Atlas Pearls Company GMs Sonia Mackay-Coghill and Pierre Falloud give a heads-up to The Yak about the enduring role of the pearl in decorating the human body.
Who what and where make up Atlas Pearls and Perfumes Ltd?
Atlas is an ASX listed company with head offices and retail stores in both Perth, Western Australia and Bali, Indonesia. It employs in excess of 800 people. Today, Atlas has an enviable reputation as a global leader in eco-pearling, specialising in the highly sought after quality South Sea white and silver pearls with our farms spread across the Indonesian archipelago in Bali, Flores, Alor and West Papua. Atlas is a fully integrated business. We own and operate several pearl farms, manage loose pearl distribution, have in-house jewellery manufacturing capabilities and operate numerous retail outlets.
– GM Jewellery, Cosmetics & Perfumes, Sonia Mackay-Coghill.
Bali is ideally located in the pristine waters of the South Seas. The islands around Bali provide beautiful natural oyster beds for the pinctada maxima shell, which produces the most superb white pearls in the world. After over 20 years developing our pearl farms in the waters off Bali we have pioneered some of the most sophisticated farming practices globally. Through that time we have had an equal commitment to investing in the local communities in which we operate, refining the skills of local Balinese women in the art of oyster seeding, through to the harvesting of the pearls.
– GM Pearling Pierre Falloud.
Where is your jewellery marketed?
(SM-C) Bali is the epicentre of the launch of our new retail brand, AYU. The diverse profile of people visiting provides an ideal platform for us to validate our design and customer service ethos.
How would you describe your designs?
(PF) Our design ethos is centred on the simple beauty of the South Seas pearl, designing infinitely wearable pieces that reflect lifestyle, enduring beauty and playfulness.
How long has the company been going?
(SM-C) We have been the farmers of these pearls for more than 20 years and are now looking forward to applying our deep insight and passion to our new jewellery range.
Are you making other products in addition to jewellery?
(SM-C) We are. AYU will also release a lifestyle fragrance and body indulgence range that captures the essence of the South Seas islands, incorporating pearl extracts.
Do you cater to a specific trends or fashions?
(SM-C) Ours are enduring designs that will live with the wearer for a lifetime.
Where do you get your design ideas from?
(SM-C) We begin and end with the pearl. Each pearl speaks for itself and has an individual beauty. Our design challenge is creating enough space to allow the pearl to reveal its inner beauty.
Salvador Bali talks to Teguh from Grammes.
OK, bring the bling!
Teguh Budi Raharjo and I’m from Solo, central Java and I have been in Bali for 15 years now, I am 37 years old .
I’m surprised with all this jewellery hanging around. How long have you been in the business?
Ten years now.
Have you always been in the jewellery business?
Well no actually, my background was in accounting.
Do you design all your own jewelry?
What is your target market?
What materials do you use?
Silver, only silver.
I use semi-precious stones, freshwater pearls, woods, leather, and that encompasses earrings, bracelets and rings and necklaces.
Are your designs created in Bali and where does your creativity come from?
Yes, I have my own workshop and I do employ some silversmiths, but most of my creativity comes from nature . . . it inspires me. I try to make new designs every week. I enjoy designing necklaces, earrings and rings the most.
Do you do export?
Yes. I also have two shops; in Seminyak another in Sanur, but I have jewellery on consignment in 13 other shops.
Do you pay attention to trends?
Trends are very important and I travel a lot, so I get lots of ideas from that.
Laia Gil from jewellery company, Kapal-Laut, tells us what we need to know about style, writes Salvador Bali.
Who’s in control here?
I am, my name is Laia and I’m from Barcelona.
How long have you been living in Bali?
This December it will be 10 years already . . . you don’t realise it goes so fast. Time flies in Bali.
How long has Kapal-Laut been in business?
The first shop which was on Jalan Double Six was five and a half years ago. After the first test, we decided to expand to other areas around Bali.
How many shops do you have now?
Ten in all: Sanur, Seminyak, Kuta Square, Jimbaran and Ubud, all with the same brand design. We always choose prime locations, and Seminyak would be our flagship though.
Looks like Bali has been very good to you?
Yes, and also we try to be good to Bali too! Besides that, all the team works very hard. It’s a team success.
Is your jewellery produced here in Bali?
Yes, we try to work with good local suppliers. Some processes are done in Bali, some in Java and we source the world for the right quality components.
Besides suppliers, do you work with hand carvers or specific villages?
We work with a lot of people, we don’t have them working in-house, we make it to order, then we go to the craftsmen and we select the craftsmen according to the skill they have. After all these years, we know who will be the one to handle that particular model.
Do you have any influences in jewellery designs?
To be honest, not really, we try to be informed on the international market so we know which the trends are and we try to adopt the trend to our own style and we travel the world’s most important jewelry exhibitions. If you only follow the trend you have to change every six months – we’re here for quite a while, not just a pop-up store.
What market is your jewellery aimed at?
We focus at the mid to high range market in Bali, both residents and tourists (Indonesians and foreigners).
Do you export as well?
Yes, Kapal-Laut has some resellers overseas, so we are spreading the word!
Design-wise, where does your imagination lie?
Basically we’re focused on western minimalist, quite plain, a little bit of stones or pearls, or the design shape itself. We try to stay simple stylish, whatever goes with simple, goes with our designs, not meaning fast or cheap, but something you can wear on many different occasions.
The Yak puts on the glitz with renowned interior designer Zohra Boukhari who has opened Shan-Shan – a boutique selling feminine accessories, fantasy jewellery, bags and scarves.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your connection with jewellery.
Zohra Boukhari, from Morocco, grew up in Belgium. I love travelling, and every time I go to any country I like to take some jewellery in different kinds of styles from the villages I visit. I always try to find something very special. I then put all this jewellery together as eclectic collections.
Do you also look at trends?
I do, and let’s say I go to India I do try to see what’s going on there and so on. But I like very much antique style jewellery.
So you’re dealing on an international market and your customers do not go to your outlet for a particular style?
Not really, but maybe when I mix all the things together I have a plan and it’s a style, it’s a Shan-Shan collection style. Our age range is from six to 86 . . . something for everybody.
What kind of statement are you trying to make?
For me, that would be bringing colours, light, happy small touches that make a difference, you don’t have to wear the same jewelry all the time, so to change according to what you wear. So I try to make comfortable prices and styles. I believe any woman can find what she’s looking for.
What is your price range?
From Rp. 25,000 to Rp.600,000 – good prices for good quality.
Import and export as well?
What materials do you use?
Mostly metals, pearls, beads, copper, fabrics – no silver or gold.
Do you work in Bali?
Yes we do, overseas if I find what I like, but we produce in Bali. I deal with people who have reputations and they deal with craftsmen and different villages. Most of the time I try to buy from the craftsmen directly. Our jewellery is more like handmade, bracelets, necklaces and earrings.
How many stores to date?
Three stores here in Bali and we just opened up one in Paris. We want to open more . . .
How long has the jewellery bug been biting you?
Been a long time already, but I have a home linen accessory company and what I have done was to put my jewellery with my home linen – when I make a table setting I will put napkin holders with jewellery designs and this is how the idea started. It worked very well and then I started to travel with my two daughters – ages 15 and 19 and they wanted to choose the jewellery with me. I said okay, if we do that let’s make a shop together, a ladies shop.
I actually love jewellery, I have been at it a long time. I’m a collector and I was selling individual pieces before the shop, so my goal is to satisfy most women.