At any one time, there are often over 50,000 people on the waiting list to get their hands (or wrists, neck or ears) on various Mejuri pieces. And we bet at least one pair of their dainty hoops or studs or a sterling silver ring is on your Instagram feed right now (and therefore on your wishlist to grab with your next paycheck). The jewelry entrepreneur behind the impressive operation is Noura Sakkijha. Coming from three generations of Jordanian jewellers, fine jewelry design is in Sakkijha’s blood. She used her engineering acumen to ensure the lines were produced efficiently and ethically and the jewelry was affordable, and she used her innate business skills to market the products to millennials, who have since become fervent followers of the brand.
Meet the Master Jeweller: Noura Sakkijha
Originally, Sakkijha was pursuing a career in industrial engineering in Jordan, but she took a detour to earn her MBA in Toronto, Canada. While she was a consultant in a financial company, she kept jewelry in mind. Her engineering background combined with her family’s craftsmanship led her to think of more efficient ways to produce jewelry – without the insanely high markup prices of department stores. In 2015, Mejuri was born; Sakkijha’s husband Majed jumped on board, followed by her friend Justine Lançon, with Nicolas Peralta completing the founding team. They have built their marketing strategy over the past four years with a push towards millennials, who are more than happy to support a brand that mixes up the fine jewelry industry, especially in their favor. Now Sakkijha is adding even more excitement to the mix: she’s expecting twin girls and getting ready for her fast approaching due date, so life is about to get even busier. This is how she balances everything that comes her way.
Brit + Co: What was the main spark that made you leave engineering and move into jewelry design?
Noura Sakkijha: Jewelry design was a natural transition for me, as I’m the third generation in my family to work in jewelry, and it’s always been something I’ve loved. My engineering background provided me with a way of thinking that I took to Mejuri, but more importantly, I left my job to build a brand I’m passionate about. I wanted to create something for our generation that combines techniques I’ve learned over the years with the values I believe in: making fine jewelry that’s high quality but also accessible on a daily basis. [wear].
B+C: Do you have any suggestions for women who may have a business idea, but may be facing similar barriers to getting their idea funded?
BORN. : First, know your business and your market inside out. You need to know the numbers and know the opportunity before you. If you have validation of your company’s data, it’s even stronger. Build a network of people who support you and support you, and when you need it, don’t hesitate to ask for introductions, because one connection leads to another and people are very willing to help you if you have difficulty. passion and a plan.
B+C How does your commitment to ethical production set Mejuri apart?
BORN. : It is non-negotiable for us to engage in an ethical production process. All of our processes are the gold standard, such as sourcing from conflict-free and socially responsible diamond suppliers. These are simply part of our foundation, and we will continue to improve these processes as we grow.
B+C: From a marketing perspective, how is Mejuri changing the jewelry game?
BORN. : Our marketing is the opposite of traditional jewelry marketing: we have an authentic brand voice supported by a team of millennials who are passionate about our values. We are driven by community: specifically, the women around us who inspire us with their stories, style and connections. We also strive to stay true to ourselves and stay connected. Finally, we’ve never finished our development – there are over 50,000 people on our waitlists, and we’re continually reinventing both the product and the experience to keep things fresh.
B+C How does buying and wearing fine jewelry like Mejuri empower your consumers?
BORN. : We’ve been taught as consumers that jewelry should be earned or gifted, but we’ve worked hard to subvert that narrative and empower our community with pieces they can gift to others or themselves. We believe in indulging, and by creating a brand of fine jewelry that you can actually wear every day and are available at affordable prices, we’ve made that within reach.
B+C: Which female entrepreneur inspires you?
BORN. : There are many stories and entrepreneurs I look up to, but one that has particularly inspired me lately is Bumble’s Whitney Wolfe. She has built an incredible community based on empowering women to not wait to fulfill their dreams, to initiate their life choices, and to overturn the gendered narrative of dating.
B+C: What’s your advice for women who may have followed a path in their education, like engineering, but want to shake things up halfway through their career?
BORN. : Education is a way of thinking; it’s just about training your mind to solve problems (which becomes very useful in any business). There is very little about being an entrepreneur that you can learn in school. The most important aspects of starting your project are getting support, proving your hypothesis is right with data, and accepting that failure is part of the process for success.
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(Photos via Mejuri)
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