An exclusive interview with Emirati fine jewellery designer Salama Khalfan – Emirates Woman


November’s – ‘The Timelessness Issue’ – Download Now

Salama Khalfan, founder of her namesake fine jewellery brand, is the epitome of timeless elegance.

Here we discuss the inspiration behind her new Starflake collection and how she believes jewellery always has a story to tell.

Why did you decide to launch your own eponymous brand?

I’m someone who believes that everything is possible. This belief has enabled me to do whatever I wanted. After I finished my education, I joined a financial organisation and focused on strategy – it’s something I enjoy very much and it keeps the mind switched on. But success in my professional life meant less time for my art, and after a couple of difficult losses and experiences, I realized that I would have to honour the truth of my soul. This comes with understanding the things you did naturally as a child – things that were never taught to you. Art was one of them, and it was very important in leading me to design. Starting my own brand was always something that I wanted to do. It was just a matter of time till I felt that the idea had matured enough and I was able to do it.

Can you talk us through your latest collection?

The Starflake collection is easy to wear, easy to layer and is lots of fun. With many of the earrings sold in singles, you can add stars, play with asymmetrical designs, connect chains and more. It’s all about adding your own individual taste and style.

The journey from idea to the release of the Starflake collection was over three years. Why did now feel like the right time to release it?

To me, jewellery is a form of art and art is always about expression. The inspiration of this collection started three years ago but it really took that long to manifest and become wearable jewels. I felt that this is the right time to release it because the inspiration is complete.

How do you believe jewellery tells a story?

Jewellery is always about storytelling, we don’t buy jewellery for what it is, we buy it for how it makes us feel. Jewels tell the story of their designers and makers, how the designer sees beauty and how she or he wants to express it.

You’re a leader in the jewellery industry in this region – what’s it like paving the way for so many women in the GCC & Arab world?

The diversity of cultures and backgrounds of people, availability of talent and resources, and the support for the creative sector and SMEs make this region a fertile ground for entrepreneurs, especially women. Every day we see examples of women who continue to shine in their own industries and sectors leading the way for all of us.

In business, what is a philosophy that you live by?

Hard work and consistency are more important than talent.

What are some of the key lessons you have learned that you can share with other entrepreneurs?

Always be trend-aware and ready, and I don’t mean this from a design perspective (that is easily achievable) I mean it from a business infrastructure way. For example, a lot of small entrepreneurs underestimated the importance of e-commerce and having a website that is fully functional as an e-store. When COVID-19 hit and the world was shut down, some companies stayed afloat solely because they were able to conduct business online. Ask yourself, what is the next big thing out there? What is the direction and what are the big bets we have to take today to remain relevant in the future?

Salama Khalfan Fine Jewellery starflake (1)

Do you have any mentors who have helped guide your career?

I am lucky to be surrounded by many friends and individuals whom I draw inspiration from, they are my sounding board at times, and my lighthouses in others.

This is The Timelessness Issue – how would you define this?

Timelessness is universally relevant to every time and generation.

This year we celebrate the UAE’s 50th anniversary – what makes this region unique to you?

If there was one thing that constitutes the DNA of this country to me, it would be a possibility. Here, everything is possible.

We also celebrate Emirates Woman’s 40th anniversary. How would you now describe the EW brand and how does it support women in the region and beyond?

Congratulations, 40 years of aspiring, and inspiring in this region. I wish you the best for the next 40.

November’s – ‘The Timelessness Issue’ – Download Now

– For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram

Images: Supplied





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