Young Filipina Jewellery Designer Germee Ronirose Abesamis Launches Dearest Bridal Jewellery Collection
Love stories are founded on forever. Then sealed with a kiss and a ring.
From saying yes to a marriage proposal to marching down the aisle, wedding jewellery like engagement rings and wedding bands have always been a symbol of love, faithfulness and promise. And more and more couples prefer customized ones that tell a story, unique to two people in love.
And this is where the story of DEAREST begins. The new collection of luxury bridal jewellery by young Filipina designer Germee Ronirose Abesamis, called Dearest, is made up of handcrafted customized bridal pieces with designs that are reflective of the depth, richness and color of a couple’s special love story.
THE STORYTELLER’S STORY
Germee’s own story begins in Pozorrubio, Pangasinan where she was born to a family engaged in the jewellery business. Hailing from a family of artists, with ancestors who painted parts of Manaoag Church, Germee’s creativity is intrinsic—including her love for jewellery. She remembers playing with her siblings in her grandmothers’ atelier, tinkering with loose pieces of diamonds, pearls, precious and semi-precious stones.
The love for crafting and design was instilled in the Abesamis siblings. “We were allowed to buy toys only at Christmas. So we learned to make our own toys. I made paper dolls and designed their clothes and accessories. We also created jewellery from newspapers and leaves,” Germee recalled.
But even at such young age, and with a voracious quest for life outside Pangasinan, she would always dream of living in different places.
So after finishing high school at St. Scholastica’s College in Manila, she went to pursue Business Administration and Accountancy at the University of the Philippines, graduated cum laude of her batch, and placed 7th in the CPA Board Exams.
Her love for the arts and designing never waned even when she was already a financial analyst in an international bank at the age 22. Thus, immediately after saying goodbye to the corporate world (“Because I realized I was so busy that there was one day I didn’t get to laugh at all!”), Germee opened her first official business venture called ACouture, with a start-up investment capital of Php50,000, an amount she saved from her salary. “I made gowns and dresses for some ladies in Pangasinan. However, I had to close shop eventually, but the lessons in sustainability and business strategy that I learned were priceless,” she said.
Two years later, Germee taught Accounting and Finance at the University of the Philippines and designed clothes and jewellery on the side. When UP required her to get a Masters degree in Finance and sent her on a scholarship to ESSCA Ecole de Management in France for a semester, she relived her passion for European languages and culture. She eventually pursued her Masters in Finance at the Universita Bocconi in Milan, Italy.
It was during a meet-up with friends that the jewellery she was wearing (a round necklace with a pearl accent) was noticed by them. “My friends told me that I should be in fashion, and not in finance,” she laughed. Germee started getting orders from her European friends. “It’s always a joy sharing the provenance of the materials I use and how the Philippines is a rich country, both in resources and artisan skills,” she added.
A collaboration with a Paris-based fashion designer for “LaboEthnik” in 2013 was how her designs were showcased in Europe. LaboEnthnik was a fashion show featuring French models who wore her luxurious jewellery pieces made by both Filipino and Italian artisans. This, and the rave reviews of friends and other artisans, inspired her to take a leap and finally started her own jewellery business. Soon, Germee’s creations found its way to Aurelia Khazan, a Parisian ingénue who wore them in the Cannes Film Festival at the launch of her film “Love Me Haiti”. She also had clients in London where she was based in 2013 and again in 2016.
To pursue her passion, Germee decided to live in Vicenza, the jewellery capital of Italy, and created jewellery alongside Italian master artisans. After living in this quaint city and imbibing its culture for almost a year, Germee finally knew what she really wanted to do.
GROWING THE BUSINESS SHE GREW UP WITH
With the moral support of her family and her own flair for design, her one-woman business was established. Germee is now the Founder and Creative Director of Ronirose and Dearest Jewellery.
“I had to adjust to a more artistic career, but I loved every aspect of it, from selecting stones for clients, and designing custom-made pieces. It was a real struggle executing the marketing side because I have always focused on the quality of the product, but I have a good team helping out,” she beamed. The other challenge was introducing her designs. “Because it was so extraordinary and different, our artisans had, at first, a difficult time making them. In the end, they started to appreciate the challenge of creating something out of their comfort zone.”
Eventually, everything fell into place. Ronirose, her first collection of contemporary rings named after her, evolved into a brand.
What makes her business click is the way she puts her clients at the heart of what she does. She gives her best, and makes sure that her clients are happy with their pieces. “Jewellery makes me feel good. I’d like to share that little happiness in my work.”
She loves both the creative and the business aspects. “I really appreciate art and artistic processes. But since I am a CPA, I can also talk to people about the business aspect with the same passion as I would when I talk to artists,” she said.
DEAREST, A LOVE STORY THAT SPARKLES
Her good friends who got engaged were Dearest’s first clients. The rings Germee made for them were customized. Each stone and the intricate weave symbolized the years they have been journeying as individuals and how they were finally beginning a new one together. In 2016, Dearest was born.
Dearest is a luxury company that creates fine engagement and wedding rings, among others, that you will wear for a lifetime. Handcrafted by Filipino artisans, every piece is made with commitment to quality, love for beauty, and passion for good design. “Personalized rings from Dearest means your wedding bands are born out of your love and not from an already available mold. Every stone is specifically selected for you, every ring is handcrafted with you in mind. Every ring tells a story. Let us tell yours,” Germee said of Dearest’s mantra.
While Germee also accepts orders for classic or vintage designs, Dearest jewellery can also be playful. “We make traditional diamond rings, solitaire, halo or solitaire bands, three-stone rings, or the exact replica of their engagement ring. Our designs are a marriage of the classic and contemporary. While we can create timeless pieces, we can also design non-traditonal ones that reflect the eclectic, quirky characters of engaged couples. This way, their jewellery are uniquely theirs,” she explained.
by Click The City | April 17, 2017