Monday, 31 May 2021

ByCanary rewrites the handbook for online jewellery stores

*Produced by SilverKris for ByCanary*

Online jewellery stores aren’t exactly new. While buyers once preferred the reassurance of brick-and-mortar stores, millennial expectations on aesthetics, price points and the shopping experience have rapidly evolved in recent years. Dozens of online jewellery retailers have popped up in Singapore alone, offering secure shipping, everyday designs and affordable prices.

ByCanary online jewellery stores
Rings from ByCanary’s Vintage Collection

But there’s more to it than just convenience. “Contemporary online buyers aren’t just looking for collectible stones,” explains ByCanary founder and third-generation jeweller Johnny Lam. “They’re looking for design-forward items that speak to their sense of self and their values.”

An off-shoot of decades-old jewellery brand Canary Diamond, ByCanary is an online platform that engages millennials by combining generations of industry know-how with contemporary concerns, such as sustainable sourcing and an interest in heritage. In doing so, Johnny believes the brand goes above and beyond the competition.

Here’s what makes ByCanary so special.

Everyday, affordable design

Johnny is all too aware that contemporary jewellery shoppers are looking for design-forward pieces that can be worn every day and that don’t cost the earth. That’s why, in addition to diamond and ruby pieces, ByCanary’s rings, necklaces, earrings and bracelets feature pearls and personality-packed semi-precious stones such as pink tourmaline, onyx, yellow citrine and lots more.

Affordability aside, this diversity of stones also invites buyers to consider their personalities and tastes. ByCanary’s Vintage Collection, for example, is comprised of nostalgia-inspiring pendants and other pieces. The upcoming Golden Conversation will feature a series of short videos celebrating what’s special about people from all walks of life. This campaign will be followed by the launch of the Quintessence collection, whose iconic feature will be the floating diamond.

ByCanary online jewellery stores
A bracelet from ByCanary’s Vintage Collection

Collaborations that tell heritage stories

ByCanary’s biggest unique selling point is its creative collaborations with personalities in Singapore and across the world. The company teams up with these women to produce one-off jewellery collections that represent the collaborator’s beliefs, aesthetics and heritage. Johnny explains that ByCanary equips their collaborators “with best practices for jewellery design, and support them in doing the rest.” In addition to keeping the inventory fresh, these collaborations also encourage cross-pollination between diverse fan bases.

Their inaugural collaboration, for example, has been with Malaysian fashion entrepreneur Ung Yiu Lin, founder of online fashion retailer ShoesShoesShoes. The collection comprises customisable, modular bracelets and necklaces set in simple, classic designs. Each collaboration also has a charitable component – Yiu Lin selected Malaysian educational charity Dignity for Children to receive 10% of all profits from the collection.

ByCanary online jewellery stores
A modular ring from the Yiulin X ByCanary collection

ByCanary has a steady pipeline of exciting upcoming collaborations, including a hiphop-inspired collection with Singaporean musician Abbey, and a Greek mythology-inspired one with Singapore-based blogger Nixalina – both scheduled to be released from June onwards.

Later in the year, ByCanary will launch a collection by Colombian fashion designer Laura Aparicio, who is using yellow gold and carnelian to create modern, wearable jewellery inspired by the Indigenous Pijao community. Tierra Grata, an organisation that provides water, sanitation and energy for rural communities, will receive 10% of all profits from the collection to further support the Pijao.

Johnny believes these collaborations give ByCanary shoppers meaningful connections with other people and other cultures. “You can’t exactly jump on a plane and go to Colombia these days,” he says. “The world may have shrunk, but human connection feels harder to come by.”

ByCanary online jewellery stores
A set from ByCanary’s collaboration with Yiu Lin

Customised and personalised jewellery

One potential drawback of online jewellery shopping is the lack of customisation that brick-and-mortar stores provide. ByCanary makes customisation possible and affordable in a few key ways.

Customisation is limited to the gold and the choice of stone. Customers can choose from  rose, white, yellow and black gold, and in many cases they may swap out the stones as well. “We had a client who customised a sentimental piece for herself,” Johnny recalls. “The centre stone was her husband’s birthstone, and since her she and her son share the same birthstone, we placed them as the two side stones of the piece.”

Delivery takes roughly 30 days, and while this is longer than some online jewellery stores, there’s a very good reason for it. “We make all pieces to order in order to have a more mindful and sustainable production process,” Johnny says. “This eliminates unnecessary costs and allows us to offer better prices to our customers.”

ByCanary online jewellery stores
A custom birthstone necklace by ByCanary

Ethical supply chains and eco-friendly mailing

Online shopping has gone into overdrive over the past year, and with it the amount of plastic used in packaging. ByCanary is mindful of its carbon footprint in this regard. “All our suppliers are certified sustainable,” explains Andrea Chy. “We use FSC-certified paper boxes and shreds made of recycled paper – and we’re still determined to keep improving.”

More than just packaging, ByCanary’s supply-chain reflects its contemporary ethical concerns, from the gold to the stones. “We only work with diamond suppliers who undergo the Kimberley Process and ensure the diamonds we buy are all ethically sourced,” Johnny explains. He goes on to proudly describe how even the gold and precious metals are recycled as much as possible to avoid mining the earth.

In the ever-expanding world of online jewellery stores, this two-pronged commitment both to creative collaboration and ethical business practices sets ByCanary apart  – and keeps buyers coming back for new and refreshed collections.


Discover ByCanary’s jewellery collections and collaborations.


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