Many have mentioned that we do not interview enough females in these columns. While I disagree, I find myself interested to study a new pattern in our trade: The Path of Inheritance in the Trade, is it a curse, a boon or a bit of both?
To that end, we have decided to interview Kamila Guerchouche about her new brand, Kaerche and used this opportunity to ask her a few questions about her path as a second generation gem dealer.
If you are as interested in that story and potential new questioning arc, follow us with this very first iteration of the renewed Gem Dealer’s Journal,
Kamila, the floor is yours,
Introducing Kamila Guerchouche, Founder of Kaerche Jewelry and daughter of the eponymous Ruby Lord - Photo Credit: Kamila Guerchouche for Kaerche
AsiaLounges: Hi Kamila, thanks for being with us today. Mind if we start the interview as we always do? Could you tell us more about you, how and where you grew up? Who are you Kamila Guerchouche?
Kamila Guerchouche: Hi Simon! Well, thank you for giving me the opportunity to be part of your interview lineup! I’m happy to share a bit about myself with your readers.
I’m Kamila, half Thai half French, I grew up in Bangkok, Thailand and I’m an only child (I promise, I’m not too spoiled haha) my parents always had my back and made sure to shape me into a well-rounded individual. They’ve instilled in me a love for exploration and learning about different cultures from a very young age. We traveled extensively, and those experiences broadened my horizons and nurtured my curiosity.
My parents also encouraged me to participate in various activities and had me attend summer camps during my childhood, which further enriched my life and helped me develop into an independent and creative individual. This upbringing played a crucial role in shaping the person I am today.
Miss Guerchouche carefully selecting the gems that'll adorn her creations - Photo Credits: Kamila Guerchouche for Kaerche
AsiaLounges: Normally I would ask you how you came to learn of the world of gems but in your case, I’d rather ask what decided you come to our merry world of gems after you studied for e-marketing ?
Kamila Guerchouche: This is a very interesting question, and my journey into the world of gems is quite the adventure! Despite growing up surrounded by gemstones, at first they did not really catch my interest, and never would I have imagined ending up in this field!
A few years back when I finished high school, I decided to take a break from formal education to discover my true passions and interests. I spent two years in Paris, exploring various creative pursuits like cinema makeup, participating in socially oriented projects, and trying my hand at digital marketing and e-commerce, freelancing as well as traveling around Europe… However, albeit these experiences, I still felt a sense of emptiness as I had yet to find my true calling. I had yet to find something I could be truly passionate about for the rest of my life.
At a crossroads, I contemplated returning home and pursuing a more traditional educational path, but then fate intervened. My father was about to open a gem trade school called the “Institute of Gem Trading” (IGT Thailand). He suggested I help with the initial digital marketing for the school, and I thought, "Why not?”
As I became more involved in the project, I started to immerse myself in the world of gems which allowed me to learn on the job and to gain valuable insights. The turning point for me was when I participated in a class on cutting and recutting gemstones. It was by witnessing the intricate process of transforming rough rocks into stunning gems that the spark was born, that’s when I knew that I wanted to delve deeper into this captivating realm.
With growing fascination, I began researching extensively, seeking knowledge from my father, and developing a genuine passion for gemstones. However, I realized I didn't just want to deal with gems; I wanted to express my creativity through them. I was already thinking of having my own jewelry brand. Problem, I didn’t have enough experience at that time.
As a social butterfly, I feared this might be just another phase in my life, not only for myself but also for my father. To be certain that this was the path I wanted to pursue after IGT, we decided to work together first. My father assigned small tasks to me, revealed the intricacies of the gem business, and, to my surprise, I found myself falling in love with the industry.
Finally, I took the lead and applied for the colored gemstone program at a gemology school, solidifying my commitment to this fascinating world of gems. And that's how I arrived at this merry world of gems, driven by curiosity, passion, and the desire to combine my creativity with these breathtaking natural wonders.
AsiaLounges: Considering the path you have taken early on in your student life, do you think these earlier steps in your career are helping you with the development of your brand, Kaerche? If yes, how so?
