Dubai-born jewellery designer Noora Shawqi shares her memories of travel through feminine and clean designs.
Shawqi’s designs are constructed in the finest materials of gold, diamonds and vibrant stones. Her eponymous collection is made primarily in Dubai, as she works closely with highly skilled artisans.
She is certified as a Diamond Graduate from the Gemological Institution of America, has received a Diamond Grader certification from the International Gemological Institute and has completed a course at L’Ecole Van Cleef & Arpels.
These experiences gave her an exclusive insight into jewellery manufacturing and designing for diamonds and gemstones, allowing her to utilize these skills and launch her brand in 2018 with debut line named the Ceylon Collection – it draws inspiration from Sri Lanka, affectionately known as the Gem Island.
We get know her over a couple of capuccino’s.
What’s the first thing you do when you get up in the morning?
I make sure I start my day on a positive note. I pick up my phone and read the quote I have in my homepage display which is always a positive/motivational quote. I change it from time to time, but it always has to be something which will help me improve or be a better version of myself in different aspects of my life (personality and work wise).
What is it about jewellery that inspires you?
Jewellery is another form of beautiful art. The most inspiring thing about it is the combination of Earth-made gemstones and man-made work of art to form a jewellery piece that can express one’s personality. The beauty of both gems and jewellery formation is spectacular to me. The details of the gem can speak for itself, whereas each stone has its own characteristic that makes it special. As for handmade jewellery, it takes days and weeks to make and the details and finishing are remarkable.
Tell us a little bit about the latest collection.
My latest collection “Ceylon” is inspired by the beautiful gemstones found in Sri Lanka. Throughout my trip to Sri Lanka I was inspired by the amount of gemstones that are found there which I didn’t appreciate before. I learned so much about them from suppliers and jewellers, I learned to value them and love them as much as they do.
Why did you choose to channel your creative energy into jewellery?
I knew I had a passion for jewellery since I was a young girl. I’m always hungry to learn more, explore more, meet people in the industry and listen to their experience. I also took some courses to learn more about it and I never got bored. Although, it took most of my time, I’d still give it more. This was when I finally realised that it’s time to start something because I know how passionate I am about it and I was ready to see what I am capable of doing.
What is your first jewellery memory?
During a visit to the mall with my mum when I was young, we passed by Cartier and I was awestruck by a diamond necklace on the display. It was a beautiful necklace with a line of diamonds in a V shape; the centre diamond was big and bright and they gradually go smaller all the way to the back. I stopped my mom and told her “I need this in my life!”. I took a picture of it and I still remember how it looks and how beautiful it was.
Why do you love working with colourful stones?
Working with colourful stones gives me an opportunity to get creative with the colour combinations and cuts. There are so many gemstones out there that come in different colours, shapes, sizes and shades. It is also one of the main things that inspired me to develop this collection. Before I started this, I mentioned to my husband “I’m going to go crazy with this collection”.
Describe your design process.
I have an office at home which is my personal design studio. It is an ideal space as I prefer not to have any distractions when I am ready to design and get into details. If something inspires me out of the blue, I’d just go and roughly sketch it so I don’t forget. If I want to, then I will proceed with the design.
Can we expect a collection in the future inspired by the Middle East?
What can we expect from the brand in the new year?
The new year will bring the launch of my website and online store. Along with that, my goal is to start stocking at different department stores.
Complete the sentence: I’m happy when…
I’m surrounded by positive and happy people.
What do you do to relax?
As a full-time mom and an entrepreneur, I need to have my weekly massages on Friday afternoons. When I’m really stressed, I’d go twice a week. I need to have this one hour for myself to relax. It re-energises me and I feel positive and ready again.
What really annoys you?
Laziness. I don’t like being lazy and I don’t like being surrounded by lazy people.
If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
Believe in yourself and it’s okay to take risks.
What’s your personal motto?
Always believe in yourself and dreams. Attracting and implementing positive energy and thoughts to your daily life is key to achieving anything you believe in.
How do you want the world to remember you?
The girl who had a dream and achieved it!