Starting as an employee of an Indian diamond company, Edward Wong decided to begin his own “mini-business” selling diamond rings, necklaces, and bracelets as a hobby. “I like to stay busy,” said the sophomore marketing major from Hong Kong.
Wong got involved with the diamond business when he found a job on the Internet for an Indian diamond company. “Later, I became a translator of the DS Overseas HK Ltd, which is a diamond supplier company. Its headquarters is in India.”
Familiarizing himself with the business and acquiring skills from that job helped Wong start his own. “It was a small-scale office with a handful of people working where my boss and I were the only people in the office at times, allowing opportunities for me to cover a variety of job duties.
“I had to do everything–not only translating for my boss, but also making transactions with the customers, displaying and selling diamonds to others, grouping diamonds into the same categories, and grading the diamonds.
“I have learned how to grade diamond with loupes; how to define an excellent diamond based on the subjects of cut, color, clarity; the market price of diamond in order to negotiate with other diamond suppliers; and things to be aware of in the diamond industry to prevent being cheated.”
The idea to start his own business came to him as he was working for the company. “I asked my boss to teach me more about diamonds. I spent time after work to study about it. It was lucky for me to have a great boss and great colleagues back then. They helped and taught me a lot.”
Currently, Wong said he himself handles the merchandise and purchase of raw materials “where different layers of effort and production cost could be reduced. Therefore, the cost and the selling price of a product could be cheaper than the market, and that’s also why I could guarantee a high quality.”
Additionally, Wong said he strives to provide customized service so the product is consistent with customers’ specifications. “I select and purchase suitable diamonds for the product according to the design they showed me beforehand. Video clips and pictures of the diamond I selected would be shown to the customers to see until they were satisfied with it.”
Wong said he found inspiration from Li-Ka Shing, who is “a well-known Hong Kong entrepreneur and billionaire. … I loved to read his biography. One thing that stuck out to me was that he encouraged young people, who have the asset of time and energy, to make investments or do trading after we save enough money.”
After graduation, Wong said he plans to pursue his career in the diamond business. “Starting a business early in my life has been helping me to lay a foundation for my future career after graduation. It is beneficial to start building up a network of customers and sources where I look for the materials.
“I have learned that a good reputation is crucially important for this business. Being honest is definitely the principle I would adhere to.
“I do not intend to sell the products for a high price. People who buy the jewelry from me are mostly friends of my friends or relatives. At this stage, I feel like gaining experiences is more important than earning a huge profit.”
Since starting his business, Wong shared how his greatest satisfaction and reward is “when my customers send me pictures of their successful proposals and telling me how their loved ones like the diamond.”
A friend and customer of Wong, Chris Nartker shared his admiration for Wong and his business. A senior from Idaho majoring in Biology, Nartker said, “Edward told me if I need to buy an engagement ring one day, I can go to him to get a good deal. I think it is great to see him pursuing his goals, and I hope he is highly successful in the future because he can do a lot of good in the world.”
Recent customer and friend Himmy Wu, a sophomore from Hong Kong majoring in TESOL, said, “I have known Edward for a long time, and I know he is an earnest person. I knew he would be able to do this. I bought my engagement ring from him and it was good quality and a fair price. I know he puts heart and effort in satisfying his customers.”
NOTE: This article's online publication was delayed because it was featured in the Jan. 2018 print issue.