Nada Ghazal: Embracing Opportunity

Nada Ghazal creates timeless pieces for those who are looking to celebrate being a woman. Her beautifully crafted designs, inspired by the city of Beirut, are a credit to her life’s work as a designer, and her growing business is a nod to her ever-growing lifestyle as an entrepreneur. Ghazal is not only looking to design for women but rather for each and every person who is looking to connect with themselves on a personal level through jewelry.

You have spoken about Beirut being your muse. Tell us about your passion for the city and how you pay homage to it within your jewels.

Beirut has always been an inspiration to me. It is a city so rich in culture and heritage and one that has truly endured the test of time. In 2020, after my Beirut was hit by the blast that destroyed half of the city and left thousands of people homeless, I felt I had lost it along with my home, my workshop, friends I knew, and many of the places I grew up in. In a split second everything that I held dear turned to dust. 

I felt the need to preserve my memories of Beirut in my designs and created different chapters in a collection I called ‘My Muse’. Urban represents the narrow, yet charming alleyways I walk through every day, Storm represents the ups and downs of change we go through and the sparkles of hope that keeps us going, Cocoon represents the archways of the windows and doors in the city and the feeling of protection that Beirut gave me, Blossom depicted Beirut’s spring blooms and Glory represents the glorious ceilings of our homes.

With ‘My Muse’ I wanted to encapsulate Beirut’s beauty and share it with those who may never have the chance to experience it again around the world.

Can you discuss the dome of protection within your pieces? What inspired this signature look and how is it personally meaningful to you?

The dome in architecture is made of rotated arches that can stand alone. It is a sign of strength and to me signifies protection as well. Beirut homes are full of domes and so is my family home. When inside you get the feeling of being cocooned in a safe space. 

Before working as a jewelry designer, you worked in ad design. Was there a defining moment when you realized you want to switch to jewelry design?

I have always wanted to be a designer and one of my first memories, in fact, was of me sitting in front of my grandmother and being fascinated by the art pieces she made using just thread and needle.  As a teen and young adult, I designed my clothes, my shoes, and even my own jewelry. 

I didn’t get the chance to study jewelry design as the major was not available in Lebanon and hence did graphic design instead. My degree and related work in the field of advertising helped me hone my skills and learn how to build a brand. In 2004, I took a leap of faith and followed my dream. I studied the market and produced my first pieces which were sold in 3 days. I knew then that I was on the right track to achieve my vision for my brand. 

You have equated your jewels to connecting to specific thoughts, words, and experiences. In your words, what is the relationship between jewelry and memory? How do you use your brand to commemorate life events?

Design, specifically jewelry design, is my way of capturing my feelings, memories, and experiences in a visual manner. I believe we each have a unique relationship with jewelry, each piece represents a cherished gift, a connection to a time, place, or person, and hence a memory realized in waves of gold speckled with gems. 

My latest collection, ‘Doors of Opportunity,’ is inspired by a beautiful turquoise door in the garden of our new home in London. I stumbled upon it when I was looking for a home and felt an overwhelming sense of magic as if the door and the symbolism on it were a fortuitous sign that affirmed my choice. 

‘Malak’ which is one of our most iconic collections, was inspired by feelings I had when I was pregnant with my daughter. I visualized my unborn baby to be bold yet grounded, larger than life yet humble and I created the pieces to represent my feelings.    

I have been told by clients that each of our pieces has a soul and it connects with them as they embrace it as part of their story.

You focus on women’s empowerment in the workplace. Can you speak on what that means to you, personally, and how it has become a staple of your company?

I was lucky to be raised by a mother who encouraged us to be the best humans we are irrespective of our gender. To me, this is very important as I grew to optimize my potential and didn’t have to compare myself with anyone around me.  Sadly, not all women are as fortunate as I was, hence I try to instill this in my community but following in my mother’s footsteps. 

The Fuse Drop Single Earlobe Multi has a myriad of colors. What was the inspiration behind this design?

Fuse was created to celebrate female sensuality. It draws focus to the lobe which is one of the most sensitive parts of the female body. I wanted to give the feeling that the earlobe was dipped in gold and sprinkled with diamonds or speckled with confetti of colored gems. It really is a special piece.

Describe owning a business to those who haven’t done it and may be pondering taking the plunge to start one.

I’m blessed in that I am as much of an entrepreneur as a designer. I was also lucky that my advertising career helped me hone my business skills. Regardless, the best advice I would give to anyone starting a business is to surround themselves with a cohesive group of people who know more than them. This will help them focus on the elements of the business they are good at and empower their team to do their best.

Tell us about the symbolism of the lotus and why it is central to many pieces in your collection.

The lotus is fascinating and carries symbolism with extremes or even contradictions. It symbolizes purity and enlightenment and at the same time power. As a flower, it is delicate yet bold and sturdy, geometric in form yet very sensual and feminine as well. I have used the lotus in two collections: ‘Power of Light’ which was dedicated to the Sursock Museum in Beirut, where lotuses grace the building’s windows, fanlights, and traceries. I have also used it in my latest collection ‘Doors of Opportunity’, a collection that translates the beauty and symbolism found on doors to manifest the blessings one is seeking in their life. I used the lotus as a symbol for clarity and enlightenment and added colored gems to represent blessings such as self-love, rebirth, and transformation.   

How has social media influenced the reach of your brand over the past few years?

Social media has definitely helped the brand massively allowing it to reach a larger following around the world. We have followers from Canada, Australia, Singapore, Europe, the Middle East and Gulf, and of course, our biggest market which is the US.  

You have a handsome collection of men’s jewelry. What do you find men are looking for most in the fine jewelry market?

I design for the discerning individual -regardless of gender. The pieces are for people who want to express themselves through jewelry pieces that speak to them, sensorial pieces with soul I feel that connect with them on a deeper level. 

What is your elevator speech for your brand? How do you differentiate yourself in the market?

I am a storyteller who translates her emotions and experiences into sensorial, timeless, and ageless jewels that connect with people and become part of their narrative. My pieces are very design-based, organic in form, and I use brushed gold and a signature gem setting that is very distinctly Nada Ghazal.

Do you have a favorite jewel you have created? What is the story behind it?

My collections are like my children, each has a place in my heart, and each narrates part of my story. Hence, it’s difficult for me to have a favorite. I do however gravitate towards certain pieces from each of the collections I created and that I have as part of my personal pieces. 

Can you discuss the symbolism and design behind the Free Me collection?

‘Free Me’ is a collection inspired by the desire to break free and go against the norms and traditions – “a free me”.  I wanted to make a ring that was non-conformist and that signified an independent woman who could purchase her own jewels. So instead of creating a ring with a solitaire diamond at the center, I left the center hollow so every woman could wear it, whether they were committed or not.

What is your personal and professional mantra?

Embrace each challenge in your life as an opportunity for self-transformation and growth.

Embracing each challenge in life has gotten Ghazal to this point. Creating wonderful designs that symbolize much more than the jewelry on someone’s hand or neckline. With each collection comes more inspiration and the power to connect with each customer’s personal selves. As these designs are created, her entrepreneurial spirit kicks in, and she has been able to grow a successful business that can reach the personal lives of individuals all over the world. In order to contact the company or the designer, information is available at www.nadaghazal.com. Nada Ghazal can be found on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Pinterest at nadaghazaljewelry.

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