Emirati jewellery designer Noora Shawqi has always had a love for creation. we discover why it was her passion for jewellery that led her to develop her own label and what we can expect to see from the future of the brand
Emirati Jewellery designer Noora Shawqi began her jewellery career with her Instagram account @noorask, which shared her love of fine jewellery through some of her favourite pieces. Her following quickly grew and Shawqi decided to take her passion one step further by creating her own jewellery line.
In 2018 she launched her jewellery brand and she recently debuted her first collection exclusively in Robinsons in Dubai. The Ceylon collection draws inspiration from Sri Lanka, a country that has a rich history of colourful gemstones and vibrant jewellery making. After travelling to the country Shawqi began to discover gemstones she wasn’t previously familiar with and from this, her collection was born. The Ceylon collection combines culture with craftsmanship and features statement pieces with clean outlines in 18-carat gold. It features Sapphires, Aquamarines, Amethyst, Morganites and Blue topaz as well as other carefully chosen colourful stones. Here we talk to Noora Shawqi to discover more about the collection and the inspiration behind her designs.
What first inspired you to start your own jewellery line?
Starting my own jewellery line was something I have always wanted to do as my love for jewellery has been with me since a very young age. Attending courses at the Gemmological Institute of America and with L’ecole Van Cleef & Arpels further developed my passion to go down this path.
How do you think growing up in the UAE has influenced your brand?
Growing up in the UAE has instilled certain values and traditions in me that I like to portray through my designs. I grew up admiring the Emirati woman’s eye for beauty and love for fine jewellery, which definitely influenced the way I see jewellery.
What can you tell us about the Ceylon Collection?
The Ceylon Collection is inspired by Sri Lanka which is affectionately known as the Gem Island. Fusing Sri Lanka’s rich culture with its colourful gem industry history inspired a collection that embodies an array of gemstones placed into statement pieces.
Why did you decide to partner with Robinsons for this collection?
I was searching for a retailer that would be a great fit for my brand and Robinsons seemed perfect! It is a great department store and is loved by regional clients making it an ideal choice.
Talk us through your creative process.
In order to get inspired, I usually travel as it refreshes my mind from stress and lets me focus on the beautiful things around me. The things I see around me during my travels are always new and uncommon and this initiates my design process. New details, new concepts, and new visuals together fuel me to sketch designs and develop new pieces.
Who is the woman that you design jewellery for?
A woman who is modern, confident and unique. I like to design for women who choose meaningful jewellery as an everyday companion or to mark a special occasion in their life.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
My biggest achievement is developing a reputation of becoming “The Jewellery Girl”. I’ve loved jewellery my whole life and it was surprising yet humbling to see how people trust my choices and come to me for advice based on my blogging experience. This has also helped in creating a trust for my brand which I’m very thankful for.
What would you still like to achieve with your jewellery brand?
I want to see Noora Shawqi grow into an internationally known brand and be available at high-end boutiques around the world.
Why did you decide to keep your base in Dubai?
As an Emirati, it is only a natural fit for my brand to be based here with the immense support system I have. I also have access to great production houses here which is vital for my brand.
What is your first memory of jewellery?
One of the first memories I have of jewellery is going to the mall with my mother and seeing a beautiful Cartier necklace. I will never forget this!
Your pieces are often inspired by travel – what do you think travel adds to you as a person?
Travel is the best way to immerse oneself in a new culture and surroundings. Experiencing a new country has exposed me to different values and traditions which inspire my designs as well.
Where is the place you like to travel to the most?
I love to explore and visit new places so I try not to repeat places. However, if I am looking for a very relaxing vacation, I would definitely go back to The Maldives.
Who is the person that inspires you?
My mother and my mother-in-law are two people who have really helped me achieve everything that I have. Their support and the passion they carry inspire me on a daily basis.
Growing up in the UAE – what is your first memory of this country?
My fondest memories of growing up in the UAE are going on trips around the country to explore all the Emirates with a big group of family and friends.
What would you say is the biggest challenge you face today?
As a new designer, it takes time to build a name for yourself and create brand awareness in the jewellery industry. People often think it happens overnight but it is a long journey that requires a lot of hard work and perseverance to get your brand recognised.
What is a book that has inspired you?
You are a Badass by Jen Sincero
How would you describe your brand in one word?