Welcome to the Emirates Woman weekly series ‘How I got my job as…’ where we speak to some incredible wellness, fashion, fine jewellery and beauty entrepreneurs and businesswomen both based in the UAE and globally to find out about their career paths that led them to where they are now; what their daily routines look like; the advice they’d give to those starting out; and the hurdles they’ve had to overcome.

This week, we speak to BijouQ co-founders, Batool Kerdi and Marah Mohammad. Founded in 2017, the dynamic duo have been ushering in a fresh narrative in fine jewellery through a distinct artistic expression and exquisite made-in-Italy craftsmanship that set them apart from the rest. Here, Batool and Marah reflects on their journey and setbacks while helming the brand.

What was your favorite subject at school? 

Batool: Physics 

Marah: Mathematics and Arts. 

What was your first job? 

B: My first job was pivotal in my life. I worked for a major international cosmetic company, participating in a campaign to engage with children who are cancer survivors. 

M: My first job was as an event organizer mainly focused on kids and families. I found immense joy in working with kids, which I preferred over a traditional corporate setting. It allowed me to embrace creativity and spontaneity, making each event a delightful experience. 

What eventually brought you to Dubai?

Both: Our family moved to Dubai 14 years ago in search of better opportunities. 

What inspired you to launch BijouQ?

Both: Our father, who worked in the jewellery industry, identified a niche in the market for designs incorporating vibrant colors and unique stones. Inspired by his vision and passion as well as driven by our own love for art and beauty in everyday life, we launched BijouQ to bring a fresh perspective to the jewellery world. 

What are the key elements of your role?

B: My goal is to create a sense of home within our business that should reflect in the client experience, our designs, and the workplace environment. Transparency and comfort are paramount. I see myself as the “Monica” of Friends, connecting everything and everyone within the company. 

M: As the creative visionary behind the fine jewellery brand BijouQ, I am propelling the brand’s unique aesthetic and identity. I study the consumer desires and forge a strong connection with our audience and work on the brand development accordingly, which allows BijouQ to stand out in a crowded marketplace. My vision and execution have been instrumental in building a deep connection between our brand and audience, positioning BijouQ for ongoing expansion and acclaim within the market. 

Talk to us through your daily routine.

B: While I’m not a fan of strict routines, my day always includes essential activities like spending time with family, working, hitting the gym, and enjoying some “me time” through meditation or self-dates, and occasionally meeting friends. 

M: I spend most of my day immersed in my work. As a creative individual and a Pisces, I have a natural tendency to operate in a more imaginative and conceptual mindset while on the job. This allows me to thrive in my role, as I can tap into my visionary capabilities. While I thoroughly enjoy the work that I do, I also find great fulfillment in spending quality time with my family and close friends by the end of the day. This balanced approach allows me to recharge and rejuvenate, enabling me to bring my best self to Both my professional and personal spheres. 

What advice do you have for anyone looking to follow in the same footsteps?

B: Be consistent in your efforts and remember that you don’t need to give 100% every single day. Never compare yourself to others; focus on your own progress. 

M: Don’t be scared to be different. Cultivate your unique perspective, invest time in deeply understanding your own interests, inspirations, and way of viewing the world. Develop the confidence to authentically express your unique creative vision. 

What is the best piece of advice you ever received?

B: Acknowledge your hard work and always keep your future goals in sight. Know where you want to be in five years and steadily work towards it. 

M: Time is the most undervalued resource in the world.as a perfectionist I always try hard to manage my time correctly and to not undervalue it. 

And what is the worst?

B: You should always be happy about what you are doing. I find this unrealistic because life has its ups and downs, and sometimes it’s okay to feel overwhelmed. 

M: Good things come to those who wait! I strongly believe that it is not external events or circumstances that determine whether things are “good” or “bad”, but rather our own internal mindset and attitude. The idea that “good things come to those who wait” implies that good things are rewards for patience and passivity. We decide for ourselves what is good or bad, and that we should be satisfied with ourselves rather than viewing adversity as a punishment. 

What has been the biggest challenge you had to overcome?

Both: For Marah, transitioning from a background in Interior Architecture Design to starting a fine jewellery business in a completely new field required stepping out of her comfort zone and acquiring a multitude of new skills and information. While for Batool, entering the business with no prior knowledge of the industry or management skills, or operational insights played as a challenge in her journey. We Both had to learn everything from scratch with minimal assistance, all while feeling the immense pressure to succeed and grow the business. This journey of growth and adaptation has been Both challenging and rewarding, as it pushed us to constantly evolve and improve. 

What lies ahead for the brand? 

Both: We aim to expand internationally into Asia and the USA, competing in the global market and continuing to innovate in the jewelry industry.

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Images: Supplied