On the left side of the image above is the ‘Mother Reissue’ bracelet. This particular piece of jewellery holds meaning and memory for jewellery artist Shu (right, with her mother), whose Covet Crystals Jewelry business was birthed from the death of her mother when Shu was five months pregnant with her first child.
The bracelet is inspired by the love this mum-of-two felt from her late mother, and one of Shu’s best-selling creations. Due to popular demand, it has been re-issued thrice.
Perhaps, like Shu, buyers feel in these stones the characteristics inherent in a mother’s love: Black Onyx (protection), Pink Tridacna (mental hugs), Howlite (anti-frustration), and Rose Quartz (unconditional love).
When we meet, Shu is clad in designer wear and perfectly made up. Looking at her, it is hard to imagine that she used to walk the streets with her pockets filled with crystals in an attempt to ward off depression after her mother’s death.
“It was extremely hard. Looking back, I don’t know how I overcame it. I just told myself that I have a life to protect. And because of that, I forced myself not to grieve or cry too much in case I miscarry,” the 39-year-old says.
Shu’s introduction to crystal healing
Shu’s interest in healing crystals was sparked in 2013 when a friend showed her a bracelet which had Rainbow Tourmaline stones in it. “She was advised to wear it to aid her health. Something about this struck me, and I started to read up on crystal healing.”
Shu believes that the stones helped her heal from the loss of her mother.”I started to cry less, had fewer dark thoughts, and started to appreciate life again.”
She shared her experience with friends, who she says were skeptical and surprised. “They have always known me as a highly critical skeptic when it came to non-concrete theories or practices. But since they could see the improvement in my mental health, they were happy for me.”
It was during this time that Shu — who prefers to be known by this one name — decided enough was enough.
“I started to have an idea of what my mother went through to have me. And I also felt how amazing we women are to be able to give life — something which I feel is taken for granted as a role we should fulfil.
Having no mother to guide or advise me, early motherhood was very challenging for me. I didn’t know what to do, who to go to for help. Most of my girlfriends weren’t mothers yet but luckily, their own mothers gave me direction and advice.”
The start of Covet Crystals Jewelry
Eventually, Shu would go on to blend her fine arts background and her knowledge of healing crystals into jewellery creation.
“The collection of stones at home got too crazy haha. They occupy too much space. They were also very difficult and heavy to carry around in diaper bags or my fashion bags.
Since many crystal healing books advise that crystals should touch the skin to optimise healing, I knew jewellery was the way to go.”
And so, Covet Crystals Jewelry (CCJ) was born.
As a stay-at-home-mum then — “I still am, by the way” — Shu had to juggle care of her daughters, and her fledging business.
“I could only work and set up the CCJ online boutique at night after kids’ bedtimes. Hence it took approximately six to seven months to launch the web-store, and another year to make it the boutique standard it is now.”
Rocking non-traditional crystal jewellery designs
One look at Covet Crystals collections and you will notice immediately that Shu’s creations are far from traditional notions of crystal jewellery. Unlike those chunky, cobbled-together pieces, Shu’s jewellery display layers of craftsmanship and creative artistry.
Not sure if they’ll go with your wardrobe? Take a tip from Shu herself, who complements her pieces with high-end fashion brands. Her artistic sense, Shu shares, was honed when she studied at an American international school in Saudi Arabia where her father was working.
“The person pivotal to my love for art was my Primary 6 teacher, Mr Bates. He exposed me to the grand art masters like Leonardo Da Vinci, Monet, Vincent Van Gogh.
I minored in Fine Arts at the University Of Western Australia and majored in Art at NIE/NTU in Singapore. I would consider myself an artist rather than a jewellery designer. Some people use paints, ceramics or metals to create art. I use natural crystals and gemstones to create my art — which also happens to be wearable.”
A squad of #CCJGirls
Shu’s squad of #CCJGirls (you’ll find them on Instagram) will agree. These are Covert Crystal Jewelry fans who Shu describes as “capable, fashion-forward women who aren’t afraid to ask for help.”
Her muse? Forbes 30-Under-30 and New York Times best-selling author @aimeesong who heads clothing brand Song of Style. “She is super stylish, a fashion mogul who is also a big advocate of mental health. For her to wear my art would be a phenomenal milestone.”
And while you won’t find them on Instagram yet, Shu’s daughters, Yu Xuan, 7 and Yu Miao, 5, are also #CCJgirls who wear their mother’s creations. “They select the stones themselves and know what purposes they want them for,” Shu describes. “One has more blues to promote calm and patience, the other with reds to promote energy and zest.”
Inspired to use crystals to improve an aspect of your life? Shu recommends the following for:
Trying to conceive
Rose Quartz, Rhodonite, Moonstone
A smooth pregnancy and delivery
Breastfeeding and improved milk supply
Moonstone, Rose Quartz
Keeping the baby blues away
Black Tourmaline, Sunstone, Smoky Quartz
Helping Baby sleep
Howlite, Rose Quartz
Calming a crying baby
Blue Lace Agate, Tridacna, Mother Of Pearl
Improving kids’ focus
Giving kids stability
Giving kids confidence
General wellbeing for the family