Along with its status as Vietnam’s national flower, the lotus has earned international esteem among jewelers as a symbol of strength and optimism for the future: Not only does it thrive in darkness, but it also emerges daily from muddy waters to bloom.
It is an apt symbol as well for Paris Jewellers, a Canada-based business whose sister owners Chau Lui and Trang Wong have created a lotus necklace to raise funds in honor of Asian Heritage Month. Lui and Wong identify as Canadian-Vietnamese.
In the United States, the month of May is called Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, a time when “our nation recognizes the innumerable contributions, vibrant cultures, and rich heritage of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders,” according to President Joe Biden.
The jewelry company is donating 100% of the net proceeds to the Canada-based Asian Solidarity Fund, which celebrates the contributions of the Asian community across Canada, and Stop AAPI Hate, a U.S. organization whose mission is to advance equity, justice, and end hatred toward Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
Paris Jewellers hopes to raise and donate $15,000 with the necklace, says co-owner Lui. Its limited-edition Asian heritage lotus necklace launches online Wednesday, which Lui says also happens to be the birthday of the sisters’ beloved mother, Thu.
Thu immigrated to the United States in 1985 with her family and used her skills as a jeweler to open a business in Canada. From her original business, which started in a space of 400 square feet, the company has grown to 23 stores across four Canadian provinces and more than 200 employees, Lui says.
“The lotus is special to us, and we’ve never used it before this,” Lui says. “It’s our mom’s favorite flower. She loves it so much for what it represents—hope and optimism for the future.
“My mom is our biggest inspiration and the biggest reason why we strive so hard to do what we do,” Lui continues. “We saw her journey. We saw her struggle to make us a better life. She shows such kindness to everyone and always does it with such grace and gratitude. That’s the work ethic she taught us.”
The Asian heritage lotus necklace is handcrafted in solid 10k yellow gold and features an ethically sourced diamond set in the lotus. It retails for $275 in the United States.
Sharing the story of their mother’s journey, their childhood challenges as immigrants, and the importance of Asian Heritage Month is a large part of the work the sisters do at Paris Jewellers.
“Our business has a 90% women workforce, and we’re so proud of that. We’ve had huge opportunities and blessings, so we want to be so much more than a jewelry company,” Lui says. “We want [other immigrants and Asian families] to look at us and see a story similar to their own and feel comfort in that. They can feel seen.”
Last year, Paris Jewellers donated $10,000 to causes to end AAPI hate and to fight intolerance, prejudice, and injustice, Lui says. That experience was so gratifying that they decided to do it again this year and hope to raise the amount by $5,000, if possible. The business also fundraises for other charities, including Food Banks Canada, where they have funded more than 100,000 meals, she says.
Top: Paris Jewellers sister owners Trang Wong and Chau Lui flank their biggest inspiration for their work: their mom, Tru. The sisters are raising funds through a special limited-edition lotus necklace for U.S. and Canadian causes that promote empathy and seek to end intolerance toward Asian Americans, Canadian Asians, and Pacific Islanders during Asian Heritage Month.@jckmagazine
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