The founder of Shikha S. Lamba Designs, Shikha designs and creates exquisitely crafted timeless pieces of jewellery that enhance any and every ensemble. Here she shares with us the story of her journey to being a jewellery designer, her inspirations and some tips for the budding entrepreneurs of Hong Kong.
Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what brought you to Hong Kong?
I am originally from India, but I have lived overseas for most of my life. I moved to Hong Kong from New York, where my husband and I lived for 4 years after getting married.We decided to move back east to be closer to home. My husband, who is an investment banker, chose Hong Kong as it’s the banking hub for Asia and moreover combines the best of the east and the west.
What was your inspiration behind starting Jewellery by Shikha Lamba ?
I’ve always loved the arts and the creative aspect in things. On a family member’s recommendation I decided to study jewelry design and gemology. While in New York I taught jewelry design and some other classes at the Gemological Institute of America (G.I.A.), but realised that my real passion was to design rather than teach! I started a small home based jewelry company in New York called “Fusion Inspirations”, which I then re-launched as “Shikha S. Lamba Designs” once I moved to Hong Kong.
How do you draw inspiration for your beautiful jewellery designs ?
My inspiration comes from various sources. I absolutely love gemstones and love to create pieces around gemstones. I also like using various jewelry making techniques and combining traditional and modern design styles. I love the motifs and designs in jewelry, clothes and architecture in old cultures like India, Egypt, Morocco, Turkey etc. I use many of these motifs in my designs as well. My favourite thing to do is to combine motifs or techniques from different cultures or combine a modern gemstone with an antique design. Of course nature and people in general are a constant source of inspiration for me. I love working one on one with my clients to design custom pieces for them. In custom design you take inspiration from a person’s personality, their likes and dislikes, their wishes and hopes and you put all of that into a piece of jewelry.
What do you love most about being an entrepreneur in Hong Kong
Hong kong is a great market for all kinds of business’. Hong Kong makes it easy to do business – from the paper work to the infrastructure to available resources. Hong Kong, like New York, has a mix of so many cultures and people that there is something here for everyone…and the opportunity to provide something for everyone.
What are some of the challenges that you faced when starting your business in HK
When I first started my company years ago, my biggest challenge was getting the word out about my work. I think in the last 3-4 years the options for small business advertising in HK have increased immensely.
What is the biggest challenge you face today in running your business
Time management – I am a mother (I have 2 young kids), homemaker, and I run my own business . In my line of work, taking a long break means losing out on clients. I have to constantly work on putting my name out there, coming out with new collections every 3-4 months. Since I do almost everything on my own, from designing the pieces, to photographing them, to running my website and the advertising, I often have to compromise on time with my children. And when circumstances are such where most of my time goes to my children then I have to compromise on my work.
What are the biggest do’s and don’ts of having your own business
For me the biggest “Do” is to see how functional your business idea is. I believe in giving the idea a lot of time. Why do you want to do this? Who is your audience? How much do you want to be involved? And how can you sustain this idea for a few years keeping it alive, fresh and growing. Hong Kong is a very fast paced city and there are many business’ that do not last as they cannot hold the interest of the people.
One of the biggest “don’ts” for me would be to start a business that is very similar to others in your field. Don’t follow anyone else’s style or path or way of running a business. Hong Kong is a small city and you want to stand out.
Some tips that you would like to share with budding entrepreneurs in Hong Kong
Going back to my earlier point, think about your idea, explore it, research it. Have your basic questions answered. Why do you want to do this? Do you have the skill set to do this? How far can you realistically go with the idea and who is your clientele?
Implementing I feel requires a lot of work in general but, once the answers to the above questions are clear, your path for implementation is clear as well.
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