Kamila Guerchouche: Absolutely! The brand "KAERCHE" is a true reflection of who I am and the diverse path I've taken in my life.
It’s the embodiment of the inspirations gathered through my travels, the fusion of various cultures, my profound love and passion for gems and jewelry, and my belief in the energies gemstones possess. It’s a beautiful culmination of everything I've learned and experienced throughout the years.
I take immense pride in being a one-person powerhouse, handling every aspect of KAERCHE myself. I wear multiple hats, serving as a jewelry designer, photographer, digital marketer, writer, and even a model! It's like being an all-in-one creative force, and I find joy in every role I take on.
By channeling my diverse background and skillset into KAERCHE, I infuse the brand with a unique blend of creativity, passion, and authenticity. Every piece and element of the brand is carefully curated, making it a genuine expression of my journey and the things I hold dear.
In essence, the early steps of my career and the path I've taken since have been instrumental in shaping KAERCHE into what it is today – a vibrant, multifaceted representation of myself and my unwavering dedication to the world of gems and jewelry.
AsiaLounges: Speaking about Kaerche, entrepreneurialism is a rather arduous and ingrate path, what drove you to your first steps in that direction ?
Kamila Guerchouche: Entrepreneurship and creating Kaerche felt like a natural calling for me. I've always had this innate desire to have something of my own, and it has been a long-standing dream of mine. As I gained experiences in various fields, I came to the realization that working for others didn't align with who I am and what I wanted to achieve.
For me, it's not just about running a business; it's about pursuing a meaningful venture that holds personal significance. I yearned for a sense of fulfillment, and I craved the excitement that comes from setting ambitious goals and constantly challenging myself. I find immense joy in both the process of working passionately and enjoying what I do, while at the same time striving to achieve new heights and meet new objectives.
In essence, entrepreneurship allows me to blend my passions, talents, and aspirations into a unified and purpose-driven journey. Creating and nurturing Kaerche gives me the opportunity to pour my heart and soul into a venture that is not only mine but also a reflection of who I am and what I believe in.
AsiaLounges: As the daughter of one of the famous Thai Ruby Lords, would you consider your position to be fortunate, difficult or to be a curse in disguise? Why would you consider it so and, if it is both a boon and a curse, how are you leveraging both sides of this “coin”?
Kamila Guerchouche: (Chuckles) Well that is another very interesting question, I've certainly pondered over it myself!
I would say that being the daughter of one of the famous “Thai Ruby Lords” (haha) has its share of both blessings and challenges.
Initially, I grappled with the idea of entering this world of gems as my own decision and not caring about what other people think. At first, I had this fear of being in my father’s "shadow", or being this stereotype of “kids of gem dealer following their dad's path" etc.
Overcoming this fear was a process, as I presented my project and interacted with my father's friends, colleagues, and others in the trade, I received an unexpectedly warm and supportive response. It helped me find my own identity within the gem world and build confidence in my jewelry brand, Kaerche. But the most important point is that I BELIEVED in my project, in what I was going to do no matter what people told me, that I would do it anyways because it’s my life, my choice, my carrer. Now, I embrace the opportunity to carry forward the family legacy while making it uniquely my own.
On the fortunate side, having my father's expertise and experience in the trade has been an incredible privilege. I am immensely grateful for the access I have to valuable resources, the chance to behold some of the world's most remarkable gemstones, and the opportunity to receive advice and guidance from an expert like him. Being part of this well-established network also allows me to meet remarkable individuals and opens doors to unique and exciting opportunities.
This balance allows me to navigate my journey confidently, establishing Kaerche as a brand with its own voice and identity while cherishing the invaluable experiences and connections my family heritage provides.
AsiaLounges: Further to the above question, as a second generation trade’s person and someone whom has been working with your father for a while, what are the biggest challenges that you guys had to work out in order to work together?
Kamila Guerchouche: Working with my father as a second-generation trade person has been an rewarding experience! I feel blessed to have a strong father-daughter bond that serves as the foundation of our collaboration.
