Lynette Ong founded Edge of Ember in 2014 intending to fill a gap in the market for demi-fine jewellery. Eight years on, she’s ensured social responsibility is at the core of her business model, while also creating a brand where the pieces work as a collective.

The Inspiration

Back [in 2014] I was still working in the finance world and wanted to find quality jewellery that didn’t cost an arm and a leg, and I also wanted to know that it was made ethically, with sustainable materials. However demi-fine jewellery was still somewhat in its infancy stages then, most of the products in the market were either cheap costume throwaway jewellery or super expensive designer ones. I have always wanted to do something creative and entrepreneurial, had just turned 30 and decided to bite the bullet and quit my job. I was inspired by the model of Warby Parker and Toms where social responsibility is at the core of their business, and I wanted to create a profitable and scalable brand that has social responsibility at the heart of it.


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The Development

We’ve grown from a team of two working from my home to a buzzing team of 14, we’re still primarily an e-commerce brand and selling to more than 50 countries.

The Passion

I’ve always loved it since I was a little girl playing dress up. To me, jewellery is almost like makeup – without it, I feel naked and my look isn’t complete! I’ve always preferred more fuss-free pared-back clothes, and jewellery is what I use to jazz up my outfit.

The Creative Process

I have a massive ongoing moodboard of things I like, which I keep refining. I love to build upon previous collections. For new in- spiration, I think about what I would want to layer and stack with and also get inspired by looking at others and how they dress. I love seeing other styles and how they use jewellery to express themselves.

“I love to build upon previous collections – for new inspiration, I think about what I would want to layer and stack with and also get inspired by looking at others and how they dress.”

The Edge of Ember Woman

She’s effortlessly stylish and has a subtle sophistication with an edge. She loves a good laugh, is comfortable in her own skin, and has an interest in sustainability and how our decisions impact the world around us.

Harnessing Social Media

We have stepped up working with influencers as we have found it a very effective way to increase brand awareness. It is also a great source of user-generated content for us, which we use on our newsletters and organic social channels. Our audience loves seeing pieces of “real” people, which compliments the model e-commerce photos we have on our website.

The Motivation

I’m not sure, to be honest! I’ve always been driven. From when I was in school, to my early years on the trading floor, and now own my own business. I hardly ever switch off – although this is something I’m trying to change, especially now that I have two kids! I think a contributing factor might be perhaps because I’ve lived in quite a few different countries – I grew up in Singapore, then moved to the US, Hong Kong and now Lon- don – and being in many new environments has molded me to become very adaptable.

The Advice

Get as much hands-on experience as possible, and surround yourself with mentors.

The Hurdles

I think the initial COVID-19 period posed a huge challenge to us, like many others. It was such an unprecedented time, and we were a smaller team then so the lack of pro- cesses and frameworks resulted in more un- certainty with the shipping of our orders. We closed our first round of investment last year – this wasn’t so much a hurdle, but it was a challenging time for me as I had to juggle between running a business, being a mum to two toddlers, and having a full-on schedule of calls and pitches to potential investors (which is a full-time job in itself !). But it was so worth it, as that round of investment al- lowed us to scale our business in a way that we wouldn’t have been able to if we had just relied on organic growth like we used to.

Cultivating a Collection

Go for pieces that are a reflection of your style (not just because they look good on someone else) and make you feel confident, then they will become a timeless part of your ensemble. I always love versatile items too – ones that you can wear with more casual daytime clothes but also accessorise your dressier outfit in the evening.

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Images: Supplied & Feature Image: Instagram @tuula_rose