When one talks about feng shui, one naturally thinks of Lillian Too

The Sunday Times,
11th April 1999
By Sharon Wong

She is a leading authority on the subject of feng shui. Her books have been translated into 16 languages and sold all over the world. In fact, her Lillian Too's Little Book of Feng Shui was No. 1 for eight weeks in the UK charts and continues to be on the best-seller list today. Hardly surprising then, that I am a little apprehensive when told to interview her on her latest venture - feng shui jewellery for both men and women. But Lillian Too proves to be friendly and down-to-earth.

Talking enthusiastically about her books and the numerous ornaments in her house, she sweeps away one's nervousness with her chatter. Her enthusiasm about her new project just bubbles over as she launches into the subject matter close to her heart.

"Much of the credit of the launch of the feng shui jewellery must go to OE Design and its general manager, Miss Ong Li Dong," she says. "I have never thought about the possibility of having my own line of jewellery before. I was invited to give a talk by the MCA in Penang last year and apparently, Ong was in the audience. She e-mailed me later to suggest a joint-venture project."

OE Design is a German company based in Penang (for over 20 years) which manufactures fine jewellery in gold and platinum set with diamonds and precious stones for export. "I thought it was great. Now people can spend money to make themselves look good and also have a symbolic meaning." For a start, the Lillian Too's Fine Jewellery For Health, Wealth and Happiness line will have five major themes. Altogether, there are 26 pieces in this collection based on the five themes.

Each piece comes with a little certificate of authenticity that gives you a little description of the material used to create it and a short explanation on how it works for feng shui by Lillian. 'What with the hard economic tomes and all, we said, fine. Let's go for wealth!" Lillian says, her laughter ringing out loud and clear. "There are three themes for wealth and these are symbolized by the auspicious coins, the arrowana fish and the three-legged toad.

"The coins. Now, these are excellent because of its shape - round with a square in the middle. The shape is actually a union of earth and heaven, which is represented by gold and diamond. Symbolically, it means that you are finding precious wealth in the earth. My recommendation is to wear nine such coins at the same time to create the yang energy around you which will attract wealth."

The design comes in sets of three coins each of earrings, ring or pendant, which would make up nine and for the men, there are rings and cufflinks.

The arrowana fish also represents instant wealth. "I reared the arrowana myself in the early days," Lillian reveals, "and it allowed me to make enough money in 18 months to retire! However, at that time, I did not realise that it was wrong to feed the arrowana live fish (which is the only thing they eat). It was not until I met my guru (Lillian's a Buddhist) and he told me that feeding the arrowana live fish is a form of killing that I stopped keeping them.

"I feel sorry that I have been asking everyone to rear arrowanas."

But they are very good feng shui and Lillian has found ways to compromise. She advises those who rear arrowanas, to teach hem to eat dried fish pellets instead of live fish. Another is, of course, to wear the arrowana jewellery.

Anyway, a great believer of fish for good feng shui (he house has fish all over the place), Lillian came out with the idea of the arrowana ring. "What you want is the symbol", she says. "The arrowana symbolizes the dragon fish and by wearing the arrowana ring, you attract good fortune to you."

The third theme for wealth is the three-legged toad (and yes, she has many of them placed strategically around her house as well) which is more of a symbol of money making than juts wealth. This means it is especially good for those doing business and will bring lots of moneymaking opportunities.

Next comes the dragon, which is the ultimate symbol in feng shui and symbolizes everything good. "Basically, it gives you courage but it can also be a little impulsive. But it is very strong."

Apparently, the dragon will become especially powerful in the coming new millennium that begins with the Year of the Dragon in the year 2000. According to Lillian's explanatory booklet (which accompanies each piece of jewellery), a dragon is designed to be free and to fly and the more diamonds on or near his body, the more auspicious he is. You wear the dragon here (she demonstrates where the dragon would be) and you'll be protected. But no, don't get me wrong. It is not an amulet but just a symbol." She hastens to add.

Last but not least is the symbol of love. "What is the point in making lots of money and then lose your husband?" demands Lillian. "I always advise women to take care and to energize with good fortune symbols for romance. In Chinese belief, romance means marriage, and marriage means family. Any symbol that deals with love, ultimately means the family unit. This is where the double happiness symbol comes in, which means double joy. This is excellent for weddings, birthdays, any occasions. Many people only use this for weddings but it is for the whole family, not just man/woman relationships."

If you are the kind of person who gets confused easily over which corner one should place auspicious symbols around the house, the feng shui jewellery will be perfect as it is personalized feng shui that affects the wearer alone. They are designed in such a way that they can be worn everyday. At the same time, these will become a sort of collector's item because once a new line (of other auspicious symbols) is produced, the previous one will be discontinued. The feng shui jewellery is the first of its own kind and a made-in-Malaysia effort between OE Design and Lillian with an affordable price range of RM1,333 to RM4,888. There might even be a range in jade as well, if there are any interested parties willing to go into joint-venture, says Lillian. Feng Shui jewellery? They are definitely here to stay.

Lillian Too's Fine Jewellery For Health, Wealth and Happiness will be launched at the OE Showroom in KL on April 17.
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