Jewellery workshop Pakanira offers a meaningful hands-on experience for accessory lovers

Customers of all experience levels can successfully make their rings with ease within the allotted lesson time.

Founder and professional silversmith Sofeea Zulfadzil (All photos: Patrick Goh/The Edge)

When it comes to accessories that carry special meaning, rings surely come to mind. From wedding bands to friendship rings and family heirlooms, these small trinkets do more than add a sparkle on your fingers. But in a world where high-end jewellery is unaffordable for many and ready-made items can often feel impersonal, consumers are resorting to one of two options: customisation, which can be equally expensive depending on who you commission, or handmade items.

In the latter category is local jeweller Pakanira, which has just the thing for those in search of memories and meaning — guided workshops where clients get to tinker their own rings. Frequented by couples, friends and solo crafters alike, the sessions are overseen by founder and professional silversmith Sofeea Zulfadzil.

Sought-after though they may be, DIY jewellery classes are not particularly common in Malaysia. This was one of the primary reasons Sofeea started the brand. “You can’t find a lot of these things here. They’re always in the US or Indonesia. I thought, why not open my own and bring this experience to others?”


The Kemboja design, representing mystery, reveals a lightly textured surface upon close inspection

In order to truly make these sessions accessible to all, Sofeea decided on a more homey look with traditional Malay decor for the workshop space. “I do not wish to project a very luxurious image because we want to sell the experience as something fun,” says the silversmith. Upon entering the cosy room, one instantly notes the batik artwork on the walls and touches of greenery that bring the outside in. Card games and snacks are readily available around the workshop, making being at her class feel like hanging out at a friend’s home.

More importantly are the ring designs, of which there are six to choose from. The very first collection imagined by Sofeea for the workshop, these accessories are shaped from tarnish-resistant 925 sterling silver. She describes them as “minimal and unisex”, simple enough to be worn by any gender, with all outfits, for any occasion.

The unfussy style also means customers of all experience levels can successfully make their rings with ease within the allotted lesson time. But do not worry if you find yourself struggling to get the exact result you desire as Sofeea is more than happy to lend a hand until you are content. “Our workshop lasts only two hours and these designs can be completed within that time frame.”


Sofeea guiding customers through the polishing process

While most of her clients are couples or friends who sign up to make jewellery symbolic of their connection to each other, she encourages people to explore the workshops, single or otherwise.
“Last year, there were a lot of couples and now I’m seeing more best friends and groups. In some ways, it’s more fun because you see them bonding while making their friendship rings,” she laughs. “But we also cater to singles who just want a little ‘me time’.”

As the business continues to grow, Sofeea looks forward to improving the experience and ensuring everyone feels comfortable while crafting. “I want to ensure that Pakanira’s customers never feel afraid to make mistakes — there’s no such thing here!”


Sofeea decided on a more homey look with traditional Malay decor for the workshop space

Furthermore, she intends to expand the raw material choices. While only silver is available at the moment, other metals like rose and yellow gold and even gemstones will hopefully be on the table soon.

The most exciting of her plans is to introduce a second collection later this year. This new line would diversify Pakanira’s current designs and provide more challenging options for experienced and adventurous patrons. “I think it would be great for clients to experience different levels of designs and crafting.”

Regardless of the direction Pakanira is headed towards, Sofeea’s utmost priority is providing those who come through her doors with a unique experience that is personal and heartfelt, be it crafting wedding bands or adding special pieces to their own collections. After all, the brand’s name means “you” in Sanskrit... a word that encapsulates both wearer and maker.


For more information and to book a workshop session, visit or @pakanira.kl on Instagram.

This article first appeared on June 17, 2024 in The Edge Malaysia.


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