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Hill tribes to streetwear

12 Feb 2020 / 11:05 H.

WANT to stand out from the crowd? There is a way you can do that! Hill to Street is a local jewellery brand that offers handmade pure silver and 925 sterling silver jewellery.

Their bold pieces are inspired by the hill tribes throughout Southeast Asia. If you tend to stay away from over the top jewellery, fret not. Hill to Street founder Tiffany Teoh has also curated minimalist jewellery pieces.

The brand has jewellery pieces for both women and men. Tiffany handpicks and even designs some of the pieces from her jewellery collection.

Currently, there are five collections available – Tribal, Nature, Minimalist, Classic Weave, and the Men’s collection. The HTS by Hui collection along with the limited edition pieces in collaboration with Jessie’s Trinket Trove will be available on their website soon.

During the Hill to Street launch, we were able to get hold of Tiffany, the founder herself, and she took some time to answer our questions.

Describe your jewellery brand in three words?

“Tribal, silver, and organic.”

What were you working as before you became a jewellery designer?

“For 13 years I was in the corporate sector, I was in F&B (food & beverage) and hospitality. I’ve always been in sales and marketing. So I do enjoy meeting people and I was also doing some branding.”

What motivated you to turn your love for jewellery into a business?

“I have always loved tribal jewellery, big, chunky, over the top pieces. I have very sensitive skin and there are many jewellery that are not pure silver. As a matter of fact, I am not able to wear gold. That is why I was very intrigued by the tribal (jewellery) pieces that I find when I travel across Southeast Asia. Big chunky pieces that are made of pure silver, with an even higher content of silver than sterling silver 925, which is typically 92.5. So when I found these big chunky pieces made of pure silver, I was going nuts! So I travelled and I bought a lot. I have so many (pure silver jewellery) at home and with the encouragement of my family, they told me to start something on my own, and the rest is history! I enjoy it so much that I started learning and making my own jewellery.”

What type of consumers are your jewellery pieces created for?

“I think my target market are people who are daring, like organic pieces, and who do not have by the book kind of style. But, we do have a minimalist collection as well for people who like to dress down a little bit.”

What is the most challenging aspect of creating a piece of jewellery?

“To me, I don’t see it as a challenge. When I am creating, I really enjoy the process. But, I think in whatever you do, you need patience. Of course more patience in designing jewellery as there are pieces that you need to know how to put together, to solder it together. If I have to name a challenge, it would be in learning a new technique, for instance, like a weaving technique. With practice, you will be able to do it.”

What feedback have you received from local clients regarding your jewellery pieces?

“It has been great actually! It (Hill to Street) has been around for a year and a half and initially when I started, there was a lot of educating required to sort of explain to the public about what pure silver is all about.

People are so used to seeing sterling silver 925 in stores like Pandora or Tiffany & Co, which are shiny silver. Here I am, with big chunky pieces and in terms of tone, it is different, and pure silver is softer as well. So there was a lot of explaining to do and how to wear these chunky pieces. The response has been very good and it is as though we have opened up a market where no one really notices at all and all of a sudden people like it.”

What advice do you have for aspiring jewellery designers in Malaysia?

“You just have to do it! Don’t overthink it, just do it if that is your passion. But, I’ll have to say that you need to create your own style. For me, I would focus on one style that I really like and go from there.”

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