By Bervin Cheong, 16 February 2020.
A world of beauty can be derived from friendship. At least this is the case for Kin, a Malaysian jewellery brand founded in 2018 by two very good friends, Athiya Hamid, 31, and Zaireen Iskandar, 38.
The duo actually started out as colleagues. With a shared love for gorgeous jewellery – especially pieces that, as they put it, “would not break the bank”, it led to them creating their own.
“We quickly became good friends after various dive trips together, ” they said, about having met after working at an advertising agency in Kuala Lumpur. “Even after ad life, with marriage and kids, we continued to remain close.”
The demi-fine pieces they sell embody the idea of affordable luxury. Comprising earrings, pendants and chains, each design delivers chic creativity – tempered with a whole lot of edge.
“Purchasing fine jewellery often seemed a little far-fetched and we felt we deserved more than costume jewellery, ” Athiya and Zaireen pointed out, when contacted through email.
“After doing extensive research on a new jewellery category called ‘demi-fine’ that was making headway in the UK and the US, we knew that was where we wanted our brand to sit.”
According to them, they wanted to stay away from the delicate chains and earrings that are currently available in the market. Their designs are thus, bolder and a bit edgier.
“Our pieces are created for the everyday woman, who is always on-the-go, and is looking for pieces to elevate their everyday look. She doesn’t have all the time in the world to get dolled up, time typically isn’t on her side, ” they explained.
“She has responsibilities and obligations, a job, she has people and things to look after, friends to meet, events to attend, groceries to buy... the list goes on. But it is still important to her to look and feel good.”
The Kin jewellery pieces (priced from RM370 to RM 950) are made in Thailand and Italy.
The two women said that the design process for both the collections they offer were not the same, and are based on different considerations.
It involved looking for the right people to create the jewellery. It also required sourcing for suppliers to fit various designs, not mentioning a whole lot of meticulous sketching.
“It was simple, yet difficult for the first hoops collection as we first had to find the right partners, which took months and many rounds of samples to ensure we met our vision of lightweight chunky hoops.
“It was a bit more tricky in some ways for the second collection of chains and charms, as we first had to find the right style of chain that we wanted, with the quality that we expected.”