"I believe that meaningful jewellery is becoming the way of the future and being a scientist and a jeweller really gives me a more technical perspective on design. Our customers often comment on how comfortable the pieces are when worn and I believe those small technical details are the reason for this as well as good craftsmanship of course" - Aveen Oghana.
Aveen Jewellery is a luxury jewellery brand focused on using sophisticated materials and unique techniques to create jewels with travelling as a point of inspiration. Aveen Oghana is a British-Iraqi born creative designer behind the Aveen Jewellery brand and has worked and studied across Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Aveen currently lives and works from her design studio in the United Arab Emirates. Aveen jewellery was launched to create contemporary, high-end jewellery with impeccable craftsmanship that offers accessible everyday luxury for women across the globe. All Aveen jewellery pieces are individually handcrafted featuring 18k gold, diamonds, fine gemstones and colourful enamel.
Jewellery Pursuer sat down with Aveen to discuss all things jewellery and design. Find out the discussion below and enjoy reading... :-)
The Portrait of Aveen Oghana
Jewellery Pursuer: How was Aveen jewellery brand born?
Aveen Oghana: I have always loved creativity from a young age but have also always been very academic. I pursued a career in science and trained as a pharmacist in the UK so I didn’t pursue my passion for design until much later in life. For more than a decade now I have been fortunate enough to travel the world and observe different cultures and lifestyles and it’s been through my travels that my passion for creativity was revived. My journey into the world of jewellery started after a trip to the city of gemstones, Jaipur where I fell in love with the vast array of precious gemstones and India’s traditional craftsmanship. I couldn’t help but buy some loose stones to experiment with once I returned home to Hong Kong where I was living at the time. Realising my passion, I eventually gained a jewellery design and gemmology diploma from the Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences in Bangkok. Following on from that I enrolled in numerous courses to hone my skills in luxury branding, product design, and gemmology at renowned teaching centres like the London College of Fashion and L’Ecole Van Cleef & Arpels.
JP: How do you get inspired?
AO: I am inspired by my travels, contemporary design & architecture, sculpture and photography. I compulsively photograph everything that I find beautiful and go back to my studio with my photographs to start the process of creating. I am also inspired by my wonderful local and international client base who always give me valuable input and ideas for current and future collections.
JP: Do you manufacture your jewellery pieces in Dubai?
AO: A local production facility in the United Arab Emirates is an important standpoint for the brand. It means that we are supporting the local economy, it reduces our environmental impact, helps us be price competitive and keeps our community unique. It also supports the brand’s long term vision where we have integrated a make-to-order offer, thereby working towards reducing the impact of mass manufacturing through low inventory and less wastage.
Aveen Wonderlust Coin Pendant, made with Mother of Pearls and diamond
JP: What can you say about sourcing your stones?
AO: As an emerging brand, we are always striving to find ways to help us be more sustainable as this is key to set the tone for our future growth. The processes behind sourcing ethical gemstones are complex. I have been fortunate in the past few years to have built trusted relationships with gemstone dealers who have actually visited the places they are buying from
to ensure fair practices. This remains to be one of the biggest challenges for many jewellery brands as we endeavour to trace our gemstones from mine to market, although thanks to the Kimberley Process we can be sure that we will not be using conflict diamonds. The United Arab Emirates implemented the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme in the UAE in 2003 making it the first Arab country to introduce this process.
JP: Have you come across any challenges in this pause?
AO: “Sustainability” is a very broad term - being able to measure its impact is important. We, therefore, choose to focus on achievable measures that have an immediate impact. Workers welfare and fair wages, is an important stance for the brand, especially in this sector. In addition to choosing our ateliers diligently, we also work with artisans who excel in their craft, and factory owners who are aligned with our ethics of good working conditions and fair wages. As a natural extension, we are keen to use the best materials and have strict quality control criteria to offer a fine product that will last with time.
JP: What do Aveen collections feature?
AO: “Aveen” was launched to create a contemporary, high-quality product with impeccable craftsmanship that offers accessible everyday luxury for women across the globe. All our pieces are individually handcrafted featuring 18k gold, diamonds, fine gemstones and colourful enamel. The range offers transformable pieces including necklaces, earrings and ear cuffs, bracelets and statement rings - that can be used to dress up or down depending on the occasion. Through innovation and intelligent design, customisation stays at the heart of the brand offer, allowing for personal storytelling by engraving as per the clients desire, whilst other pieces are modular, rendering an otherwise simplified purchasing process fun and meaningful.
Aveen rings, Vega, Astrid ring with blue topaz, and 18kt emerald ring
JP: Tell me about your future plans.
AO: Our immediate plans are to continue to work on our distribution channels (we are currently stocked in both London and Dubai as well as online), strengthen our digital platforms and look for interesting collaborations. We are a small team and it’s especially important to us that we have a community of like-minded companies and brands to relate to, create together, communicate and be more powerful together.