As she looks through Pinterest moodboards on her laptop for new product ideas in her room, Laurene remembers the painful yet revitalising bullying experience in her early secondary school days; of which she had not only learned from, but also used as a leverage point.
This is the story of how 19-year-old Business student Laurene Chung started up her company Allauring.Co., which specialises in customised and handmade jewellery.
An Unforgettable Experience
During her lower secondary school days, Laurene often found herself to be the target of bullies who arrived in groups. They were ruthless in their ways; hurling verbal insults at Laurene outside of her classroom after assembly and making use of the then-popular social media platform Ask.FM to spread rumours about her.
“Every second, every minute, every moment of my life from then on was spent harping over what the bullies’ remarks were all about. I was even afraid to walk to the toilet during curriculum time,” said Laurene.
It ended up becoming a significant distraction from her studies – her academics plummeted rapidly, with an increase in the number of subjects scoring D7’s and F9’s.
“I had to put on a ‘happy-go-lucky’ mask at home, only to find myself crying to sleep every night.”
This nightmare lasted for two years and seemed to be a never-ending cycle.
However, a light shone through as all of this came to a halt one day in Secondary 3, when the two main bullies were transferred out of Laurene’s school for other repeated offences. Unbeknownst to others, this was the birth of something special that would shape Laurene in the next few years.
A Leap of Faith
Allauring.Co. was launched on the 29th of September 2018, and unlike many other start-up ideas, it took a relatively short amount of time to set up and launch; about half a year according to Laurene.
Despite lacking vital planning resources like a proper business model canvas and financial statements, Laurene proceeded on with a heart full of hope and a positive mind, ready to tackle any sort of challenge she faced and has never look back since then.
“I was never a rebel nor was I bold enough to go against the rules, but I followed my heart and just gave it a shot. I wanted to take a risk and dive, in order to learn along the way.”
“If there were mistakes or problems, I would resolve them along the way and I think that has made me and Allauring, what it is today,” added Laurene with a confident smile.
A Natural Flair for Creation
Crafting her clienteles’ orders is relatively easy and everything came naturally to the 19-year-old, with each pair of earrings only requiring about an hour to create.
Despite taking a relatively short time to craft her orders, Laurene still insists that quality comes before quantity. Each piece is created with patience and precision.
“I want to put my heart and soul into every single craft of mine. Then and only then, will the customer be able to truly appreciate the piece and the timeless effort spent into the craft.” explains Laurene.
True to her word, Laurene examines her products with great care, scrutinising every inch and corner for any defects or flaws while speaking to me, a characteristic of an outstanding craftswoman. She explains that these “quality checks” are conducted at least three times per pair of earrings before sending the products to her clients.
Laurene then adds another pointer that makes Allauring.Co stand out; the inclusion of Swarovski Crystal Elements. Other than offering a “premium branding” around her products, Laurene also wants to ensure that it is an affordable alternative to the actual Swarovski crystal products in the market.
Her Belief In Empowerment And Being Heard
“Short-Term pain, Long-Term gain by Charles Peabody” was the answer when I asked Laurene if she had a motto she went by.
To her, this phrase is not just a catchy or witty quote by some famous person, but instead, it’s a mantra that each pair of earrings embodies. She explains that this was the quote that has stuck by her through times of adversity, helping her to get past difficult days.
With every order she completes, Laurene would write a personal message of empowerment to the receiver. For her, the purpose is clear: to promote the message of conquering inner fears and speaking up.
Laurene emphasises on the cause behind her products: “I hope to empower people like the old me and give some sort of way to reach out and share their journey and experiences with the world. I want the world to know our stories, what hardships we went through, and how we managed to turn our life around for the better.”
Upwards And Onwards
Laurene hopes to be able to branch out her business to other countries, making her message and products known worldwide. Big dreams aside, the 19-year-old entrepreneur still sees it as a day-by-day process and will continue to craft earrings.
As of now, Allauring.Co.’s Swarovski designs are limited to the “Classic Teardrop”, and have seven colours: Crystal, Silvershade. Golden Shadow, Copper, Amethyst, Iridescent and Silver Jet, with the latter two being the newest.
Other than the “Classic Teardrop” range, Laurene also provides a customisable option where buyers can request for a specific design to be done, making it a unique and exclusive piece for the receiver.
To find out more, click here.
Guest post by Darius Boey
Featured image: Darius Boey & Allauring