Kaimirra Tutan’s Damien Foo on the Magic of Ammonite Gems in Jewellery

Kaimirra Tutan's Damien Foo on Ammonite Gemstones Magical Qualities

Ong Chin Huat marvels at the stunning jewellery collection with ammolite gemstones which have become the hallmark of the luxury jewellery brand Kaimirra Tutan.

Kaimirra Tutan, which means the appreciation of the finer things in life in ancient Egyptian, has recently launched in Kuala Lumpur. The luxury Canadian jewellery brand has been making waves among socialites and jewellery lovers thanks to their unique designs, which feature the rare and coveted gemstone Ammolite.

Found only in the mines of the Bearpaw Formation in Southern Alberta in Canada, Ammolite gems are ethically sourced and harvested with minimum impact on the environment. Considered one of the rarest gemstones in the world, this opal-like organic gemstone comes from the fossilized shells of ammonites, an extinct invertebrate which died out around 75 million years ago.

The interior of the jewellery boutique at Midvalley Megamall in Kuala Lumpur

Kaimirra Tutan’s flagship boutique is located in Midvalley Megamall. It boasts an Egyptian-themed décor ideal for showcasing Kaimirra Tutan’s three distinct jewellery collections, which are the Couture Collection, Fine Jewellery Collection and Jewellery Collection, as well as some Ammonite fossils in their natural state.

The plush private lounge for customers with scalloped shaped white seating

The Managing Director of Kaimirra Tutan, Damien Foo, sat down with Ong Chin Huat to explain the magical qualities of Ammonite gemstones and the inspiration for Kaimirra Tutan’s jewellery designs.

Luxurious Magazine: Tell us a bit about Kaimirra Tutan and the market segment it hopes to capture.
Damien Foo: First launched in 2010, Kaimirra Tutan is a luxury jewellery brand based in Toronto, Canada. The brand launched its flagship boutique in Midvalley Megamall, Kuala Lumpur, in 2022, showcasing meticulously handcrafted pieces that feature rare Ammolite gems, high-quality gold, and various precious gems.

Kaimirra Tutan is the first jewellery brand focused on curating and designing its jewellery with Ammolite as its centrepiece. We want to become a leading luxurious jeweller player in the market and dedicate ourselves to providing the best client experience. Using genuine gemstones such as Ammolite, we create personal and exclusive jewellery pieces that give customers a sense of ownership, reflecting their taste for the finer things in life.

A head and shoulder shot of Damien

LM: You manage an engineering company, digital agency, and animated App in your role as the Group MD. What was the rationale behind the decision to move into high-end jewellery?
Damien: After joining the parent company, the Takano Group, in April 2020 as Sales Director, I helped the company restructure and develop one of our pioneer brands – White Umbrella.

Over the pandemic, I worked with my team to increase the accessibility of our products as well as come up with new services that could improve the standards of everyday living for our customers.

I come from a sales background, which helped me create a customer-centric strategy and provided the education our customers needed to understand precisely why our products could help them, a win-win situation that increased our sales and also legitimately benefited our customers.

Today, White Umbrella is one of our most stable brands, and the results from that led to my promotion to General Manager in June 2021.

The promotion allowed me to work with our other brands, namely Kaimirra Tutan, inQubi, and Qton. Working with a much larger team allowed me to develop my management skills, and after seeing how I’d grown to work with the teams and how my teams had grown to trust me. Following this, I took the role of Group Managing Director in January 2022.

Responding to changes in high-pressure situations can be very challenging at times, but thanks to the team around me, we’ve also been able to react like lightning. This has resulted in us being able to build our presence and visibility through new working relationships with different media houses and partners.

Two images, a model wearing one of the necklaces and a close up image of the jewellery piece

LM: Why did you choose Ammolite to market and sell in Malaysia instead of other gemstones?
Damien: When we discovered Ammolite, we were drawn to its iridescent colours and intense history. Ammolite gets its name from Ammonite fossils found primarily in the Bearpaw formation in Canada. After going through incredible pressure and heat for 70 million years, the fossils develop into this beautiful gem that we see today.

