‘Jades Aren’t Just For Ah Mas’: Daughter Returns To Help Family’s Jewellery Business Survive Covid-19

House Of Phua Second-Gen Owner Hopes To Redefine Jewellery To Target A Younger Audience

Life often doesn’t work as linearly as one might think. Often, it consists of numerous twists and turns.

While Eve Phua, who’s 45 this year, grew up helping out at her parents’ jewellery shop in Chinatown, she had no interest in taking over the family business.

Instead, she wanted to pursue a career in education and work outside to gain experience.

But after being a stay-at-home mum for six years, Eve’s parents approached her in 2018 to help build a website for the jewellery business, House of Phua.

This eventually led to Eve joining the family business during the Covid-19 pandemic and even starting her own spin-off, HOPE Jewellery.

house of phua

Between attending workshops and incorporating her interests, such as birthstones, into the business, Eve has helped bring House of Phua into the modern age.

Her marketing expertise helped keep House of Phua afloat during Covid-19

Family businesses can shut down if children do not wish to take over.

With over 53 years of experience in the jewellery business, Eve’s mother has a steady stream of regular customers, some of whom have been visiting for over 30 years.

In 1990, she decided with Eve’s father to start their own shop in Chinatown and moved just once — in 2010 when they vacated Chinatown Point to set up shop at People’s Park Complex.

However, adapting to the modern age is a must, and that’s where Eve comes in.

Her various experiences working as a Programme Manager and in media gave her the marketing know-how to help promote House of Phua on social media.

This was especially needed during the Covid-19 pandemic, when the physical shop had to close, leaving them no choice but to start selling their wares online.

But Eve believes that education is just as important as profits. Hence, she started live-streaming videos educating netizens about various jewellery types.

To prepare herself for entering the family business, Eve went to workshops, which served as both networking and educating.

Mumtrepreneur with lab-grown diamonds

Then, it came time to diversify the business. Eve and her husband started a spin-off business called HOPE Diamond on 7 Sep 2022, which was also coincidentally her husband’s birthday.

The couple decided to focus on lab-grown diamonds, which have gained more popularity in recent years thanks to technological advancements.

When it comes to owning diamonds, most people look for the standard 4Cs — cut, carat, colour, and clarity. But Eve wants to go beyond that, advocating another set of Cs to consider:

  • choice
  • consistency
  • confidence
  • cost

Eve tells us that a lab-grown diamond is indistinguishable from a mined diamond to the naked eye. This was a far cry from even a decade ago.

Even Eve’s mother, with all her experience accrued from working at Poh Heng Jewellery, gave a stamp of approval after her appraisal.

Eve with her mother (left)

This has made it possible for jewellers to sell them and keep costs considerably lower.

A one-carat lab-grown diamond costs just S$1,000 to S$2,000, and receive the same internationally-recognised certifications as mined diamonds.

Additionally, it gives people who are uneasy with blood diamonds a cheaper and more sustainable option for their engagement rings or other accessories.

For the young who already have the rising cost of living, housing, and wedding expenses to deal with, getting to save money is a godsend.

With fewer overheads to take care of thanks to reasonably priced rent at People’s Park Complex, the diamonds are also even cheaper than what you’ll find at many other establishments.

Adding her own colour to business

Eve believes that to sell something, she has to have an interest in her products to do so.

Hence, beyond jade and diamonds, Eve also sells birthstones and differently-coloured jades, such as purple and yellow. She wants to change the notion that jade is only for ‘ah mas’.

house of phua

Source: HOPE GEM by House of Phua on Facebook

She also provides other services, such as Chinese metaphysics reading, as it is also an interest of hers.

The need to build credibility when starting from scratch

Eve had to overcome generational gaps in mindset to give her parents the confidence that she could help take the business to new heights.

“We have to just go and do it and show your parents the results because sometimes they don’t understand [certain things such as networking],” she explained.

In the old days, customers would come to the shop. These days, things aren’t quite as simple.

Eve, therefore, believed in the need to build credibility and visibility before profits.

Unlike her mum, who has built up her clientele over decades in her line, Eve was starting out in a new industry.

However, Eve had her circle of friends on Facebook to draw on. Thus, she started her education videos on social media platforms.

This has helped bring more customers — for instance, a friend of a friend wanted to buy jade for his wife.

As Eve’s friend had seen her posts on Facebook, he decided to recommend his friend to her shop. In the end, that friend bought a pendant and chain as a gift.

Enjoys learning process after taking over House of Phua

Though the jewellery business is still relatively new to Eve, her desire to learn has helped pave a path for her.

Not only that, but her husband also supports her decision to return to work. Her children are also old enough that she can devote more of her time to running the business.

Even as Eve learns, she’s also imparting her knowledge to customers, dispelling myths about jewellery and creating awareness at the same time. For example, lab-grown diamonds can be much cheaper than mined ones with the same carats.

So for those looking to propose to their beloved soon, you can find out more by visiting or checking out their social media.

Here’s where you can find House of Phua:

House of Phua

Address: 1 Park Rd, #03-40C People’s Park Complex, Singapore 059108
Opening hours: Tuesdays to Saturdays, 12-8pm, call 97951088 to make an appointment after 8pm
Nearest MRT station: Chinatown

Know more inspiring individuals like Eve? Get in touch with us via email at news@mustsharenews.com.

Featured image by MS News.

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