Small Business Saturdays: Joon Jewellery
1. What inspired you to open your own business selling jewellery?
I’m a qualified jewellery and accessory designer and since my childhood, I have loved the art of making jewellery. At an early age, I used to collect those assorted jewellery boxes with beads and make tiny bracelets and earrings with them. So growing up I knew that I would be doing something in the creative field and here I am today, a jewellery design graduate (mind you, jewellery making isn’t for the faint of heart) and running my own business.
2. What is the meaning behind ‘Joon’?
‘Joon’ is a Persian word meaning something/someone that you love, a word of endearment and to express care. I’m half Afghan and half Persian so my house is a mix of languages and although I don’t fluently speak the language, I understand it very well and so, I chose a Persian word that I use a lot for my near and dear ones – a word that could also reflect the love I have for my work.
3. Tell us a little about your journey from when you started to today?
I started my journey with ‘Joon’ as an online business in November 2020 during the pandemic which was not easy at all, considering it was my first collection and all pieces were handcrafted by local artisans. It was a miracle the collection actually made it through. It turned out to be such a hit and was very well received by people. However, setting up your own business has its own struggles that I experienced with time. Getting out of your comfort zone, jumping into tasks and responsibilities that you aren’t familiar with, pushing yourself as far as you can go and being consistent takes you a long way. Now Joon has picked up pace gradually and I’m actually happy with how things are turning out and experimenting with my content as well as incorporating different metals.
4. What is the process behind jewellery making?
The jewellery making process is not as easy as it seems to be. So much research has to be done. Technicals are drawn out for each of the pieces and once finalised they are handed over to the local artisans who handcraft my vision into reality. This process takes time as we are dealing with fine metals like 925 Sterling Silver, and we need to ensure luxury and quality with a hawk-eyed attention to detail. Each piece goes through several stages from preparing silver, hand-sawing, moulding/casting, fabrication, filing/finishing, stone setting, enamelling, polishing to plating. Some pieces are also created using 3D software CAD (Computer Aided Design) and then worked on by the artisans. So it is quite a rigorous process because sometimes pieces do not turn out how you imagined them to be and it becomes an ongoing process until perfection has been achieved. We also deal in customised pieces where I get the chance to meet my clients in person and discuss their designs in detail.
5. What are your inspirations behind each piece? Where do you look for influence, ideas and concepts?
The advantages to my business are that I get the freedom to be as creative as I can and experiment with my work. My jewellery making process has no restrictions. My design portfolio ranges from the simpler, modern designs to vintage, layered and one-of-a-kind pieces. Most times, they’re a fusion of contemporary and traditional created with skilled artisans, helping revive the techniques which are going extinct. I take inspiration from history, books, paintings, exquisite textiles, household artefacts and anything influenced by Persian, European and other Asian cultures.
6. Would you want to expand?
Yes, gradually. Joon has a long way to go and has a lot in store for everyone.
7. If you could collaborate with any artist, who would it be?
I would love to collaborate with Zohra Rahman in the future. I love her jewellery and aesthetic. I would also love to work with artists and practitioners who are not just confined to jewellery making because I think that could yield exciting results. However, I do have a very interesting collaboration planned out for Joon where you’ll see jewellery meeting art in an untraditional way, so stay tuned!