A passion for design runs deep in Emily Tan I Fern, founder and creative lead of fine bespoke jeweller Calla Lily. Emily, who was born in Penang but moved to Singapore as a child, got her degree from the London College of Fashion and is a graduate gemologist of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Driven by a desire to create pieces that last, she found her place in fine bespoke jewellery after getting a start in bespoke shoes and costume jewellery. She has honed her skills with some of the most respected artisans in the trade, and worked with Jimmy Choo Couture in London, Marni in Milan, and Kara Ross in New York before making her entrance onto Singapore’s fine bespoke jewellery scene in 2011. Calla Lily is her first independent brand. Emily’s classic, feminine, yet whimsical designs have helped her stand out among local designers, and she is known for her warmth, attention to detail and deep knowledge of gems. She draws inspiration from everything around her – the stories of the people she meets and designs for, the stones that make up her palette, and the artisanal flair of the Tiong Bahru area where her studio is located.
“People’s ideas, people’s stories, people’s experiences, they all inspire me. What I am looking for is your heart’s desire.” – Emily Tan
While her background lies in interior design and architecture, Anita Shewchuk discovered a natural flair for fine bespoke jewellery in 2016. She previously worked at architecture and design firms Ministry of Design and Takenouchi Webb. While on the lookout for new opportunities, Anita landed at a bespoke jewellery design house working under Emily Tan who recognised her innate talent and unusual approach to shapes and lines. Last year, she joined Calla Lily, bringing with her a post-modern design ethos that pays tribute to her architectural roots. Born in Canada to Singaporean and Ukrainian parents and raised in Singapore, Anita’s cosmopolitan outlook informs her designs and ideas. The most critical part of her design process, she says, is listening for the details that make a piece of jewellery truly personal, and then working those into her sketches.
“There is a certain look in people’s eyes when a sketch is close to what they desire… then I know, yes, we can start working in this direction. I may be the designer but this is your story, and my job is to help put your stamp on a piece of jewellery.” – Anita Shewchuk
The Calla Lily Experience
At Calla Lily, every handcrafted piece starts with a conversation. No idea is too outlandish, no detail too insignificant, and no occasion too small to mark.
Our starting point is the story you want to tell with your unique handcrafted piece. If you’re new to gems, we’ll take you through the various options to find what speaks to you. Once you’ve found the perfect stone to capture your sentiments, we’ll share initial ideas and decide on the best setting to accentuate it. If you already have a specific stone in mind, we’re happy to help you track it down.
We're known for our distinctively playful design signature – our designs can be made modular, so you can adapt your piece to various occasions, or combine it with other pieces to create new looks.
Many of our clients also turn to us when they want to repurpose a family heirloom or reimagine an old piece. They trust us to preserve the sanctity of each piece while breathing new life into them.
At Calla Lily, the bespoke experience is both enjoyable and comfortable, and as delightful as making a new friend.
The trumpet-shaped calla lily is a symbol of rebirth and change, and borrows its name from the Greek word for most beautiful – calla. It is the perfect symbol to signify the start of a new and independent journey for both founder Emily Tan and designer Anita Shewchuk, and also the beginning of the many stories that they will tell through precious stones and bespoke pieces.
Come into our studio
When we went looking for a studio in 2018, we wanted a space that not only spoke to our craft, but would inspire our clients, especially since we spend a lot of time with them. That guided the design of our studio, brought to life at the end of 2018 with the help of homegrown interior design and branding house Parable Studio.
The ground floor-unit on Eng Hoon Street has the feel of an elegant yet comfortable home, with creative touches to inspire, and modular spaces for privacy. For most of the day, it is also flooded with natural light, which brings out the best in our gemstones.
The combination of history and heritage, artisanal flair, and the modern, cosmopolitan culture of Tiong Bahru forms the perfect backdrop for Calla Lily’s creations.
Studio consultations, which run from 10.30 am to 6.30 pm, Mondays to Saturdays, are by appointment only. Please click here, or call +65 67810260 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a slot.