Telling a story through gemstones


VIBRANT gemstones linked by golden chains and intricate, bold detailing—this is what defines jewelry couturier Tim Tam Ong’s Wonderland Collection. However, more than the beauty that showcases distinct Filipino artisanship that the creator’s pieces are famous for, there’s a story that collection tells.

In a world of constant challenges and chaos, all we truly need is a safe haven, a place where we can surrender all our little doubts in our own little wonderland. Tim Tam Ong has found her own, and she wants to share it to the world.

This concept of a “haven” is explained in the story that inspired her collection, that of a little girl who followed a golden butterfly to a place called Wonderland. Here, the girl finds happiness and courage, knowing that she could always go back to this magical place. The collection brings to life the this haven of the little girl’s.

“It’s inevitable that we face challenges and disappointments in life, [and] it’s important to have a safe place that one can turn to when things get tough,” Tim Tam said during the collection’s unveiling. “Wonderland is a collection that captures the imagination, hope and serenity that this child possesses and her search for her own haven.”

The jewelry pieces draw inspirations from butterflies, flowers, leaves and the Wonderland’s sky. Tim Tam said she and her team of craftsmen worked closely to make these images come alive by paying attention to the characteristics of the collection’s muse: nature.

“We worked extra hard to capture the details,” Tim Tam enthused. “For example, when we made the butterfly, we weren’t simply trying to create a semblance of a butterfly, we wanted to bring the butterfly to life.”

The designer further explained to BusinessMirror over a cup of tea at Raffle’s Makati: “Most of the collections that we do, we’re focused on craftsmanship. There’s a lot of movement, because we like to capture moments and not just sell jewelries.”

As for the quality of the pieces, Tim Tam said, “We only use good quality stones like chalcedonies, rubies and carved stones, which are also handmade. All of our jewelry pieces are handcrafted.”

“I’m a very detailed person; I take into consideration the proportion, size and fit. When we make jewelry, it’s a total package. For us, it’s not only about how it looks; we consider the feel of the client when they wear it. When a piece is made, and let’s say it’s not wearable, or it’s too heavy or the design was not executed the way they want it, we melt it and we do another piece,” Tim Tam said.

One piece can take weeks, months, some even years to make. “It depends on the craftsmanship that’s entailed. It does take a lot of time because if we don’t like the design, we keep on redoing it until we know that it’s really good.”

When asked about her target market for the Wonderland Collection, the designer said the pieces should appeal to women who are healed. “They’re confident women, and they don’t mind being extraordinary. I hope that my pieces give them the same happiness that they give me,” Tim Tam added.

In closing, she said, “I’ve had my share of bad days. We just have to find the strength to rise from these encounters.” After all, at the end of the day, we all can come home to our own little Wonderlands.

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