Stepping into Sphere’s booth at any gems and jewelry exhibition, customers will find themselves surrounded by strings of delicate gold necklaces decorated with large and small gemstones in a variety of colours, hanging like chandeliers and catching the light.
Gems and jewelry is one of Thailand’s top three leading export sectors. From January to November 2018, the country exported over US$11 billion’s worth of products, or 4.77% of total exports.
However, with changing consumer behaviour and shifting factors in the world economy, businesses must adapt to stay relevant in the market.
Aranya Lohakitthaworn, Export Manager of Sphere Jewelry Manufacturing, a family business established over 40 years ago, reveals that the company has undergone numerous changes over the years.
“In the beginning, we focused on wholesale jewelry without an emphasis on design. When the number of international customers increased, we started to listen to their feedback on our designs, and slowly adapted jewelry collections to match their preferences,” says Lohakitthaworn.
She elaborates that today the brand stands out from others in the market with its unique designs of long necklaces that combine colourful gemstones with delicately handmade gold. Not only are the designs lightweight, they are also affordable for customers even when the economy is slow.
“Thai manufacturers are highly flexible compared to others, and we really aim to serve our customers,” says Lohakitthaworn. “We can change our designs to match their needs, or even sell in small lots. Moreover, Thailand is where buyers can find the most exquisitely polished gemstones. The best gems are treated with heat, cut and polished in Chantaburi province in the eastern part of the country. Thai craftspeople in the gems and jewelry industry truly understand how to create the most astonishing gemstones.”
She also says that Thailand is considered a gems and jewelry hub in the AEC community, with its large network of manufacturers, traders and designers. However, Lohakitthaworn notes a challenge for manufacturers was the decreasing number of craftspeople in the gems and jewelry industry. She adds that both government and private sectors should focus more on attracting and training the younger generation to practice the art of jewelry-making.
With shifting factors in the economy, she admits that manufacturers need to stay active and adapt themselves constantly.
“For retailers, selling more products online might be the answer, but for wholesalers and manufacturers, gems and jewelry fairs are still a great platform to catch up with existing clients and find opportunities for new business,” she says.
The DITP will organize the 63rd edition of the Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair on February 20 to 24, 2019, at IMPACT Muang Thong Thani. At the fair, buyers and visitors can discover a variety of jewelry collections from Sphere and other manufacturers.
For more information, visit www.spherejewel.com
Words by Pimsirinuch Borsub