Author: 
Mariam Nihal, [email protected]
Publication Date: 
Wed, 2011-11-23 03:25

Nadia Dajani grew up in the UK and Nigeria. She studied architecture at University College, London. Clearly, future had other plans for the diva. Nadia’s passion for jewelry making and design surpassed her architectural endeavors, and she pursued her dreams in jewelry making. With her contemporary approach to handcrafted jewelry, she has incorporated the art of Arabic calligraphy with libretti for spreading a message of peace and providing lucidity to the world.
Inspired by Islamic art and interacting with people, Nadia releases a new collection once a year. She feels the most pleasurable aspect of her job is her ability to create and execute the thought process into pieces through to their creation, and ultimately to them being worn and enjoyed. “From our store in Amman as well as our exhibitions, we advise our patrons to try on the creations and to enjoy the different designs until they feel they have found a piece that resonates with their mood and personality, and which they get attached to. It is wonderfully satisfying to see our clients enjoy this experience!” Nadia relates.
Nadia’s company consists of a group of artists, all women, who have been trained in jewelry making. They have grown to a team of 20 ladies, all from Amman, and all without the privilege of a formal education. The jewelry, Nadia says, has become a livelihood for these women, and their income helps them to financially support their children.
The designer admits that there is no “logical process” that is followed, just instinct and inspiration when it comes to designing her beautiful work. “Each jewel comes into being as a result of mainly inspiration. The first seed is always ‘interest’ in a particular theme or subject, and then the process develops slowly until the piece comes into its final form.”
In discussion about the production process and its varying roles, Nadia tells Arab News she is directly involved in the designing and manufacturing of all the jewelry. “Once a piece is finished, we can pass it on to a member of the team to replicate it in the event we will produce more. There is a collection of unique designs, and another one of designs that are repeated.”
Nadia deems all the jewels that she personally designs are very special to her. “They are ones that reflect some kind of aspect of my interest. My Kunouz collection is one, which incorporates stones from Jordan that are combined with silver and gemstones and as such are very important to me and close to my heart.” The silver jewelry is handmade of sterling silver, combined with natural gemstones and no artificial stimulants. The stones are hand sourced by Nadia, and in the past few years, local stones sourced in Jordan have been incorporated and are featured in the Kunouz collection.
Another collection, which uses the art of Arabic calligraphy, reflects meanings that are very spiritual. Nadia feels that is particularly important as an Arab, and it bonds her with an emotional attachment to the collection. “I hold a special affection for the aesthetic of Arabic calligraphy in its many fonts and forms.”
Talking about Saudi women’s inherent love for traditional jewelry, Nadia says, “Jewelry has been an accessory for women across the ages, and is an expression of an art form that can be expressed at any particular time.” Her jewels are precisely that. They are a continuation in progression of a traditional Arab and Islamic art, where the Arabesque and Arabic calligraphy are customized to create the aesthetic that we are now familiar with. “Our interpretation of this old tradition is done in a contemporary way, to reflect the modern Arab woman and her aesthetic in the 21st century.”
Like fashion, every accessory worn is completely reliant on the individuality of the one wearing it. The sense of fashion is equally essential, but so is the flair needed to carry it off. Nadia agrees: “The way in which the woman decides to wear the jewelry reflects her personality. It is her interpretation of her own style, how she combines her clothes with her jewels, colors, as well as other accessories. Individuality is what we seek to help each lady with, as each jewel looks different on everyone!”
When asked about the role of a woman entrepreneur in the Middle East and the huge responsibility that comes with being a successful woman, Nadia admits the business atmosphere in Jordan is open for entrepreneurs — whether men or women — to work and to explore their potential. “This, of course, is not an easy undertaking by any means! I am fortunate to have the opportunity to follow my interest in jewelry and to push it to the extent that I am able to, and to see where it takes me and the company.” So far, her company has exhibited its work in many European capitals, and Nadia aims to continue to do so. “Exhibiting our art reaches out to people of all nations and reflects our Arab and Jordanian culture and heritage to them.” She admits having a company is a huge responsibility and that she is continuously learning ways to do better, develop and grow.
Nadia says she does not leave her house without “a piece of jewelry that reflects my mood for that day.” Her future plans embody creating awareness about her brand: “The plans are currently in the making, but our aim is to reach out and introduce ourselves to the Arab countries in 2012, as we have not done so till now.”
Is she going to hold any exhibits throughout Saudi and the Middle East? “I would love to!” she answers. “We are planning an exhibition in Dammam in January 2012.”
At an average, a customer can expect prices from as low as $10 and up. Nadia Dajani has one store in Jordan, but her jewels can be purchased online from the website www.nadiadajani.com.

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