During the Japanese invasion of China, Christine’s grandparents fled to Cambodia for sanctuary. Christine’s story would begin in Cambodia, when she was born in 1970 in the city of Battambang.
In 1975, at the age of five, she was taken away from her family by the cruel Khmer Rouge regime to a concentration camp for children to be trained to become future soldiers. Christine would spend the next five years surviving the Pol Pot genocide in the jungle. She was reunited with her family in 1979. In August of that year, her family was sponsored by a Christian church to come to the United States. With only $100 to their name, in a completely foreign country, knowing the struggles they would face, her family was determined to make it work.
Embracing their entrepreneurial spirit, Christine’s parents never wanted to go on welfare and despite the language barrier of not knowing any English, they would take on an array of small jobs – where her mother worked as a seamstress and hairdresser and her father as a dishwasher and donut baker, in order to support the family.
Her parents eventually saved up enough money to open their own business – a Chinese restaurant in 1983. A few years later, they sold it in 1986 and used the money to open up a jewelry business.
Christine’s father supported her mother’s dream of bringing her passion for creating jewelry to fruition. Christine, as the oldest of the four children, helped to take care of the family and would work at her parents’ jewelry business after school and on the weekends. Being so immersed helping her parents, Christine learned so much about the trade, that she developed her own passion for jewelry.
This personal passion grew so much, that in 1989, she opened up her own jewelry store with her father, and years later they would travel to different states to exhibit at trade shows.
In 2001, Christine was struck with the diagnosis of stage 3 breast cancer. Though this news was difficult to receive, she did not let this impede her journey. While undergoing chemotherapy, she kept a positive spirit, and pushed through her treatment fueled by her passion for her jewelry. She used her time to draw and design her own jewelry collections as she was fighting the disease.
After successfully beating the cancer, Christine grew her jewelry business launching her collections at trade shows, along with supplying and releasing lines to cruise ship companies.
Between the years of 2006 and 2013, she started supplying or wholesaling jewelry to retailers in Alaska, the Caribbean, South America and held retail stores in Puerto Rico and Juneau, Alaska.
In the midst of all that, in 2009, the cancer returned, this time with a stage 4 diagnosis. With more grueling radiation/chemotherapy treatments and her zest for life, she beat cancer for the second time.
Unfortunately, at the tail-end of her treatment, her father passed away in 2011. Between fighting for her health and losing such a pillar in her world, it was the most difficult time in Christine’s life. She sold all of her businesses and managed her father’s remaining businesses stateside and overseas.
In 2013, after going through all that she did, Christine decided to take time off from everything to reflect on her life and seek spiritual healing for her soul.
However, in 2017, Christine was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, and underwent even more chemotherapy treatments and now she has the cancer in check.
In December of 2018, Christine had the spark to create again, and this time to do it in a way that would share her passion for life, enhanced by her learnings of many incredible spiritual and holistic cultures and beliefs.
Now that it is 2019, the time has come for Christine to share with the world her latest collection: Chìmere, which features the OM pendant. She connected with the “OM” – a spiritual symbol standing for “pure consciousness” – as an awakening of sorts, that she felt she needed in her life through the hurdles she overcame and inspired her to live a life of positivity and serenity.
Christine’s spiritual nature is infused into her pieces. Her approach to her jewelry is one of great care and love for her art. All of her pieces are custom crafted and her attention to detail is impressive, as the jewelry speaks for itself. Her zen artistry can be seen in the harmony she creates as she connects the most precious gifts from nature and the earth.
Christine believes that there is more to life than what we physically experience. Her collection embraces this concept as she creates jewelry pieces that seek to transcend the physical world.