Two young boys discovered their life’s passion on a trip to the jewellery store. Soon enough they found themselves asking jewellers to tweak the designs a bit. But their suggestions were often turned down because they weren’t “technically feasible”. They accepted the lack of imagination then, but it’s a different story altogether. Ahmed Shoaib and Danish Naveed decided to take things in their own hands and came up with Kohar – a jewellery brand that gives you the best of both worlds with its edgy yet traditional pieces.
A Diamond is considered a woman’s best friend. No soirée is complete unless a woman loses her mind over a piece of jewellery. And it is women who wear it. So you’d expect women to design it as well. But, as Ahmed Shoaib and Danish Naveed kindly pointed out, “Why do we tend to forget that most jewellery stores are owned by men?” That threw us off. A sip of water and a nod later, we continued the discussion with the two young men who’ve taken up jewellery designing as a career.
What does Kohar mean?
Kohar is an Armenian word and means jewel.
Who came up with the idea and what is your brand all about?
Ahmed and I have one major thing in common. We look for ways to exercise creativity. Growing up around families that adored jewellery, we learnt to admire and appreciate jewellery designing.
Kohar is all about creating pieces that are timeless. Pieces that are multipurpose, unique, and that can be passed down from one generation to the other. Kohar celebrates hand craft which allows us to focus on intricate details and sophisticated designs.
Two young women starting a jewellery studio sounds inevitable, but how did you guys get into this business?
We get asked this question often and each time it makes us wonder, why we forget that our city has jewellery stores that are all run by men. Men have been in this business for decades. Women have only recently entered this industry and are doing a fantastic job.
In fact, our interest in this field was ignited by the women in our families. We would accompany our mothers to the jewellers and propose our own twists to existing designs. Our ideas were often not entertained for some technical reason or the other. And before we knew it, we were drawing and designing our own pieces and collaborating with local craftsmen. The appreciation that we received motivated us to dive into this market professionally.
Do you have a formal education in jewellery design?
Our creative head, Ahmed Shoaib, has a background of art and has done a few courses in jewellery designing. Our main focus is always to pick the finest quality stones and create pieces that are aesthetically and technically sound.
Tell us a little about your Eid collection – how is it different from other brands?
Our Eid collection was created keeping in mind that most of this jewellery will be worn in the day time. So we came up with pieces that are not over powering or bling too much. Our Eid collection is casual and summery. It is ideal for day visits, brunches and evening teas.
What’s “in” these days?
Contemporary pieces with geometrical patterns and bold designs that are tastefully adorned with precious stones, is what we feel is making a mark nowadays.
What is your hottest selling design?
Our South Sea Collection has been greatly appreciated by our customers and we are getting more orders for such pieces.
Describe the Kohar woman? Basically, your target audience?
The Kohar woman is confident and classy. We design for women who value craftsmanship and quality. Whether she is sporting an Eastern or Western look, the aim is to stand apart and invest in pieces that will not go out of style or fashion for decades to come.
Which pieces would you recommend to a girl who wants to make a statement with her jewellery?
Delicate jewellery should not be restricted to evening affairs. It can be worn with casual clothing as well like a less busy, casual top or even with all the flairs and frills that are in these days. We have one tip: Be bold with your styling!
What should a woman wear with a plain black dress?
We recommend big chunky neck pieces or maalas. To keep the focus in one place and truly enable the neck piece to stand out and make a statement, it is best to avoid earrings.
How should one accessorize a traditional white sari?
We would recommend our emerald diamond polki earrings along with our emerald diamond polki kara. These are timeless pieces that can uplift any look.