An empty story to create

“I want to use quality bracelets, hence my beads are not cheap and light” … Niko Poh

Humans walk a journey, a path, a road throughout their life on earth. Each of the route we took, it has its own meaning for us. Often we do not want others to hold the meanings of our pilgrimage for us, rather we would want to express it in our own way.

Playing with polymer beads – her earliest product.

That is the story behind Sugarlock. Creating bracelets from meaningful crystals, and gemstones beads, yet she abandons the original meaning and let her users create a new one for themselves; for them to grow with it.

Niko Poh, a Graphic Design graduate started her brand as part of a college assignment initially. “It was a school’s project and a hobby, but when my friends saw it, they liked it and encouraged me to make a business out of it too”, she disclosed.

The 21-year-old young entrepreneur started her small business in March 2016 not knowing where it will lead her. A year into her business, she had experimented with numerous kinds of crystals, gemstones and even, polymer beads.

Her desire to wear only quality bracelets, she realises that she cannot use cheap and light beads although they are low-cost.

“My first product under Sugarlock used polymer beads – it is quite popular abroad but it takes a long process in making it.

“I have to cut it, gloss it, then bake it before punching a hole through it”, she described the process of making her first product with polymer beads.
After polymer beads, she shifted her brand into using crystals instead.

Sugarlock’s first crystal and gemstone bracelet was made out of onyx, the shiny, reflective gemstones whom Niko named the bracelet as ‘Reflection’.

Just like any other quest, there will be difficulties along the road. “I struggle whenever I need to think of a new design, and it takes time for me to arrange it and see if it looks good.

“Sometimes, after looking at it for awhile, I would feel it is not nice, depending on the mood, I then would modify it differently”, she shared also that with each new product release she will make sure there is an improvement from the previous.

‘Reflection’ the first from Sugarlock using the onyx gemstones.

“Bracelet is like a trend – we cannot maintain the same old design”, she added.

Students going to classes that are unrelated to their course would often feel it is such a hassle, however for Niko, she appreciates all the sub-subjects of her course especially Entrepreneurship Class.

“That class I had during college was important, I felt, as without the foundation of business, it is quite difficult. Nevertheless, I definitely learnt a great deal from the class”, she mentioned with gratitude.

If Sugar Lock was a human being, its characteristics would be trendy, fashionable – someone who has an exploding closet and personality, one day it is witty, the next it can be cool. Sometimes it wants to be discreet, at times audacious even.

“I had a hard time finding the right concept and design that I would continue to like even after a few months”, she wants to ensure her products are with the Sugarlock identity and would continue to appeal her audiences.

What helps her further throughout her steps with Sugarlock was the encouragement she constantly get from people around her.

An array of beautifully made Sugarlock bracelets – a bracelet with an empty story for its users to make.

“Whenever I feel lost, the people around me is kind enough to help me go through the process together”, she explains, and thanked her friends and family.

Aside from that, she also confess the difficulty of maintaining the beads.
“Due to oxidation, I would make it a habit to maintain my beads well by spraying clear spray on each of them, and I cannot do it just one layer”, Niko stricts in maintaining the quality of the beads.

Niko’s collections of bracelets are made out of chalcedony, crackle quartz, onyx, howlite stone and many more.

Her latest product uses ceramic beads – which is a new kind of material she is currently experimenting with.

“My latest design is called ‘Centuries’ – I want to promote saving the earth from it; the leaves are painted on ceramic beads symbolising the earth sustainability.”, she said.

Like any of her bracelet, she ensure maximum effort straight from the heart, Niko after painting on the ceramic beads would then multiple spray a glossy protection.

The struggle doing this she admits, “It was hectic and difficult to paint on the bead as it is tiny and round!”, she exclaimed.

Admittedly, Niko mentioned the process of making the bead consumes a whole day. “It takes a whole day process, however it actually does not take long but since it is difficult to paint and I want to paint it genuinely from the heart, I would take rests in between”.

Niko, as a graphic designer wants more and more people to appreciate art – she drew and printed her art on phone cases.

From a baby, Sugarlock has gone through multiple transformation. “I used to take my pictures only using a mobile phone and any background would do, but now, I use a DSLR camera and my background would be standard white”, which through popular belief is opinionated as having a professional outlook.

Besides that, Niko started her product packaging by using plastic bags, which she then realises it does not portray well. Hence, her bracelet now comes in Sugarlock embedded black boxes.

Niko, specialising in graphic design, also provides phone cases which she designs herself. Wanting to promote the service of graphic design and its importance, she noticed the trend of Kuchingites to purchase products with functionality.

“If I sell solely on painting, it would be difficult to market, however, if I paste my art on something, I believe more people will become aware and be appreciative towards art”, she opined.

With the hope of creating more artistic products and beautiful bracelets and accessories for Sugarlock, Niko can be reached at 016 – 883 4117.

For more information on Sugarlock and its event, follow Instagram @sugarlockdesign or Facebook ‘Sugarlock’.