QL Exclusive: An interview with the Qatari jewelry designer, Nada Al Sulaiti
Qatar Living speaks to the jewelry designer and entrepreneur, Nada Khamis Al Sulaiti, to learn more about her business Hairaat Jewellry.
Nada is a Qatari designer, who is a recipient of many international awards since she began working as a jewelry designer.
“I always wanted to be a jewelry designer, the tipping point for me was winning the awards in 2007/2008 that made me pursue it professionally and follow my dream. My first professional award was when I won second place in the bracelet category for the Tahitian Pearl Trophy International in 2007, and the first place in the earring category for the Tahitian Pearl Trophy International, in 2008,” she said.
Nada’s interest in jewelry dates back to her childhood, leading her to pursue it professionally until she became the founder of Hairaat Jewellery.
“My interest in art and design started at an early age when I was a child, playing with watercolors. However, it was not until 1998, I enrolled in community classes during the summer break to learn painting and designing,” she said.
“I have also loved jewelry since I was young – a passion which perhaps originated when I first saw my mother buy and collect jewelry. Later, I took my interest further, reading up extensively on the subject,” Nada recalled.
“I first carved wax in summer school at the age of 18 and later I attended Diamond, Gemstones, and Pearls grading courses, along with my sister. That, I believe, can be called the start of my journey, and Hairaat’s,” she added.
She established her business, Hairaat Jewellery, with the aim to combine Qatar’s remarkable culture and architecture with the highest standard of luxury jewelry design.
“The beauty of Hairaat lies in the unique heritage, stories, and memories that each piece unfolds. Every piece is inspired by memories of culture and family,” Nada mentioned.
Nada’s inclination toward jewelry comes from her mother, according to her.
“The shopping trips with my mother are where my fascination with jewelry began. It’s where I first learned and understood about gemstones and the pearls, how they are gently weaved together to form intricate designs and patterns that spark countless smiles,” she said.
“Today, one of my biggest inspirations is seeing the same smiles on my customers when they walk out adorning a piece from Hairaat,” she added.
Nada embraces the unique identity of Qatar and its culture, which has influenced her creative process.
“After living in Europe for a while, I noticed how most of the jewelry that we wear are designed by international designers and none of it reflects our culture and the beauty of it,” she said.
“So, I took it as my mission to express our culture and heritage through every curve and corner of the jewelry I craft and take all that unseen beauty and show it to the world. Even the name Hairaat, is inspired by the pearl diving culture here,” she described.
Every piece of Hairaat Jewellery embodies and inspires a different story.
“Each story demands to be expressed through a different stone or a combination of a few. To achieve the precise reflection of a story or a memory, we make use of a variety of stones. Starting from the fundamental 18K gold to all different gemstones such as Sapphire, Ruby, Diamonds, Topaz, Aquamarine, and Pearls,” she said.
“As for my favorite stone, I might have to say the Alexandrite stone. There is something deeply fascinating about its color-changing characteristics. It's an interesting interplay to watch how just a touch of sunlight and the stone molds itself into a completely new direction.
“This peculiar trait is what inspired me to incorporate the Alexandrite stone for the ‘Education Above All’ piece to mark reaching 10 million vulnerable children around the globe. The metaphor here lies within how education has the power to reach minds and change human ideology,” she highlighted.
The signature collection in Hairaat Jewellery, is the AlJassasiya collection, particularly the AlJassasiya stackable rings.
“This collection is inspired by the unique and beautiful fossils found in AlJassasiya. Originally made with several precious and semi-precious stones, in 2020, we also introduced enamel to suit our clients’ desire in acquiring contemporary light and playful pieces,” she said.
Like other entrepreneurs, Nada too has faced many challenges since the beginning of her journey.
“After everything, until this date, I think one of the biggest challenges I face every day is successfully pulling through as a woman in a male-dominated culture,” she said.
“All my life, I have been surrounded and brought up by strong women and taught to be one myself. But it can get difficult sometimes, having to continually redefine the underlying assumptions surrounding gender roles. I think some parts of our society are still struggling to accept women breaking the stereotypes rooted in traditional gender roles,” she underlined.
With regards to COVID-19, Nada mentioned that it has affected her personally and professionally.
“Personally, it was very hard to not be able to socialize closely with people. My grandma did not understand why her other kids would not come to visit her. Professionally, in terms of Hairaat Jewellery, since we opened in late 2019, we were aiming to be paperless and the staff to be able to work remotely, so from an Operations point of view, there was no change except that we moved the Jewellery to a more accessible location from the closed mall,” she described.
Nada concluded with some advice to all the entrepreneurs saying, “The first and the most important step I would say is to start studying the market and understand where you would be different. In order to succeed you have to differentiate yourself, you have to be unique.”
“The first step is the hardest step but start the right way and don’t give up. Especially for us women living in a male-dominant culture, it takes more effort to prove yourself, but don’t give up. Pursue your passion and do it without any hesitations,” she ended.
To know more about Nada Khamis Al Sulaiti and her business Hairaat Jewellery, you can check her Instagram page: @nbksulaiti or @hairaat
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