x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Teen Life: All that glitters is not gold - except, sometimes, it is

For teens, it's always fun browsing jewellery shops, even if our budgets don't quite stretch to Tiffany's.

Teenage girls can't help being drawn to all that glitters. There's a certain something about the ache of chandelier earrings yanking down your earlobe, or the smooth polish of a winking stone set in a chain.

I always enjoy browsing jewellery shops, even if my budget doesn't quite stretch to Tiffany's. The miniature Aladdin's cave of tangled metal in my wardrobe suggests an exceedingly eager patron to Claire's, even if I do tend to be attracted to wacky spider earrings.

While the most adventurous thing I have done - after a peek at a Cartier display - is buy a faux ruby ring from Forever 21, my friend Nidhi has been rather more enterprising. She has always loved combing stores for statement pieces and elegant accessories. Instead of simply snapping up everything she found pretty, though, she was inspired by her shopping sprees to find her vocation.

Right now, people in my year group are considering career choices. There are all sorts of things we've been contemplating - engineers, lawyers, musicians, corporate hotshots, owners of dim-sum chain empires.

But young people who take the plunge to start up their own business require a different kind of courage: Nidhi opened a jewellery shop, Gemoro, after completing a jewellery design course in London.

Gemoro, literally "gem gold", is a little boutique with a clean, understated elegance in the Ocean View Hotel at Jumeirah Beach Residence.

When you're used to shopping for sparkly plastic, parading among rows of platinum and diamonds can make you feel rather pleased with yourself. I kept sneaking covert glances at people in the vicinity to see if they'd seen me strolling casually into a boutique where they sold, well, non-faux jewellery.

It could have scarcely got better when a waiter came trotting up with mocktails and Nidhi asked us to take a look around: did we have our eye on anything we would particularly like to buy?

Er, everything. I finally made up my mind about a pair of graceful teardrop pearls and an emerald three-piece set - and maybe those gold bracelets and those other ones that were similar but not quite, and that peridot set, which was nice, too.

My mother interjected with a reminder at this point that it was fantastic that I had such faith in mummy's generosity, but could I please make up my mind and pick one piece?

I don't see the logic in hesitating to buy gold because all that the yellow metal ever seems to do is accumulate value. Buying the stuff is an investment, like putting money in a bank, and you get to wear something pretty in the meantime.

After much dallying and posing in front of the mirror, we ended up carrying away a box containing the delicate emerald set. Talking to Nidhi about how she got the idea to start, she said: "For all entrepreneurs: always follow your passion and persistence will make it happen."

If only it were that straightforward - wouldn't we all have loved to become a Bill Gates or a Lakshmi Mittal?


The writer is a 17-year-old student in Dubai

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