Managing director Datin Wira Yvonne Lim on helming homegrown jewellery brand Aurora Italia

Listening to customers leads Lim to explore new designs and gemstones.

Charms and bracelets were the first products released the same year Lim and her husband, Datuk Wira Ng Chun Hau (Photography by SooPhye)

Jewellery is all about feeling. Yes, it makes me happy. Not just me — it makes every woman happy. When you have something that matches your outfit for an occasion, it feels different.”

Paying attention to customers, the way her students listened to her when she stood before them in class, has helped Aurora Italia International managing director Datin Wira Yvonne Lim take the company forward.

The alchemy of light, colour and romance that gives Aurora Italia its name is also the base from which its sparkling products are fashioned. Launched in 2017, the home-grown jewellery brand has had more reason to shine — it was listed on Bursa Malaysia Securities on July 24.

Lim explains the brand name in a Skype interview: “Aurora brings to mind colourful lights, like the aurora borealis. And Italy is known as a place for romance, where most people dream of going.

“Customers can mix and match our charms to create a few dreams. Maybe you cannot make them happen now, but you can dream with our charm bracelets.”

Charms and bracelets were the first products released the same year Lim and her husband, Datuk Wira Ng Chun Hau, set up Aurora Italia in Penang. The company designs, markets and distributes hand-finished jewellery made from 18-carat gold and Murano glass.

Last December, it inked a joint venture with Swarovski to use the Austrian manufacturer’s crystals for its designs. A month later, it released 12 sets of jewellery under its Aurorose series, embellished with Swarovski’s cubic zirconia.

Ng is the founder and executive chairman of Public Gold Group, which was established in 2008 and operates from its corporate office in Penang. He and Lim are also the brains behind the Penang Gold Museum, which opened in 2015 and welcomes visitors to, among others, watch a miner at work, pan for gold nuggets, view ancient gold collections and find out more about the alluring metal.

Aurora Italia is a natural move for Lim, given her firm footing in the world of glitter that she stepped into after her marriage 27 years ago. She was a primary schoolteacher in her hometown of Banting before gold bars took the place of books in her life. An open mind and a willingness to listen and learn then led her to gemstones.

“Before, my husband and I were doing only gold bar trading under Public Gold. Then, our female customers began asking for jewellery. Being in the gold industry exposes us to jewellery. We also love it,” says the mother of three.

“No, I never saw myself as a jeweller. Yes, I miss teaching. Both are totally different worlds. In education, students listen more to me. Now, I listen more to my customers. Their ideas contribute a lot to our designs. We want to cater to what they like.”

What customers want is premium jewellery that is different from what is in the market. The brand’s partnership with Swarovski is one way of offering them pieces set with the highest-grade stones, starting with white Zirconia, that have “almost the same effect” as diamonds.



For the full story, pick up a copy of The Edge Malaysia (July 27, 2020) at your nearest news stand. Save by subscribing to us for your print and/or digital copy.

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