There are countless jewellery brands that leave us feeling dizzy with all that 18K gold and those seriously sparkly precious and semi-precious stones. While Nada Ghazal certainly creates with these, there’s something about her work that puts it in a one-of-kind category. The pieces by the Lebanese Founder and Creative Director of Nada G™ Fine Jewelry are made with a sense of the personal, as each one is a part of a story, with Ghazal transferring her emotions and feelings. And as well as the love, time and painstaking labour that goes into making her distinctive, timeless pieces with an edge, it’s this emotional connection that has undoubtedly helped turn the brand into a popular, international award-winning one.
"Blat Beirut" cufflinks collection
Inspired by her grandma’s crocheting, Ghazal knew she wanted to be an artisan from a young age. After working in the advertising industry in Dubai, the striking dark haired entrepreneur had the kind of grounding she needed to follow her dream and launched Nada G™ Fine Jewelry in 2004.
We chat to Ghazal about her recent Woman Entrepreneur of the Year win during the Brilliant Lebanese Awards. We also touch on the challenges she has faced, making a dream a reality and her newest collections.
Congratulations for winning at The Brilliant Lebanese Awards. What went through your mind as you went on stage?
I could see my heart smile!!! Although I have won different international awards, this award has been the most rewarding one ever! First, because it was in my own hometown, second because I was awarded for creativity, sustainability and growth, CSR and of course financials. So the achievement was a big one taking into consideration that I am a first generation jeweller who started a business on her own in the midst of unstable days.
"Blat Beirut" rings collection
During your speech you thanked the little girl in you who dreamed of owning a successful business. How did you go about making this dream come true?
It’s very important to have a dream, but I think what is more important is to have a vision! As a child, I used to watch my grandmother’s delicate fingers weave pieces of art using string and a crochet needle. I could sit for hours on end watching her and never tire. I was fascinated with the intricate detail of the pieces she created. I clearly recall the wonderful feelings I had the first time she held my hand and gently pressed my finger against that needle as she carefully guided me to tie my first knot. I knew back then and at the early age of six that I wanted to be an artist and an artisan.
In 1994, and after gaining a degree in Advertising Design from the Lebanese American University, I travelled to Dubai, UAE, to work for a multi-national advertising agency. Working in advertising gave me a canvas to express those artistic talents and a better understanding of creating and building brands.
After working for 10 years in advertising and winning multiple regional and international advertising awards, I knew it was time to create my own brand. I knew for sure that my brand had to be personal and authentic and transcribe my emotions into something that was fascinating, distinctive and timeless. It would also have to awaken emotions in others.
"Fuse Glamour Earlobe" collection
What were the most difficult challenges you faced?
Besides instability, which everyone passes through, being a perfectionist, my biggest challenge has always been creating a team that is meticulous.
Which lesson would you pass on to Arab women who are working on a similar dream?
Whatever you decide to do, do it with love, do it from your heart.
Tell us about “Blat Beirut,” the capsule collection that’s inspired by nostalgic childhood memories.
“Blat Beirut,” which means “Tiles of Beirut” in English, is inspired by the gorgeous designs in tiles that grace period homes found in the city.
During the winter days we were forced to stay inside. While kids today look down to their tablets and play video games, we looked down to the ground, and using the tiles across the floors to play hopscotch, we hopped on our tiptoes to get across the tiles. Those designs are forever engraved in my mind, and now I’ve imprinted them on rings and cufflinks.
"Fuse Glamour Earlobe" earrings
The colourful tile designs are so detailed. Tell us about the process.
The main idea in this collection is to feature the patterns of the tiles in the simplest way. So the pieces are very simple, yet they portray the tile by using enamel combined with precious stones.
Why did you choose to focus on earrings for the bespoke “Fuse” collection?
Designing rings, bangles and chokers comes very naturally to me because I can envision them beautifully becoming one with the wearer. But I always feel earrings are like appendages that are an extension. When I decided to design this collection, I wanted the pieces to wear the ear, not the other way around, and to become indistinguishable from it, giving it a sense of drama and pizazz.
Is gold a big trend for 2018? Can you tell us what else is going to be big this year?
Accessories, whether fine jewellery or not, are a big trend. As accessories identify one’s style, women and men want to be different and express themselves through their accessories.
Pink gold "Fuse" wrist band with diamonds
How would you describe your jewellery in general?
Nada G™ creates timeless fine jewellery pieces with a modern edge using 18k gold, the pieces are adorned with precious and semi-precious stones. Each creation is intricately crafted with passion and equalled in doses of time, labour and beauty, all combined.
Nada G™ Fine Jewelry is jewellery with a soul as each and every piece comes from a story, an experience, a feeling…
Arab women have loved jewellery throughout history. What’s the connection?
In the beginning the relationship with jewellery started more as an investment, but I believe today women of all nationalities buy jewellery to differentiate themselves from others, as I believe it gives us a certain character, especially when we style it our own way.
What’s the most gratifying thing about being a jeweller?
As I’ve said before, the best part about being a jeweller is translating my emotions into timeless jewellery pieces that awaken emotions in others.
What do you love most about Beirut?
Everything… because when I love, I love unconditionally!