Fashion industry in Pakistan is budding towards its glory, and in a time when designing of clothes and shoe designing have been rising high, Reem Abbasi is a maestro in jewellery designing. Her designs are creating a great buzz among the jewellery lovers across the globe. Her carefully crafted collections symbolize various eras and different times of the years. She is in true sense celebrating seasons, trends and causes popular in Pakistan. We had a candid yet informative discussion with her in which she emphasized on quality being remembered for ages.

Please tell us about your professional background.

I own and am the creative head at Keepsakes by Reem- a designer jewelry brand established in 2010. I supervise the design department and look after the complete business setup. I have studied business but I continue to educate myself in jewelry making, jewelry designing and gems. I got the opportunity to be a party of SABIT Gems and Jewelry Program by US Department of Commerce. I also have a few gems and jewelry courses to my credit from Gemological Institute of America. Some of my most appreciated collections during the course of the past 4 years include the following:

  • Pride of a peacock is the glory of God
  • Pearls of morning dew
  • Simplicity is supreme sophistication

Along with this I designed a jewelry collection for Pink Ribbon Campaign I'm Pakistan targeting Breast Cancer Awareness (a charity organization I strongly support).

Keepsakes' tasbihs (prayer beads) are famous around Pakistan for their distinct style and A - class qualities.

My line of designer jewelry is currently available all around Pakistan and in Dubai, Manchester, Toronto, Houston and Washington. In addition to these keepsakes have a fully functioning e-store, www.keepsakesbyreem.com and a Facebook shopping store at www.facebook.com/KeepsakesReem, which are favourite of many en shoppers since we deliver worldwide and offer a range of payment options.

What led you to a business in designer jewelry?

I have always loved jewelry. I started with a small collection of jewelry with just one artisan. It was an instant hit and everyone loved it. Also, the collection instantly sold out. Until this time my business didn't even have a name. Then, in 2010, because of the sentimental value of every piece that I created, I called my line of jewelry Keepsakes by Reem. Each piece is crafted with love and can be passed on through generations because of the rich culture evident in them. The success of Keepsakes had been made possible by the support of my family, friends, clients and the entire team at Keepsakes.

What do you think are your essential qualities as a jewelry designer?

I think for someone to be able to be good at what they do is really important, and to have a passion for it and to be extremely hardworking. Some of the qualities that I possess that make me perform well include my extensive experience in jewelry designing. One learns best from practice. My first quality is the knowledge of leading a team of jewelry designers to design and second quality is to make jewelry of good quality. I have travelled around the world and have a strong ability to translate my diversified brought up to realise designs. This gives Keepsakes a distinct signature style of amalgamation of different cultures of the world with the rich culture of Pakistan. I have a sound understanding of the procedures involved in jewelry making. Custom designing requires a little patience. A sound knowledge and understanding of market trends is also very important in order to sell. And most important of all, a flair for fashion to understand style and wear ability is the cherry on top.

What are your design inspirations?

Inspiration is everywhere, from a fabric that someone has adorned to a small insect crawling about. Nature and surroundings are my biggest inspirations. Then comes my passion for fashion. When I see someone wearing a nice outfit, questions like, 'what colors would accent the outfit? What length of necklace would be most appropriate?' So basically, everything around me inspires the designer in me. I also follow a few international designers and their jewelry creations for constant inspirations. This gives me international fashion guidance.

Tell us about your upcoming collections. What are your plans for the future?

'Angles of beauty' is my upcoming collection that holds a very special place in my heart.  It includes the hard work and the efforts of my sister, Hibba Tahir who passed away recently fighting with Cystic Fibrosis for 23 years. It is based on the hottest trend this season, geometric patterns with a twist. This collection involves all the latest trends including abstract minimalism, graphic futurism and three dimensional patterns. Some of my major upcoming projects include a flagship store in Islamabad. I'm also working on a complete designer jewelry line for men. At Keepsakes we are also working on a few new international partnerships and resellers.

Any advice/suggestions for new comers in this industry.

There are no short cuts! You have to work hard to achieve your goals so give your all to what you are doing. It is also very important to have a passion for what you want to do. Jewelry designing as a career is flourishing like never before and it is a very rewarding profession. The current boom experienced by this industry has not only commercialised this art but has also opened new boundaries for many people like designers, artisans, craftsmen, etc. So keep doing your best, keep your passions alive!