brought about by the pandemic. There will be limitations with singular strength, but we can definitely do something collectively. Together, we can improve through education to strengthen consumer confidence levels, as well as build Singapore up as a jewelry design and manufacturing hub.”

Mr. Koh also follows some rules to ensure the survival of the brand and business. “Rule number one is staying away from price wars. Always stay positive because in every downfall, there is always an opportunity. Secondly, keep a listening ear and listen to what the client has to say. Understand their needs, how they feel, and be open to their opinions. Finally, constantly change for the better. While it is important to stay afloat, the welfare of our staff is more important, which is why we always have internal discussions on how to make things better – especially for our trusted craftsmen who are getting older. It’s inevitable that their eyesight will start to deteriorate, so we plan the road ahead by having them impart their skill and knowledge to the next generation.”

(Related read: Bridging the gap between art and fine jewellery)

“I feel that jewelers should stand together to fight the uncertainties brought about by the pandemic. There will be limitations with singular strength, but we can definitely do something collectively." - Michael Koh

What to Buy, How to Buy

  • Russian emerald ring
  • Zoisite cherry blossom
  • Enamel earrings
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“There is a saying that goes, ‘Opportunity is always present in the midst of a ****’,” says Mr. Koh. Therefore, he reveals that his clients stay savvy and vigilant. “Some of them have taken this opportunity to buy exquisite, investment gems as the prices may have softened.”

However, Mr. Koh is concerned about certain things that he feels his clients should be aware of. “We are concerned about CVD (chemical vapor deposition, a synthetic diamond) and F1 moissanite. These are readily available in the market and some consumers are not always aware between real and fake diamonds. As a jeweler, our business relies on the confidence and trust of our clients. We need to give assurance to our customers that the items they purchase from us are genuine. At Caratell, we scan through every diamond parcel and make sure the diamonds we use are fully natural.”

Beyond diamond jewelry, Caratell also presents other options. “We are creating a series of pieces with versatile designs at an affordable range, allowing jewelry lovers to indulge during this period. We are also building up our rare gem collection, which includes pink zoisite, bixbite, benitoite, and emeralds from a new source.”


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