hadya Ismailiya, started designing jewelry as a hobby, eventually, became a professional designer and been collecting many acclaim to her name. She strengthened her aptitude with formal professional jewelry designing courses from Birmingham School of Jewelry. Today, another feather in her cap, she is the only jewelry designer from the Middle East to take part in the prestigious Rolls Royce reception at Dorchester, marking 150 years of the life and legacy of Sir Henry Royce, and her work was featured in 2013 year book launched for this anniversary.
Her specialty is drawing on the long tradition of Omani silver jewelry and giving it a modern, youthful twist. Deema jewelry aims to establish itself as a modern classic. Shadya Al Ismailiya, started the company as a reaction to a shift in trends away from the heavy and ornate designs of traditional Omani silverwork to the more colourful, lighter and playful designs of Western fashions.
‘I wanted to preserve the heritage of this wonderful silverwork and develop pieces that are traditional yet fashionable,’ explains Shadya. And so she established her jewelry design brand ‘Deema’ named after her daughter in 2009.
As we went through her collection, we were intrigued to find out more.
When and how did you start designing jewelry?
Back in 2008, it started more as a hobby than a profession. But as it gained popularity, I decided to give it the brand name – Deema collection. Soon the brand gained popularity not only locally but even internationally in the GCC as well as in places like London, Brazil and Switzerland.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from all around me, I have used traditional Omani links with culture, maritime history, the environment and flora and fauna. One of Deema’s pendants, for example, is in the shape of a compass, taking back to Oman’s maritime history. And the recently launched Nature collection includes date and palm tree necklaces, bangles, brooches and rings.
If you are designing a bridal collection for a bride, what would be your inspiration?
I draw my inspiration while I talk to the bride about what she wants and what is she wearing on her wedding day, whether it’s a floral design, geometrical, or something totally abstract, usually they want a perfect match with the wedding gown. New ideas pour in as I sit down making a sketch of what she wants. The actual making of the piece takes at least 3 months but each piece of jewelry is a unique masterpiece. Most of jewelry pieces are exclusive, I do not duplicate them if I have promised exclusivity.
What metals and stones do you normally use?
We use the best gold and white gold when we have diamonds and other precious gems embellished in them. For semi-precious stones, we also combine it with silver or have it gold plated. Of course, it was quite normal for us to lose our sense of concrete decisiveness with such an array of beautifully combined metals and stones; but we guarantee that Deema collection with its exclusive, exquisite designs is all set to go places.
Do you have any special bridal collection?
We customize any line of jewelry to make it in a more wedding style. The 3 lines under Deema collection are:
Omani heritage collection
Peace collection with Islamic design