Recently whilst we were browsing through our Instagram feed, looking for something exciting and inspiring, we came across a jewellery brand that instantly captured our attention. Contemporary in its approach but completely dedicated to craftsmanship and design expertise, FYNE is the jewellery label every modern style connoisseur needs. Designed by the talented Aya Ahmad, this new-age fine jewellery label has a curated selection of jewellery pieces (think delicate rings, pendants and earrings) which deserve a top spot on every spring wish list.
Whilst we were secretly lusting over the FYNE pieces (we’d like one of each please), we decided to sit down with Aya to learn more about her journey and the brand.
The Brand Journey Thus Far
Aya: I started my career in the diamond trade in 2015 in Antwerp. I had a focus on valuing and sourcing rough diamonds and also planning the manufacturing process (i.e. from rough diamond to polished). I was probably the only one of very few women to focus on this in the entire industry. I remember thinking that I wanted to do something different and stand out as a woman in the field.
Over time, I got friends asking me to make their engagement rings because I had access to wholesale diamond prices. That’s when I started to think about FYNE. I felt like there wasn’t enough minimalist jewellery lines that were affordable yet high quality. At the time, cultured diamonds were becoming more popular in the US so I looked into it and saw a gap in the market regionally. Cultured diamonds are not only environmentally friendlier than mined diamonds but they come at a 30-40% discount from mined diamonds. The concept just blew me away and I felt like I could finally create a brand that was innovative, better for the earth and spoke to the modern woman.
After 1.5 years working on the brand, I launched in November and the journey has been incredible. I’ve received lots of positive feedback and got to meet other women who have founded their own businesses so I feel like I’ve made all these new friends online that are on the same journey as me. It’s really exciting!
The Many Sources of Inspiration
Aya: I’m quite a mathematical person and always have liked shapes and numbers. A lot of my designs stem from geometric shapes and patterns that inspire me in nature and architecture. I also try to design things that I feel are feminine but have a boldness or edginess to them. I’m really drawn to the idea of a sophisticated rebel – a woman who carries herself confidently and passionately, but will say or do things that challenges herself and others.
A Day in Ayah’s Life
Aya: I’m not quite sure how to answer that! Every day is quite unusual as we’re still at the start of our growth so things are constantly changing.
The Impact of Social Media
Aya: I think social media (more specifically Instagram) has definitely given me a platform to operate more easily and tell my brand story. I am an e-commerce company so reaching out to potential clients and creating a connection with them is super important. Interestingly enough, most of my sales have also happened over whatsapp rather than on my e-store, which says a lot about the region and how people value a more intimate customer journey.
I’d love to do more creative things online for story-telling like providing customers with more education about sustainable and ethical shopping.
The Brand 5 Years From Now
Aya: I’d love to have a team of female goldsmiths! I’d also like to team up with artisanal gold miners in underprivileged countries to be able to ensure that they are paid a fair wage and educate them to take necessary environmental and safety precautions while mining. Unfortunately there isn’t a man made option for gold so encouraging environmental and ethical practices in the industry is key.
A huge plus would be to see my brand selling regionally and to make cultured diamonds the new norm!
The Insider Tip for Aspiring Designers
Aya: The design process is such an individualistic journey and it’s sometimes easy to be overly critical of yourself. Never doubt yourself! Not everyone will like your designs but that doesn’t mean that no one will love them either. Keep creating and learning as you go along, and also be open to feedback.
Follow FYNE: @fynejewellery