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Melati Jewelry’s pieces ring in minimal designs with weighty intentions

Yasmine Alsairafi, the owner of Melati Jewelry, talks to The Retail Jeweller World about what floats her design boat

When did you discover your love for jewellery?

It really began 10 years ago while traveling to Nepal. I had come across a stone in a river that shimmered with gold and really struck me. I took it back home with me and began to experiment with ways of keeping it close — initially gravitating towards electroforming. This was the beginning of my love and discovery for jewellery design and gemstones.

What kind of designs do you think do well? What inspires yours?

Minimal designs with weighty intentions. I’m inspired by the healing properties of gemstones and the power in the elements of this Earth.

How would you describe your style? What is your design language?

My personal style fluctuates somewhere between ethereal and edgy. Flowy dresses to jeans and a t-shirt. My jewellery is versatile in the same way- you don’t ever need to take it off and it speaks to whichever mood you are in.

How do you think the jewellery industry in Africa has evolved with time?

I think the region is known and celebrated for its opulent taste, but in a more modern era is gravitating towards more affordable, attainable jewellery that doesn’t need a special occasion to be worn.

Do you have any favourite metal or gemstone you like experimenting with?

Opals! They are mesmerising and seem to hold hidden galaxies inside of them. Being porous stones they tend to slightly change hue, but for me they seem more like mood stones- absorbing your negative energies and charging you with creativity and self-confidence. They are also so unique, which is an important quality to celebrate.

Talk to us about some of your most memorable collections. What is your personal favourite till date?

My personal favourite to date is my Rise collection. It is inspired by the rising sun and features a center power stone highlighted by our signature diamonds set as triangles. With this collection I dove deep into the world of gemstones healing properties, to find alternative birthstones with energies that are elevated to those born in every month of the year. They are colourful and uplifting. The process was fascinating and wearing mine serves as a reminder to catch every sunrise, which for the most part I have managed to do ever since. I like to layer them, mixing and matching different power stones depending on how I’m feeling, and I love that the wearer can connect with a stone that brings them the energies they seek, whether it is inspiration from a Moonstone, or attracting love with a Rose Quartz.

What are your feelings about sustainable jewellery designing? How do you incorporate that in your work?

I believe in the importance of sustainability. We seek ethically sourced stones, but I understand traceability is difficult when it comes to jewellery. Being a part of the consumer goods industry is still being a part of the problem- but what I love about fine jewellery is that it’s not fast fashion, and the products you are creating are a part of the Earth that will hopefully never end up in a waste pile. We also focus our sales on our retail partner, Al Zain jewellers, to reduce the necessity of shipping, but when we do ship, we use biodegradable poly mailers to reduce waste.

Where do you think retailers and manufacturers need to improve when it comes to the jewellery industry in the UAE?

I think it’s already happening, but I believe in fine jewellery being affordable and attainable. We’re seeing a lot more every day, of minimal designs that don’t cost a fortune.

2021 is the beginning of a new decade, what is your vision for your organization and the overall jewellery industry of the region?

I think it’s important to go into the new decade with a renewed sense of positivity and eco responsibility. I’m also interested in a more realistic assessment of jewellery pricing. It can be so heavily marked up because brands need the margins to be able to work with stores. If brands can rely on direct sales through their platform, or through a marketplace like an upscale version of Etsy, for example, they would be able to offer pricing closer to wholesale to customers.

What have been the learnings from the pandemic for our jewellery industry?

I think the upside of the pandemic is that people have spent last year self-reflecting and improving themselves. People are ready to treat themselves and have adapted to the comforts of online shopping.

What products according to you have done well in the UAE/ Region this year in terms of Gold / Diamonds / colour gemstones / platinum / anything else and if there are any specific trends.

Coloured gemstones, and focusing on the healing properties of the stones has the most appeal I think. Rose Quartz is always popular for attracting love.

How do you see the post pandemic and current scenario in retail?

I personally think people will be eager to get out and shop in a more social setting. We’ve spent the last year ordering everything online because of the restrictions that it just might revive physical shop locations.

How has digital media and technology helped in the jewellery business and what would you like to see more?

Creating an online store front and driving traffic has become very accessible through platforms like Shopify and Instagram. When I first started out in jewellery, I was able to very easily build my website, view analytics and work with influencers to build awareness. Although now the market has become oversaturated, making it harder to stand out. I’d love to see an online marketplace for the more affordable fine jewellery brands to get exposure.

What is your advice for budding designers?

To trust your creative process, don’t compare your measure of success with others, and use Shopify to build out your independent store front because it really is a wonderful tool.

Courtesy: Retail Jeweller World News

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