Driven by her passion to create artist and Founder of The O Jewelry Shamsa Al Omaira embarked on a journey to launch her own fine jewellery line
The worlds of art and jewellery have always been closely intertwined. While the mediums may be different, the creative concepts and inspirations have often overlapped throughout history. It was this that inspired Emirati artist Shamsa Al Omaira to diversify her background in the art world to found her fine jewellery line The O Jewelry. Al Omaira’s artwork explores the philosophy of the mind, expressed through a variety of media including painting photography, printmaking and mixed-media installations. Through her artworks, she sends personal messages and confessions, inspired by her historical possessions and childhood memories. The artist has always been fascinated by the mind and the ways thoughts and stories can be translated through art. Al Omaira’s work as an artist has been greatly celebrated both in the UAE and internationally. She has exhibited her works at art fairs and galleries as far afield as Italy and London and has even had her work published in a book by Richard Noyce.
A passion the artist has always had in the back of her mind is her love for jewellery. This has led to her creating her own jewellery brand The O Jewelry which has the same values as her artwork. A brand that strives for excellence in quality, design and materials, Al Omaira creates pieces that celebrate life, appreciate art and provoke sentiments. The designs celebrate the richness of the past and the simplicity of the present, creating a unique aesthetic that combines modernity with classic, timeless design.
To celebrate UAE National Day The O Jewelry has launched an exclusive collection dedicated to the Emirates. These pieces which are part of the Patriotism collection, were designed to evoke love and hope, tradition, legacy and respect. Featuring the image of Zayed bun Sultan as well as motifs and the map of the UAE, the collection in gold and diamonds is a tribute to the protection, welfare and happiness that the UAE provides. We find out more about this collection as well as the designer’s passion for art and creativity.
How do you think your background as an artist translates into your jewellery brand The O Jewelry?
As an artist, I found myself forming my own creative language, which eventually translated into fine jewelry. In my designs, I conceptualize jewelry, reference art movements, avail writers, and have conversations with great artists. When I design jewellery, I work in the same way as when I paint or create art; expressing thoughts and conveying feelings.
What made you want to start your own jewellery business?
I ventured into fine jewelry to explore new means of design and creation. The response I got from my customers after creating my first collection was overwhelmingly motivating which inspired me to create the brand.
What can you tell us about the UAE National Day collection, Patriotism and what is the message you want to send with these pieces?
I believe patriotism is something that is always felt in the heart, my pride and love for my country is a constant presence that goes beyond the National Day celebration. The lead-up UAE National Day celebrations heighten my sense of loyalty and nationalism which inspires new creations. Wearing a diamond-encrusted emblem of the UAE, the Sheikh Zayed portrait inlaid with diamonds, the precious map of the UAE or any of our pieces sends a powerful message of pride and patriotism.
This year the UAE celebrates 49 years – what inspires you the most about your country?
The UAE is a young, globalised and modern country that is constantly open to change and growth, yet remains rich in its culture and rooted in traditions. I find that truly inspiring.
What is a fond memory you have of growing up in the UAE?
The joy and happiness of waking up to the scent of Oud, a new Thoub and my mother’s chosen traditional jewellery on the UAE National Day. The celebrations, the beautiful energy, the smiles of everyone while patriotic songs play; these are the memories that are secure in my mind.
This year has been a strange one for all – have you been continuing working and how has this period affected your creative state of mind?
This might be strange, but I believe my creative state of mind reached new levels this year. Aside from being constantly inspired, the abundance of time and clarity of mind was useful; my priorities shifted, and I became more focused.
Who is the woman you design jewellery for?
A confident woman; one who appreciates beauty and relates to the concepts behind my pieces.
How do you think the way women wear jewellery has evolved?
Women were choosing jewellery based on monetary value, something that is obviously luxurious. Nowadays, as important as the monetary value is, they look for pieces that provoke sentiment and preserve memories.
What is the first piece of jewellery you owned?
A mother of pearl necklace.
What can you tell us about ethical sourcing and sustainability at The O Jewelry?
At The O Jewelry we are constantly aware of where our diamonds, stones and gold metal originate from. All that we use is ethically obtained and conflict-free.
Tell us a little about your bespoke service and why did you think it was important to offer this to your customers?
Since the beginning of The O Jewelry I have been working on bespoke pieces for the family. Seeing the impact these pieces had in preserving memories and creating beautiful connections resonated with me, I decided it would be great if I could offer this to the public.
What is your biggest achievement so far?
I think one of my proudest moments was displaying the Zayed Bin Sultan 1949 necklace at the founder’s memorial in Abu Dhabi. Internationally my biggest achievement was exhibiting my work at the Sotheby’s London.
What is something you would still like to achieve?
There is so much more to achieve, I cannot name one thing; what I have accomplished so far is just the start.
If you could tell your younger self something what would it be?
Have patience, trust the process and let go.
What is the biggest challenge you face in what you do?
I think the biggest challenge I face is in the risk-taking aspect of designing. I love innovating in design and production; doing that with expensive materials is a risk because at the end of the day we want to succeed in appealing to the customers.
What advice would you give to anyone afraid to chase their dreams?
What do you have to lose?
What is the life motto you live by?
Thankful through everything.