The jewelry industry has been seeing a lot of rising stars in the past few years, one of them being Saudi Arabia's youngest jeweler Lillian Ismail. In an interview with EmiratesWomen, she talks of launching her jewelry label and more.
"Lillian Ismail started as a very humble collection of 7 pieces, which I designed for my high school American diploma graduation project," said Ismail when asked what inspired her to start her jewelry business. "I did not anticipate the growth of the 7 designs into a jewelry brand. I have been always fond of art and design and I was leaning more towards fashion at that time. The fact that a few of my classmates were thinking of creating a fashion line made me want to explore the world of jewelry. Also, in 2013, there were only a few local businesses owned by Saudi female designers and wanted to enter a field that lacked the power of women and compete with the dominance of the male power."
"Growing the scale of our brand was a long journey from exploring different design directions, different branding styles, and mainly by expanding to multiple retailers locally and internationally. Also, working on a variety of design styles from statement pieces to everyday pieces, which targets a bigger target market," said Ismail regarding scaling brand growth.
When asked of the challenges of her chosen career path, Ismail said, "As a designer and young business owner, I have faced multiple challenges since I started with no experience in both fields. I ventured into the field with no academic background in jewelry, but I managed to complete my Bachelors in Fine Arts in Jewelry Design at Pratt Institute in New York City. Moving to the United States after establishing my brand in 2013 in Saudi was the main obstacle in growing my brand between 2013 and 2017. It was not easy managing a business, designing, and studying at the same time. I had to take a step back and minimize the scale of the brand, during the four years. I can also say that I learned to run my business the hard way as I had no mentor to guide me. I travelled to India alone at the age of 21 to look for the right stone suppliers and established a strong relationship with a production team without working on a business plan or setting a budget. However, in the long run, I believe experience is the best tutor in the business world."
Information originally sourced from EmiratesWomen.