x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Living dreams in silver and gold

Lebanese jeweller Ranya Arora has just launched her pieces on the design portal www.Minalsama.com. Arabesque in style and often combining pearls, rose quartz and malachite, Arora's pieces are hand-crafted for adults and children alike. Rebecca McLaughlin-Duane spoke to the Dubai-based designer as she revealed her new collection.

Ranya Arora, a Lebanese jewellery designer based in Dubai, has just launched her pieces on the design portal www.minalsama.com. Arabesque in style and often combining pearls, rose quartz and malachite, Arora's pieces are handcrafted for adults and children alike.

What is the inspiration behind your latest range?

I have some stylish, colourful pieces that will brighten up those winter outfits and also some simpler pieces for more casual occasions. I predominantly work with silver and gold and a variety of semi-precious stones. Each stone I use inspires me in a different way with a new design - there is always a meaning behind each of the stones. With each collection, I also always include cufflinks for our male clients, which make perfect gifts for the forthcoming holiday season.

How did the brand first come about?

I initially began designing necklaces for myself as I could never find what I wanted in the market. I was looking for modern and trendy jewellery pieces that I could incorporate my children's names into using beautiful Arabic calligraphy, but I could only find the classical calligraphy pieces that we all grew up with in the 1980s.

I also noticed the majority of jewellery designed in Dubai was either costume or traditional. For example, delicate 24-carat gold pieces, which I felt weren't suited to the younger generation. So, there was clearly a demand for unique, bold pieces and when I wore the pieces I designed, I would get such positive feedback, especially from Westerners and non-Arabic speakers. Before I knew it, people were requesting customised pieces.

How has business been since you launched the company?

Great. I'm very blessed to have received such a positive response from the beginning. I'm very excited about the launch of the boutique website, www.minalsama.com, as this will provide international exposure for my designs by allowing my customers abroad to gain easy access to my line of ­jewellery.

Can you describe a big commission or bespoke request you've recently had?

I regularly receive requests for customised pieces - the biggest requests are usually for special occasions such as weddings. The nice thing about my work is that I can sit with the client and together we can come up with a design to suit their needs, whether they are looking for a gift for a special occasion or a personalised corporate gift. It is such a nice feeling to see a customer happy when their ideal jewellery piece comes to life.

. Visit www.designsbyranya.com. Prices range from Dh300 to Dh3,000. To request customised pieces email ranya@designsby­ranya.com