THE H.SENA JOURNEY
A STORY OF PASSION FOR BEAUTY
Founded and named after Sinhalese craftsman Henry Senanayake in 1919, the first H. Sena store debuted in Bangkok, Thailand at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel along with his wife Henrietta. Enamored by the Raffles Hotel during a stopover visit in the 1930s, Henry eventually set-up a boutique in Singapore before returning to Bangkok with his brothers taking charge, thus commencing the cycle of a family-run tradition. Two subsequent branches were then opened in Malaysia. Under his leadership, Henry gradually built a presence within the circle of Asia’s elites. At the height of his career, his artistry was awarded with a string of prolific commissions which include fully customized tiaras for then-ruling royalties of Kedah and Kelantan, dealings with the King and Queen of Thailand, bespoke pieces for notable political figures, as well as a silver casket that was presented to the late Prince Phillip during one of his visits to Singapore.
Following Henry’s retirement in 1962, the torch was then passed down to his youngest son, Dharma Sena, who went on to further H. Sena as Singapore’s leading jeweller for high grade diamonds and coloured gemstones, marked by a personal measure of superiority and brilliance. Carrying the legacy of his father, Dharma continued the relationships and commissions for Malaysian royalty and the elites, gradually cementing its status as the leading bespoke jeweller for those in search for flawless stones to invest in, and to create perfect one-of-a-kind pieces in their vision.
Now in it’s 3rd generation of Sena’s, daughter Medhanie Senanayake helms the business since 2010. Some of her most formative memories include following her father to jewellery fairs – a yearly experience that has helped initiate her into a family business that revolves around detail and intimacy. Medhanie’s mother Tusitha also played a vital role in the company’s story, both as mentor and safekeeper of H. Sena’s wealth of knowledge in the craft. In her duty to uphold H. Sena’s commitment to excellent, it was Tusitha who took the responsibility of honing Medhanie’s skill in appraising gems at the start of the journey, guiding her with an experienced eye that has been sharpened over decades.
“As a smaller-scale, family-run luxury business, the word of H. Sena has always been kept within the relationship bubble of our loyal clientele who has continued to seek us out over the years. Now that the company has passed the 100-year mark, it is time for us to recalibrate, break out of that traditional mold and reintroduce our legacy and artistry with an elevated point of view,” says owner and director Medhanie Senanayake.