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Whatever the inspiration, I ensure that the concept remains central to the design process: Nosheen Bakhsh



Nosheen Bakhsh, founder and designer of Sheen Jewellery, speaks to The Retail Jeweller World about design experiments, retail strategies, challenges of the digital eco-system and the philanthropic foundation of the brand

Nosheen Bakhsh, a Saudi designer of Kashmiri origin based in Dubai, launched Sheen “Jewellery for Social Good” in September 2013. A graduate in Visual Communication (Creative Advertising) with a Master’s from Pratt Institute in Manhattan, New York, in 2016, she reshaped her career to pursue her passion for jewellery design and has since launched many new collections. What started as a small dream has now materialised into a combination of her passions: jewellery, accessories and humanitarian work.

1. What was the inspiration behind the name of your brand?

The name Sheen is derived from my name, Nosheen. It also means ‘shine or lustre’, which is relevant to jewellery. It felt like the perfect fit for my brand name.

2. Increasingly, consumers are evaluating brands for the greater good it does for the community.  Your brand has imbibed this philosophy from the very beginning. Tell us about it.  

The idea for Sheen Jewelry originated as a university project in 2010 when I envisioned creating a business encompassing my passion for jewellery and desire to impact the world positively. Inspired by Tom’s (the shoe brand) business model, I was motivated to incorporate a philanthropic aspect into Sheen Jewelry by donating a percentage of every sale. We have supported humanitarian causes such as Doctors Without Borders (MSF), Revive Kashmir, and UNHCR for their various programs- the Sudan issue, the Syrian refugee crisis, the Rohingya emergency, and the Yemen emergency.

3. What is the design approach and product positioning of ‘Sheen Jewelry’?

Sheen Jewelry has three founding pillars: culture, design and humanity. My primary source of inspiration stems from culture and heritage arts with a fusion of the old and the new. I focus on the overall concept and inspiration behind the collection. Whatever the inspiration, I ensure that the concept remains central to the design process. Sheen also offers customised jewellery and, occasionally, upcycling projects – transforming old, unworn jewellery into unique pieces.

4. Which retail formats are working well for the brand?

A combination of online and offline retail strategies works for me. Initially, we had a presence in 8-10 multi-brand stores, but we have since shifted our strategy to focus on direct sales through online platforms and social media. While we still maintain a presence in a concept store at Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi, most of our sales now come through direct channels. We receive orders from customers worldwide, including the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and even Australia, a significant expansion from our previous focus on the UAE and KSA.

5. Tell us about your latest collections and signature pieces.

The most recent collection in 18-karat gold is called Luma, meaning light and luminous, which is about a universal celebration of a life of normalcy post-pandemic – the light at the end of the tunnel. Regarding signature pieces, the Arabesque collection, first developed in 2014, holds a special place in my heart as it pays homage to the cultural heritage of Islamic art and architecture, showcasing intricate patterns and exquisite detailing. 

6. How do you experiment with your jewellery designs?

I am particularly drawn to pastel-coloured natural stones; my favourites are sapphires, especially pink sapphires. I design using sterling silver and 18k gold, balancing aesthetics and functionality. From diamonds to lab-grown diamonds, precious and semi-precious stones, mother of pearl and even acrylic pieces, the goal is to bring a sense of novelty and excitement to each collection, regardless of the material.  

7. How do the digital eco-system influence consumers’ buying journeys and decisions?

A significant challenge is the growing prominence of online shopping and it’s evolving consumer behaviour. Customers have embraced online platforms as a primary source of information and shopping experiences, especially since Covid. They expect a cohesive and integrated approach where they can easily transition from exploring a brand’s social media presence to purchasing on their website or visiting a physical store. As a result, maintaining a robust online presence and finding the right balance between online and offline channels has become increasingly important.

8. What next for SHEEN? How do you plan to grow the brand?

Overall my vision for Sheen is to become a globally recognised and respected jewellery brand synonymous with craftsmanship, creativity, and compassion. I plan to amplify our brand visibility and accessibility within the GCC and internationally.

 By Bushra Satkhed

Retail Jeweller World Exclusive