LM: What has the reception of Kaimirra Tutan been since you opened your flagship boutique in September?
Damien: More people are getting to know the brand and product through media platforms, mainly through digital and social media, where we are most heavily present. Aside from this, our brand visibility is also established through various event platforms, enabling us to introduce our brand and product to many curious, like-minded people.

We learned that many people have not heard about Ammolite before, and most were curious to know more, especially when Ammolite gemstones are so different from the others. It is the only gemstone that comes in various colours caused by iridescence.

LM: Do you think gemstones like Ammolite and crystals have special qualities? If yes, what are those qualities?
Damien: Indeed, every gem has its own unique properties. Without going into details, each gemstone’s qualities will indeed help to rebalance or re-enhance our energy in many different ways. Ammolite itself is said to enable the connectivity of oneself with the environment on both a physical and spiritual level. Its energy has protective solid energies that can guide people to overcome challenges, trauma and perhaps sickness as well.

LM: What has been the biggest challenge you have faced so far in launching Kaimirra Tutan in Malaysia?
Damien: I would not say it was a challenge, more an opportunity. As I mentioned earlier, most people do not know about Ammolite or the existence of this unique gemstone. As such, we need to spend time educating them and sharing the unique properties of the gemstone with them. Nevertheless, we are happy to discover that most clients are curious to learn more about the various questions raised during our conversation.

Male and female models wearing ammonite jewellery

LM: Will you offer other types of jewellery items in your boutique in the near future, or do you want to focus on Ammolite jewellery?
Damien: Ammolite jewellery will remain our core focus. However, we will continue to explore incorporating our Ammolite jewellery with other types of gemstones – as you might already see in some of our existing collections. More importantly, moving forward, we want our jewellery to be relevant in our client’s day-to-day life.

We want to position ourselves as a lifestyle jeweller where all our pieces of jewellery can be worn on a day-to-day basis as well as be styled together with other jewellery too.

LM: Where does the inspiration for the design of various jewellery collections come from?
Damien: Our current collections are mostly inspired by ancient Egyptian culture. The inspiration was from the origin of the name Ammolite, which means Ammon – the name of the Ancient Egyptian God who was represented by the head of a ram with twisted horns. If you look closely, the ammonite shells looked very similar to this ram’s head.

Two necklaces from the Egyptian inspired collections

So, we launched several collections drawing inspiration from the ancient Egyptian period. Among them is the GIZA collection, which draws inspiration from the Great Pyramids of Giza, and the YILLINA, which pays an exquisite tribute to the Egyptian Scarab Beetle. These collections come under our Fine Jewellery category, which is suitable for classy, elegant, but stylish ladies who are in search of one-of-a-kind pieces.

We will also be launching more contemporary collections and forward-moving for the on-the-go ladies who want the jewellery to be used as their day-to-day piece. We are very excited that this collection will hit our store very soon.

Two female models wearing necklaces from the new collections

LM: How do you plan to make Kaimirra Tutan stand out from other jewellery brands?
Damien: Ammolite gemstone by itself already differentiates our unique positioning from the others as we are the only brand that carries this rare and genuine stone in the market. The unique colours of the stones and the origin of the stone stories will continue to inspire the design of our jewellery which by itself will give us a distinctive design vs the others in the market.

More importantly, we have the capability and resources to design Ammolite jewellery for clients who look for special custom-made jewellery that defines their style and taste.

For further information on Kaimirra Tutan Jewellery Collection, please visit www.kaimirratutan.com.

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Kaimirra Tutan's Damien Foo on the Magic of Ammonite Gems in Jewellery 2

Ong Chin Huat

Luxurious Magazine Reporter

Having been the social editor of the Hong Kong edition of Tatler and as well as writing a twice-weekly column in Hong Kong’s leading English-language newspaper, the South China Morning Post, Chin has met and interviewed a variety of people including business tycoons, supermodels, movie stars, royalty and world-class athletes. He also considers himself privileged to have attended some of the most talked about events and parties around the world. Chin counts art, fashion, food, interior design, literature, painting and travel among his passions.

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