While we haven't encountered any major challenges, as we communicate openly and respect each other's opinions, we do have our moments of disagreement. In situations where disagreements arise, we handle them with respect and understanding, always aiming to find common ground.
One of the most significant advantages of our working relationship is the constant flow of knowledge and guidance that my father generously shares with me. His wealth of experience in the industry has been instrumental in shaping my understanding of the trade, and I deeply value the opportunities he provides for me to learn and grow.
We maintain a healthy exchange of ideas, and I always listen attentively to his valuable insights. He also seeks my input on certain aspects of the business, making me feel valued and appreciated. This collaborative dynamic not only strengthens our bond but also leads to well-informed decisions that benefit the business.
AsiaLounges: Back to your brand, your designs are very organic, some ethnically inspired, or so it seems. What drives your creativity? What is the origin of your designs, your brand and, in fine, of your brain child?
Kamila Guerchouche: Absolutely, you've captured it perfectly! The essence of Kaerche lies in its organic and ethnically inspired designs, and that's precisely what I aimed for.
For me, this brand is an authentic reflection of who I am as a person. It's not merely about creating a brand for the sake of it; instead, I wanted to convey a deeper meaning and purpose through my jewelry.
Jewelry, to me, is more than just an accessory. It holds the power to express one's identity, uniqueness, and confidence. Drawing inspiration from my dual heritage – a spiritual being - a blend of Thai and French cultures – and enriched by my extensive travels across the globe, I infuse my designs with a rich tapestry of experiences and influences.
The passion for gemstones also plays a significant role in shaping my creations. I believe in the beauty of raw, genuine designs that exude a sense of realness and authenticity. Each piece is meticulously crafted to resonate with the wearer and evoke a sense of connection with the earth's natural treasures.
AsiaLounges: Is there a specific meaning to the name of your collections ? Or a reason behind the materials you are using ?
Kamila Guerchouche: Definitely! Each collection and piece in my brand holds a specific and meaningful name. I draw inspiration from ancient mythologies, encompassing gods and goddesses from various cultures such as Greek, Arabic, and terms from the Sanskrit language. These names are carefully chosen to represent the essence and significance behind each design. It adds a layer of depth and storytelling to the jewelry, giving it a unique identity that resonates with wearers on a deeper level.
As for the materials used, I have chosen to work with gold vermeil. This choice is deliberate as it offers a wonderful alternative to pure gold, allowing me to create jewelry that strikes a balance between elegance and affordability. I believe that everyone should have access to beautifully designed and well-crafted jewelry, and gold vermeil enables me to achieve this while maintaining the essence of elegance and sophistication.
AsiaLounges: When can we expect Kaerche to open shop in a world capital ? Is it even one of your objectives?
Kamila Guerchouche: You see, when I was talking about achieving goals earlier in the interview, well this is one of them! (Chuckles)
It’s an exciting prospect, and while I can't pinpoint an exact timeframe at the moment and I can’t predict the future either, I am actively working towards making it a reality and I am committed to making every effort to bring Kaerche to a world capital in the near future!
I'm confident that with passion, perseverance, and the support of all those who believe in the brand, this exciting goal will soon become a reality.
AsiaLounges: Further to the above question, what is Kaerche’s brand vision? What does the brand stands for ? Your brochure speaks of spirituality, beauty and ethically sourced products, how do you highlight this in your products? How is it translated into actions ?
Kamila Guerchouche: Kaerche's brand vision is all about creating a deep sense of connection between people and the jewelry they wear. It's not just an accessory; it’s a part for your story and, wearing any kind of gemstone is a precious gift formed by the nature, evoking feelings of beauty and power. Each piece carries a symbolic essence, connecting the wearer to their inner desires, while embracing modern and timeless design elements.
To highlight spirituality, beauty, and ethical sourcing in our products, we follow a stringent process of responsible material sourcing and ethical practices throughout production. Our commitment to sustainability in the jewelry industry is unwavering, ensuring that our creations resonate with conscious consumers who seek both elegance and ethical values.
AsiaLounges: We are slowly reaching the end of the Interview and I was wondering if there was anything you’d like too discuss that we have yet to mention ?
