By Ashley Davis
Prasiolite and spinel earrings from Syra Boutique, a new bridge jewelry brand based in Bangkok, Thailand.
Bangkok—Among the cases of exquisite gemstones and hand-crafted jewels on display at the just-concluded Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair was one new face that stood out from the rest.

Part of the gemstone and jewelry trade show’s “New Faces” section promoting designers and gem dealers new to the trade show world, Syra Boutique, led by designer Veerinchaya Buddhamaleekasem, made its debut.

Only a year old, with an Instagram account launched six months ago, Syra Boutique is notable for its departure from the expertly-crafted but at times indistinguishable ruby, sapphire and diamond designs seen around the show.

20190918 Syra2An amethyst and sapphire brooch

Syra Boutique is inspired by a different palette.

“I fell in love with the pastel colors of the gemstones,” Buddhamaleekasem said of her range of prasiolite, amethyst and spinel jewelry.

“I love spinel because it has many, many shades,” she said, “like pink, green and brown.”

For Buddhamaleekasem, the gemstones to which she gravitates possess more than just visual beauty.

“I believe in the power of the color. When you feel sad, when you see all the color together it can heal your emotion. I believe that the pastel colors together make you feel better.”

20190918 Syra3Syra Boutique’s ruby and topaz earrings

The affordability of the gems she uses, in comparison to their more well-known and expensive counterparts, also allows Buddhamaleekasem to play with scale, utilizing large stones that give an impressive visual impact, like an upscale version of the costume pieces one played with in a childhood jewelry box.

In a further bid to keep her pieces affordable, the designer sets her fanciful colored gemstones in rose gold- or rhodium-plated sterling silver.

“We use nano-technology,” she explained of the plating, as “it makes the plating last a little longer.”

Accessibility is important to Buddhamaleekasem in part because she’s designing for a consumer like herself—a young career woman who wants to wear real gemstones that will last a lifetime, but doesn’t have unlimited disposable income.

20190918 Syra4A lemon quartz cocktail ring

The young designer works as a flight attendant for Thai Airways, flying domestically and internationally about half of the month. She launched Syra Boutique as a passion project.

Sometimes, while in-flight, Buddhamaleekasem finds herself daydreaming of new designs. When she lands, she “goes straight to my craftsman,” she said, with her collection being entirely handmade in Bangkok.

Her designs come to life when she arranges gemstones in various combinations until she lands upon a certain intangible visual harmony.

20190918 Syra5Spinel, in a variety of shades, are a major component of Syra Boutique’s dramatic-yet-soft creations.

“I select the [gemstones] with the good light inside, and I see the design after that,” she explained.

She currently sells online via her company’s Instagram and Facebook. Though every style is one-of-a-kind due to the unique nature of the gemstones she sources, Buddhamaleekasem recreates popular styles with similar stones and takes custom orders.

In the future, as she grows her client base, she hopes to land her line in stores. Until then she’ll keep flying and designing as she represents some of her country’s most exciting new talent.

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