Driven by her passion for designing, Nada Ghazal quit a successful job to pursue her childhood dream. Her eye for detail helps her design timeless pieces of jewelry.
Following Her Intuition
From an early age jewelry designer Nada Ghazal wished to express herself through decorative means. As a child, Ghazal was more introverted and chose to embellish her outfits instead of talking as a way to convey her ideas. While in nursery school she insisted on wearing two different pairs of shoes, and convinced her mother with her choice. As she got older she found herself fascinated by crafts, needlework, sketching, and everything artistic that involved lots of handiwork. It was advertising, however, that became her first vocation after university and she spent a decade as the creative head of a leading advertising agency in Dubai. The time she spent on branding and art direction was a valuable lesson, she tells HOME, as it gave her a strong sense of communicating a brand, which she later applied to her eponymous jewelry line. For Ghazal, quitting her highly successful job in advertising to start her own brand in her native Lebanon was less about taking a risk and more about following her intuition.
“Advertising became too broad and I wanted to narrow my creative role to something that is more personal and has more connection with people,” explains Ghazal. After returning to Beirut in the early 2000s, she dabbled in a few creative projects before deciding on jewelry. One day, she rediscovered some rings she made with wires and beads as a child, which inspired her to make her first collection of rings. “I bought 18 carat gold wires from a workshop and used precious and semi-precious stones with them,” explains Ghazal. “I learned a lot from trial and error and later working closely with trained jewelry artisans.”
Driven by her passion, a love for designing and a strong work ethic, Ghazal was able to develop her jewelry line from scratch and grow her business. Initially, however, she hoped other well-known jewelry boutiques would sell her pieces. To her dismay, she noticed that these established stores at the time were more interested in high-end ‘special occasion’ jewelry and preferred to import Italian made jewelry to complement their own. In the meantime, Ghazal kept creating and selling to a fast growing fan base of clients – who appreciated her original designs and meticulous workmanship – and opened her first boutique in 2004, followed by two other points of sale in 2016, and one in 2017. Nada G’s jewels are bold, dramatic and unique. They have a strong identity, making them very hard to be compared to others. The way she sets and mixes different colored stones, introduces clever curvaceous and geometric shapes, and focuses on yellow gold makes her collections distinguished. “Yellow just blends with everyone and with every skin tone,” says Ghazal. “It’s the natural color of the metal, like the sun.” While yellow gold dominates, she also works with white, rose and even champagne-colored gold. Ghazal doesn’t see her pieces as “fashionable accessories” but as timeless pieces her customers can wear forever and at any age. First and foremost for her is ensuring that her pieces are well made. “If someone doesn’t like my collection that is okay, but if that person doesn’t like my workmanship then that is the worst insult for me,” she says emphatically. Ghazal does give credit to the great workmanship in the jewelry sector brought in by the Armenian craftsmen and what they taught the Lebanese over the years. “This is a great asset for jewelry made in Lebanon. We need to appreciate it more,” says Ghazal. However, what will ultimately distinguish one brand from another is the eye for detail she shares: “This is where the designer really has to put the extra effort and painstakingly guide the artisan.” Today, more Lebanese people are appreciating jewelry made locally and are ready to pay the same amount they pay for imported brands. “It took time, but customers are starting to appreciate the excellent work that is produced in Lebanon,” adds Ghazal. To date Ghazal has won several international jewelry awards and she hopes one day to be a reference in the jewelry sector, both in Lebanon and internationally.
Ghazal tells HOME that her new collection will be something that everyone will relate to. “Every country will also relate to it because of what they are all going through these days, although my inspiration is definitely Lebanon,” reveals Ghazal.