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The jewels of St Petersburg carved Olga Kihlstrom’s dazzling dreams



Talk to us about your brand. When did you discover your love for jewellery?

There is one thing that I believe. Unique Identity creates beautifully simple and timeless products that tell personalized stories of the past, present, and future. All our designs are centered around customized initials, tailor-made world maps, astrological signs, birthstones – pieces completely unique to your lives evolving stories. Our opulent but contemporary designs are suitable for wearing daily.

I grew up in St. Petersburg, where I spent my childhood gazing at the dazzling jewels and accessories in the State Hermitage Museum. The Romanov collection of jewels impressed rulers and foreign ambassadors for many centuries.

I’ve been inspired all my life by what I saw during my childhood, and decided to gain my qualification in diamond grading and gemstones in 2019 from GIA — the world’s foremost authority on diamonds, colored stones, and pearls.

I’ve always had a passion for jewellery, and my learning has helped me truly understand the value of the materials that we use. It’s the forefront of unique identity, something we will never compromise. I’ve dedicated myself to building a brand that is both beautiful and intentional, and I sincerely hope that you love our pieces as much as I do.

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

The most heartwarming response we got was for our ‘birthstones’ collection, where we combined the beautiful idea of having your own birthstone together with opulent designs. What inspired me is the combination of colors, contemporary shapes and volumes in design.

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

Each item is very delicate, elegant and simple, however, mixing a few items together will give you absolutely stunning, fashionable, and stylish  looks.

How do you think the jewellery industry in Russia has evolved with time? What other countries have seen your presence?

We are present in Europe, especially in Scandinavian countries. In Russia more ateliers or boutiques appear with young designers who took the chance to prove and share their talents in the jewellery field.

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

We specialize in manufacturing our items from 18K Gold with varieties of gemstones.

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

I can’t say that one collection is more favorite, than others, as each one of them has meaning behind its creation. However, I can say that Map collection was a turning point in my career as it has a very romantic idea behind it.

Have you ventured into the Middle Eastern jewellery industry? Tell us about the market.  

I’m still consider myself new in the Middle East and especially Dubai, where we have many different cultures. But at the same time, I was lucky to be part of this amazing mixture of cultures and traditions and to understand the majority of them, which reflected positively on our business to meet their requirements.

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

I can’t say to improve, I can modify it a little. There needs to be education in this industry. Retailers need to be updated and must follow the trends and understand the consumers requirements.

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

With the new decade, our vision is to expand our network and reach different clients from different cultures and this, what we are working on, is to design and create new collections to meet each culture, tradition and to touch the personal taste.

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

This pandemic taught us a lot of lessons, it has awakened people and alerted them to prioritize their daily lives. Jewellery is classified under luxury, which means it’s not the priority, and the pandemic increased the challenge.

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

Currently, all our collections and items are made from 18K gold but I can say that all stones have done well, especially when we talk about diamonds and the Big 3 (Ruby, Sapphire, and Emerald), also, we can’t ignore the other stones which are classified as birthstones.

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

I’m always optimistic, Surely, we should know that the concepts of retail business have changed and many industries moved to manage their business online. Even the education sector is not far from this shift now.

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

For us, as we started online, social media and technology played a huge role in bringing our brand to the market.

What is your advice for retailers in the post-pandemic era?

Be positive and think differently as the traditional methods of selling jewellery might not be the only way to sell these days. Accept changes and find solutions in untraditional methods.

Courtesy: Retail Jeweller World News

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