My Big Jewelry Business Dream

My journey into the world of jewelry began between 2018 and 2019 while I was living in Dubai, working as a salesperson in the construction industry. The construction business in Dubai is notoriously stressful and challenging. In a decade, I switched between four different companies. Despite the financial stability these jobs provided, I felt disconnected and unable to fit in this system. The nature of the job was hectic and stressful, marred by difficult bosses, health stress issues, corruption, and corporate politics. But the most significant issue was the lack of passion I felt for my work.

I’ve always admired people who find their passion early and nurture it into a hobby or business. For me, it took time, but as they say, better late than never. Thankfully it was during my time in Dubai that I discovered my love for jewelry.

Dubai, a hub for gold and jewelry, offered endless exploration. I spent countless hours in the Gold Souk in Deira and the Gold and Diamond Park, searching for unique yet affordable jewelry pieces. I would draw a piece of jewelry in my imagination and start looking for it in the various shops.

The diversity in styles was fascinating - from the intricate, symbolic 22-karat Indian designs to the minimalistic, contemporary Italian designs crafted in 18k gold and innovative in design.

While I appreciated the various jewelry styles available, I noticed a lack of personal touch in much of the mass-produced jewelry. I should not forget to mention the incredible designer pieces, available online or designers' boutique, but are often beyond a reasonable budget. 

My fascination with jewelry grew into an obsession. I had always enjoyed designing and drawing since childhood, but never pursued it seriously. When COVID-19 hit in 2020, I began contemplating leaving my corporate job to focus on what truly made me happy. I researched various jewelry design and making courses but was deterred by the lengthy commitments. Eventually, I came across GIA, which offered intensive courses ranging from 2 to 7 months, and though it can be a good start for a comprehensive course. I applied for the Jewelry Design program at GIA Thailand but faced COVID-related visa restrictions for two years in a row. 

Feeling stifled in my sales job and unable to join GIA Thailand, I decided not to wait any longer and chose to apply to GIA Carlsbad in California in 2022, where I could obtain a vocational visa. After securing a two-month unpaid leave, I embarked on this new venture.

 

GIA Carlsbad was a whole new experience, intense, challenging  and stimulating at the same time. I learned jewelry and gemstones hand sketching, different rendering techniques, watercoloring and different jewelry styles across history.  

 

  

 Beyond my design course, I become truly obsessed with jewelry and fell in love with the colored gemstones displayed in Carlsbad Campus corridors, which influenced the design style I adopted later on, and I promised myself to undertake the Graduate Gemologist course which GIA is famous for on, later on. 

Upon returning to Dubai, I began drafting a business plan for my jewelry startup, balancing it with my full-time job. There were many factors to take in consideration: what style of jewelry shall I adopt, how I imagined my ideal customer to be, social media and marketing, photography, my website, finding ethical suppliers and a trustworthy workshop, among many others.

I wanted to differentiate my designs from mainstream jewelry, create something simple for everyday wear yet with a unique touch. I focused on colorful gemstones in my jewelry designs as they gave me so much joy, also chose 18k gold handcrafted jewelry to ensure quality and durability. I envisioned my ideal customer to be a strong and independent young or middle-aged woman who values quality and is willing to invest a reasonable amount on a unique piece of jewelry that she can enjoy and cherish forever. It's also essential to provide the possibility for my customer to customize her jewelry piece and participate in the design process. 

Starting a business with limited resources is challenging. It requires commitment, patience, and passion. You have to thrive for success but also be ready to fail, it’s lots of hard work and patience, and unless you’re really passionate about it, there are tens of hurdles that come into your way that would make you want to stop. When I embarked in this journey, I started this as a hobby or a side activity while hoping that one day I will become a successful jewelry business owner.

It is just the start and I’m embracing this journey in each step, and excited for the future.

 

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