Nouran Shaarawy is an Egyptian chemical engineer who managed to achieve of a creative balance between her job and her love for jewellery design. What started as a hobby turned into a profitable home business: Manière Jewellery.
Shaarawy started her new path, taking a jewellery manufacturing course in 2009. “I loved accessories since I was young,” she says. “After I took the course, I started actually making jewellery and even though I had a job I knew I could do both.” Learning the techniques of the craft was what prompted Shaarawy to start being more serious about jewellery – it turned her existing love for accessories and designing into a reality.
Shaarawy chose the name Manière for her brand, meaning ‘manner’ or ‘way’ in French, and it fits the artist’s approach to her home business well. Most of Manière’s pieces are flavoured with a touch of Egyptian culture and show the designer’s personality and way of thinking. “When I first thought about creating a brand for myself, I didn’t want it to revolve around a limiting theme,” Nouran explains. To her credit the collections she has created are not limited to one style, besides the more traditional Egyptian influences, different cultural references are also prevalent in Shaarawy’s work.
One collection called Kama lam nakon min qabl – ‘The way we never were’ – combines an Egyptian style with a touch of the Indian. “I had been in India a while when the idea came to me, and I bought a lot of material which inspired the pieces. I think the Egyptian-Indian mix is something very new to Egypt; we have seen Egyptian designs mixed with the West but never the Asian culture,” she says.
Using silver, copper and precious stones, Manière’s latest lines are still being updated with new additions. It has been almost a year since the Mature collection was unveiled and “the collection builds on a more sophisticated jewellery style that reflects how we all become more complicated as we grow up,” Shaarawy says.
“The idea of my other collection, B-ded el nour e’reft el nour – By the opposite of light, I knew light –came to me as a complete theme. I wanted to create something with a spiritual feel to it while avoiding traditional sayings that are usually used in jewellery,” she explains.
Even if most pieces are made out of silver and copper, Manière Jewellery does feature some designs which are either gold or gold plated.
For the many women who are looking for an original gift for a man, Manière Jewellery features lots of chic pieces in its men’s collection. “Personally, I always struggled when it came to buying a gift for a man; the choices are very limited and are usually very expensive,” Shaarawy explained. From key chains to cufflinks and pins, all pieces feature original and creative designs and are of high quality.
Shaarawy’s home business is worked through her Facebook page where pictures of her designs are featured with all the relevant information. Two stores in Heliopolis and Maadi carry her collections so customers can pick up their jewellery through these outlets or receive them at home.
Manière Jewellery takes requests for customised pieces, she explains “I talk with the customers until it is clear what it is that they want exactly, which can take some time if they come without a clear idea of shape, material and colour. It is a fun process though, I actually made some friends this way,” Shaarawy laughed. Manière Jewellery offers after-sales service and maintenance in case any damage occurs to the pieces. If a customer wants to change the stones in a piece, or change it to another piece all together Shaarawy is always available to discuss the options.
At present Shaarawy is now in the process of designing a more modern line, which will be the latest addition to Manière Jewellery’s beautiful collections.