‘Homegrown Designers’

‘Homegrown Designers’

LAJJNN: Turning a hobby into an in-home jewelry business

By Hanan Alnufaie

When Nada Alhaqbani decided to try her luck at designing accessories some 5 years ago, she never thought her Instagram account would propel her business to success. Specializing in necklaces, Nada designs and make all of her accessories in home, something she started doing as a child in what was initially just a hobby.

“Since I was little, I’ve loved all types of art especially anything involving handmade designs. When I got older, I wanted to do something I love and this was the start,” she said in an interview with Saudi Gazette.

Nada’s online store is called Lajjnn, which is an Arabic word that means blending and bringing things together. She choose the name to reflect the method she uses which involves bringing beads and materials together to shape a necklace.

“I used to buy accessories then broke them down into their original individual pieces so I could observe the type of materials used and how they were put together. One of the points attracted me was the finishing of the piece, I used to contemplate the way the designers tied their materials together to make it like a piece of art worn around the neck. Then, I would redesign it differently and remake it in my own way,” she added.

With no formal training in jewelry making, Nada credits this for sparking her creativity.

“I consider not being taught with techniques about making accessories positive because it allowed me to have all space for creativity. I personally do not follow rules or techniques of other designers as I feel comfortable creating accessories with no limitations and rules. I design the accessories depending on how I see it in my mind and this is one of the reasons why people like my designs,” she explained.

While Nada has experimented with bracelets and eyeglass chains, she concentrates on her true passion: Necklaces. And such is her passion for necklaces that when she is unable to find materials locally, she sources them from abroad

“I care about all minor details that can look trivial to others. This is because I believe that a good accessories designer must enjoy details. I enjoy it from A to Z. When it comes to choosing my materials, I always try to please all tastes; I get dark colors for those who prefer dark colors, shiny materials for those who want something that stands out. Sometimes I upload a picture of a necklace in certain colors. Then people ask for the same design but in different colors so, I need to be ready with all the materials in all colors and sizes,” she said.

Nada typically completes orders in 3 to 4 days though for materials that require extensive cutting and stitching such as leather, wait times can increase to up to 2 weeks. Similarly, depending on the design, effort put in and materials used, ecklace prices range between SR50 and SR700.

“I am very grateful, I enjoy everything now in terms of the process of the work and then the marketing via Instagram and exhibitions. I see people and I talk to them about my passion and get that positive motivational feedback, and it ncourages me to continue especially the feedback I get from my clients after they wear my necklaces for the first time.”