Kamila Guerchouche: Well I think we’ve covered pretty much everything, I believe we've touched upon a wide range of interesting topics! Our discussion has been delightful! And I'm glad we had the opportunity to explore my journey, the inspiration behind Kaerche, and the values that drive me as an entrepreneur!
If I may add one last point, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to all those who have supported me throughout this incredible journey. From my family and friends to the wonderful individuals I've met in the gem trade and the customers who have embraced Kaerche, their encouragement and belief in my vision have been truly uplifting.
I am also excited about the future of Kaerche, and I'm eager to witness how the brand continues to evolve. I am dedicated to crafting exceptional pieces that resonate with people's hearts and reflect the beauty and authenticity of the natural world.
Once again, thank you for this opportunity to share my story and passion. It's been an absolute pleasure, and I look forward to seeing where this journey takes us next.
AsiaLounges: Last but not least, and as it is customary in this column I’d like to ask you to give a piece of advice to anyone wanting to follow in your footsteps as well as to recommend three books to our readers.
Kamila Guerchouche: My biggest advice for anyone would be:
- Embrace your passion and trust your gut. Don't let negative opinions deter you, as you can't please everyone. Listen to yourself and believe in your dreams, even when facing obstacles. View challenges as opportunities for growth and never give up on your aspirations.
- Stay Curious and Learn Continuously: The world of gems and jewelry is vast and constantly evolving. Keep your curiosity alive and stay open to new ideas and knowledge. Embrace learning as a lifelong journey that enriches both your personal and professional growth.
- Network and Collaborate: Building connections with like-minded individuals and industry experts can open doors to valuable opportunities and collaborations. Surround yourself with people who inspire and support your journey.
As for book recommendations, here are three that have been instrumental in shaping my mindset and approach:
- “The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho: A timeless classic, a beautiful tale of self-discovery, following one's dreams, and finding the true essence of life's journey. It reminds us to listen to our hearts and trust the path we choose.
- “Jewels: A Secret History" by Victoria Finlay: A journey through the history of precious gemstones, exploring their significance, allure, and cultural impact. It's a fascinating read for anyone with a love for gems and jewelry.
- “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne: book about how the law of attraction, which states that positive energy attracts positive things into your life, governs your thinking and actions, and how you can use the power of positive thinking to achieve anything you can imagine.
AsiaLounges: Thanks a lot for your time today Kamila, could you please remind our Loungers where they can reach out should they wish to know more about your products and your brand?
Kamila Guerchouche: Absolutely! I'd be thrilled to guide our Loungers on how to connect with Kaerche and explore our captivating products and brand further.
To stay updated with Kaerche's journey and discover some artsy and intriguing content, you can follow us on Instagram (@kaerche). I share daily posts to keep you engaged and inspired.
For a more detailed look at our pieces, their descriptions, and the meanings behind each design, you can visit our official website at www.kaerchejewelry.com. There, you'll find a curated collection that showcases the essence of our brand.
If you prefer a more personal touch or want to explore our creations in person, we welcome appointments at our temporary showroom. You can contact me directly by sending a message on Instagram or through email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll be more than happy to assist and guide you through the captivating world of Kaerche.
Thank you so much for your time today, and I'm excited to connect with all the Loungers who wish to know more about our products and the story behind our brand!
AsiaLounges: Thank you very much Kamila for being with us today, I am convinced that our readers, the Loungers, have enjoyed this interview as much as we did enjoy writing these lines.
As for us, we will meet you again soon in the Lounges with more exciting content! If you have enjoyed this interview please let us know by liking, commenting and sharing our work with your family and friends on your favourite social media platform.
Should you have any questions or topic that you’d like us to research for a future interviews and articles, feel free to let us know by contacting us at email@example.com, it is always a pleasure to dig further into the world of gems and gemmology!
For all the rest, feel free to take a look at our gem and jewellery collection as well as to contact us should you be interested in getting one of our famed bespoke pieces of AsiaLounges Jewellery.
See you again in the Lounges,