Each item of Pandora jewellery is a hand-crafted piece to treasure!

All4Women team member Shelley Armstrong was a guest of Pandora at their world-class manufacturing facility in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where she found out exactly what makes Pandora jewellery so special:

When the invitation arrived, I was beyond excited to be offered this amazing opportunity, not only to travel and see a place I have only dreamed about, but to have the chance to visit the Pandora factory in Chiang Mai to learn all about their exquisite pieces and how they are made.

Chiang Mai Old City, Thailnad. Image Mongkol Chuewong @123RF.com

 

Trying (unsuccessfully) to shelve the panic at never having been away from my kids before, I prepared to embark on an experience of a lifetime. After vaguely remembering my first travelling experience to Australia when I was six, I now had the luxury of travelling on the world-renowned Singapore Airlines

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The aroma of freshly brewed coffee, the glass of bubbly and hot towel while I waited for departure – talk about travelling in style!

After landing in Chiang Mai – via Singapore – I was taken to my hotel: the Four Seasons, where Pandora had booked me into my own private villa.

 

4 Seasons Hotel, Chiang Mai

 

The Pandora factory tour was scheduled for the next day, so I had a chance to unpack, and relax as my therapist Tree worked her magic  with a REAL Thai full body aromatherapy massage (the perfect way to unwind after a long flight). I also met the other media guests who had been invited. We dined at the Tamarind restaurant in town where the food was a conveyor belt of flavours – and you dish up for yourself – WHAT an experience!

 

To give you some insight into this amazing company, let me provide you with some background to this iconic and much-loved jewellery brand that the world – and South African women – adore

Pandora designs, manufactures and markets hand-finished, contemporary jewellery made from high-quality materials at affordable prices. Pandora jewellery is sold in more than 100 countries on six continents through more than 7 700 points of sale, including more than 2 700 concept stores.

Founded in 1982 and headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, Pandora employs more than 32 000 people worldwide of whom more than 14 000 are located in Thailand, where the company manufactures its jewellery.

 

The factory that I had the honour of visiting was the new crafting facility near Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand..

A few more facts about the crafting facility:

  • Located in Lamphun, near Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand
  • Opened internally in October 2016
  • Commerical production began early 2017
  • Officially inaugurated in March 2017
  • Built for around 5 000 employees
  • Optimised for the more time-consuming products in our portfolio
  • A flagship green facility built to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards
  • Consumes 18% less energy and 45% less water than conventional jewellery crafting facilities.
  • Incorporates flow principles and semi-automation to reduce lead-times by up to 50%
  • 75% of the construction waste is recycled.

The design is inspired by their signature charm bracelet

 

The facility takes its design inspiration from their signature charm bracelet. The circular shared area, known as the Halo at the centre of the facility, resembles the bracelet. The buildings, which spread off from the Halo, resemble the charms. Isn’t it just gorgeous?!

Pandora dispels the myth that workers in Asia are badly treated – with equal pay for women and housing for disabled staff

The misconception is that people who work in factories in Asia aren’t treated well. This couldn’t be more wrong. Pandora employs local goldsmiths, silversmiths and stone-setters. They bring their jewellery crafting skills and expertise and help train new employees.

I spoke to two employees at the facility, Onuma Nonting and Patchaporn Somthong. They both said the same thing: Pandora allows women to grow in the business. They can learn the same skills as the men and are offered equal pay. Pandora even offers housing for their disabled staff and ensures that everyone is well taken care of. Happy staff, great productivity.

Their aim: to create happy ‘Pandorians’ out of all their customers

On my tour, I was able to chat to Lars R. Nielsen, the Vice President and General Manager of Pandora Production at the Lamphun Plant. I asked him who his ideal Pandora customer would be. He replied: “Someone who keeps coming back. We call our regular customers our Pandorians.”

The most popular pieces from 2018 were the Dream Catcher and Bruno the Unicorn

Fulfilling all your whimsical desires

Pandora is committed to “taking positive action” and striving for excellence. The pieces they craft make women feel beautiful. Each new design is carefully thought out – new details, new visions – anything a consumer could ask for in a product, Pandora makes it their duty to fulfill every whimsical desire.

We take our jewellery for granted, with no thought to the journey that the piece went on before it arrived in the store

We figure ‘it’s in the store, so let’s just go and see which one is the prettiest’. That is not the case. The next time you look online or visit a Pandora store, stop and think about the story behind it.

People from all walks of life grant you with the privilege of wearing something hand-crafted. They take their time to make each piece as spectacular as the next to make you feel special when you wear any of the pieces made by them. The delicate details, the intricate artwork, are all created by hand.

Amazing when you really think about it. Humbling to say the least.

To purchase your own piece of precious Pandora jewellery, click here.

The perfect gift for your mom: Joined by Love – Pandora’s new Mother’s Day Collection

Symbolic of timeless emotional bonds, gently rounded links reminiscent of the Pandora crown are rendered in polished sterling silver and hold knotted heart shapes.

 

The new Knotted Heart Bracelet is crafted from sterling silver links that hold a central knotted heart as a tribute to timeless emotional bonds.

For wear without charms, the heart-embossed toggle slips through the largest link to close. Combining smooth sterling silver looped with lines of glittering pavé-set stones, the Knotted Heart statement ring redefines the ultimate symbol of love – forever modern, forever connected.