Inside the World of a Jewelry Designer and Gemologist
WHAT TIME DID YOU WAKE UP TODAY?
I usually wake up at 6 a.m. to see the kids off to school and spend time with the hubby before he heads to work.
WHAT’S THE FIRST THING YOU USUALLY DO WHEN YOU WAKE UP?
I check my phone, wake the kids up, have breakfast with them, and force them to brush their teeth.
WHAT DID YOU HAVE FOR BREAKFAST?
I am not a big breakfast person. The only time I have breakfast is when I am out of the country. Usually a cup of coffee and a smoothie will do.
Who isn’t on a diet? Lately, I’ve been trying to eat healthy and do portion control.
REGULAR EXERCISE ROUTINE?
I try to work out four or five times a week. I’m glad to say that I am finally enjoying it. It took two months but now my body craves it.
I love my pills and potions! I use La Mer for day and night and add a serum from Kiehl’s at night. I often use face masks at home for hydration. I also go to my dermatologist, Dr. Windie Hayano, every other month for facials and lasers.
WHAT’S IT LIKE WORKING WITH YOUR FAMILY? DO YOU EVER GET TIRED OF SEEING EACH OTHER?
Working with the family is fun and crazy. I see my sister Candy almost daily since her store is right next to mine. The rest of them I see during
the weekends and family outings. I don’t know if the concept of “space” exists between us.
DID YOU ALWAYS KNOW YOU WOULD BE A JEWELER LIKE YOUR MOTHER?
Ever since I was 15, she has influenced me in so many ways to take over the business when I grew older. I tried to resist at first but then realized it was futile. In retrospect, I am glad that she did that for I do love what I do. It is a great passion.
HOW DO YOU COME UP WITH DESIGNS SEASON AFTER SEASON?
Designing comes naturally. Every season, I try to supplement the existing
collections I have and think of ways to further my line.
SOURCES OF INSPIRATION?
No other outlet helps me more than traveling for inspiration. When my mind is relaxed, the creative bug flows within me.
Semi-precious stones from Janina’s collection of gems.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT YOUR APPEARANCE?
Is this a trick question? Maybe ask my husband and friends. I do like my hands though. I feel that they are strong.
YOU’RE ALSO KNOWN FOR YOUR IMPECCABLE STYLE. WHAT’S YOUR FASHION PHILOSOPHY?
I dress mainly for myself with the thought of always letting the jewelry shine first. I am drawn to really well-made clothes with a twist of the unexpected.
DESCRIBE YOUR OWN PERSONAL CLOTHING STYLE.
It really varies from day to day. I can be quite the tomboy one day, then the romantic dresser the next. One thing is I have to be comfortable.
I love KISH and Cura V. Abroad, I love Apropos in Cologne, Barneys in the States, and the mothership of all stores, Hermès.
Anything black or white.
FAVORITE BRANDS AND DESIGNERS?
I go to Ivar Aseron, Dennis Lustico, and Gian Romano. For international brands, Chanel, Alexander Wang, and Rick Owens.
WHAT’S THE NEWEST PIECE OF CLOTHING YOU BOUGHT?
A Chanel tweed jacket. It’s a timeless classic that I can pass on to my daughter.
I was a bit obssessed with the Adidas Superstar and Stan Smith sneakers.
A vintage Patek Philippe.
WHAT’S IN YOUR JEWELRY BOX?
Diamonds. They really are my best friend.
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR FAMILY.
My husband is a banker who works in a multinational company. He hails from Germany. I have a boy and a girl who are as precocious as they are lovely.
HOW MUCH OF A DOMESTIC DIVA ARE YOU? HOW OFTEN DO YOU GET TO STAY AT HOME DOING DOMESTIC DUTIES?
I might not be the most domestic diva but I do know how to get down and dirty in the kitchen if I have to. When we are in Germany, I make cans and cans of fresh strawberry and blueberry jams to take home.
WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING RIGHT NOW?
I am reading Kevin Kwan’s China Rich Girlfriend, a hilarious and fun read. However, I do keep Conversations with God by my bedside for inspired reading.
RECENT BOOKS THAT STAND OUT?
I just reread One Day, by David Nicholls. Angela’s Ashes, by Frank McCourt, and The Time Traveler’s Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger, always make me cry. Any of David Sedaris’ books make me laugh. I was supposed to meet him at a book signing but I gave birth that day.
Town&Country, of course! I also love the Financial Times’ How to Spend it edition.
LUNCH TODAY: BUSINESS OR PLEASURE?
My lunch was spent leisurely with the T&C team for today’s shoot.
USUAL LUNCH COMPANIONS?
My sister Candy and my friend Paul Syjuco.
Any of the dining establishments at the Peninsula.
WHAT’S ON THE MENU?
I usually go for the all-day breakfast menu or the Cobb salad.
Japanese or French.
DRINK OF CHOICE?
Water and fresh coconut juice.
WHAT WAS THE PRETTIEST THING YOU SAW TODAY?
My daughter sleeping. I was in awe of her innocent beauty.
Dancing, terrarium making, and shopping for my sisters and girlfriends.
WHAT DO YOU DO AS SOON AS YOU GET HOME?
I greet the kids and take off my makeup.
WHAT DOES YOUR HOME LOOK LIKE?
Cozy and inviting.
WHAT’S THE NEWEST THING YOU BOUGHT FOR YOUR HOME?
A malachite and chrysocolla slab.
HOW DO YOU ENTERTAIN?
Very casually. I always try to make it as informal as possible.
Maybe once every two months. I’d rather be the guest than the host.
ANY GUILTY PLEASURE TODAY?
I had my makeup done by the Shu Uemura team. I usually do it on my own so it was a special treat to be pampered.
Waiting. I am quite impatient.
WHO IS YOUR DREAM DATE?
I would love to sit down with the Duchess of Windsor, Wallis Simpson, and peruse her jewelry collection.
LOVE OF YOUR LIFE?
QUALITY YOU LIKE MOST IN A MAN?
That he constantly challenges himself to be a better man.
WHERE ARE YOU HAVING DINNER TONIGHT?
WHAT’S FOR DINNER?
Thai shrimp cakes and larb moo gai.
WHAT ELSE ARE YOU UP TO TONIGHT?
It’s date night with the hubby. We usually catch a movie or dinner.
WHAT TIME ARE YOU GOING TO SLEEP?
Early, since I was given the advice to sleep more.
WHAT DO YOU HOPE TO DREAM ABOUT?
Happiness and health for the ones I love.