Golden South Sea pearl specialist Jewelmer Joaillerie continues to capture the hearts of luxury consumers worldwide with distinctive collections that give a fresh interpretation to classic styles.
The luxury pearl jewellery brand is steadily making significant inroads in Latin America’s vibrant markets and further gaining a foothold in Japan – the most discerning and perhaps, most demanding, of all pearl markets worldwide.
This year, Jewelmer will be launching more nature- and heritage-inspired collections that give a modern feel to the ultimate timeless classic – the South Sea pearl, said Jacques Christophe Branellec, deputy CEO of Jewelmer International Corporation.
“In terms of market reach, we are continuing our development in Latin America and expanding into Japan,” Branellec said. “Japan has been a very successful market for us so far. We have been placed alongside the world’s top jewellery brands, which is a real honour for us since Japan is the veritable mecca for cultured pearls. If we are able to cater to the most discerning market in the world, this opens up opportunities, not only for the brand, but for the Philippine South Sea pearl.”
Jewelmer Joaillerie has an organic approach to growth, he continued, noting that company founders French pearl-culturist Jacques Branellec – Jacques Christophe’s father – and Filipino businessman Manuel Cojuangco have built a solid business foundation, established the right culture and nurtured a team of committed and talented individuals who will drive the business forward. The company has set “a very clear market structure for its wholesale business and a much targeted approach for the brand” with regards to the retailers the company is in partnership with.
“We wouldn’t be here without the support of our team, our industry partners and our sightholders,” the younger Branellec said.
Jewelmer’s pioneering ways have helped advance and promote the cultured pearl industry. The company’s innovative efforts gave birth to the golden Philippine South Sea pearl. One of its most ground-breaking initiatives is the pearl oyster hatchery system that it developed at the farm. Applying sophisticated biotechnology to decades of research and experimentation, the company established a facility capable of hatching and growing gold-lipped Pinctada maxima oysters that produce rare natural coloured golden South Sea pearls. Through a complex oyster selection process, Jewelmer is able to produce a steady supply of golden pearls to meet growing consumer demand worldwide.
To date, Jewelmer counts high-end jewellery retailers in the US, China, Japan, France, Dubai, South America, Singapore, Cambodia and Australia among its partners.
“Again, we have been able to accomplish this because of our hardworking team and the relationships we have been able to maintain throughout the years,” he said, adding that his father and Cojuangco have turned the golden Philippine South Sea pearl dream into a reality.
“And now, it’s our turn to continue with this story – with the same warmth and Filipino spirit that really characterise the brand and the people we work with,” said Branellec. “We are very blessed because the founders of the company are still very present in the business and they have laid down very strong foundations from which we can build on. Looking into the future, it is not about making drastic changes to what they have started but finding new ways to make things better.”
Branellec said industry stakeholders share the view that a sustained global marketing campaign is essential to further drive consumer demand for pearl jewellery. “We’ve realised that we have so much more to do in terms of marketing the pearl that we will be able to accomplish more by working together. To us, it’s not about fighting for a piece of a small pie but of making that pie bigger for everyone,” he said.
Asked to share his insights about the supply and demand growth outlook for South Sea pearls, Branellec said, “What I can tell you is that pearls are getting rarer; supply is going to be tighter because of the many changes in the environment. El Niño (fluctuations in temperature between the ocean and atmosphere in the east-central Equatorial Pacific) is not really helping. Last year, we had a lot of pearl oyster mortalities. Global warming and climate change are a big threat to our industry,” he said. “As I have mentioned before, the pearl is the indicator of the health of the environment. If that environment deteriorates, we might not have pearls anymore, and along with the pearl, many other things might disappear.”
According to Branellec, Jewelmer’s dream is to take the golden South Sea pearl, the national gem of the Philippines, to other parts of the world and share its symbolic message of environmental conservation and stewardship.
Jewelmer was founded in 1979 in Palawan, Southern Philippines – one of the few places in the world capable of sustaining the Pinctada maxima oyster. Using a process that takes about five years and at least 323 individual steps to produce a single pearl, the company said sustainable practices have always been at the heart of its business. The golden South Sea pearl is a symbol of the partnership between the pearl farmer and nature, which is embodied in the brand’s emblematic cobalt blue and gold square logo.