“Everyone has their own story to tell.” This is the mantra behind UAE homegrown jewellery brand Maveroc.
Born with the idea to break the rules and go against the grain, founders Rita Chraibi and Ibrahim Lamrini share the inspiration behind the jewellery brand and how it’s honing the art of rebellion.
Talk us through your career(s).
Both of us have the same academic background. We grew up in Morocco and moved to France when we were 18 years old and went to the same business school. That’s where we first met and got married a few years later. After graduating from business school, we started working in Paris, Rita in consulting then tech at Google, and Ibrahim in investment banking at Goldman Sachs. In 2012 and after moving to Dubai, Rita decided to leave her job, become a GIA Certified Gemologist, and start her first jewellery brand operating in Morocco while Ibrahim continued his career with Goldman, before also leaving in 2021 to join forces with Rita and create Maveroc, which we just launched.
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Why did you want to launch your label?
Rita has been thinking about launching a new jewellery brand in the region for some time, and what that brand could look like took a few years to mature in her mind. For her, there was a need for freshness in the jewellery market in the GCC outside big names, niche designers and brick and mortar jewellery stores. She needed a push to take the big step, which came when Ibrahim decided to leave his job in 2021 and join the project.
We started working on Maveroc in April 2021 and launched in October 2022 so it took us about a year and a half to be ready. First, we started with designing our collections, with an incredible number of iterations and back and forth, as we wanted to make sure we were bringing something completely new and fresh to the market. Then we started manufacturing and making sure all our pieces are manufactured according to strict, high-end jewellery standards. Each design went through countless rounds of iterations and tweaks to perfect the shape, the stone setting, the band comfort, and the earring fit; every single detail was scrutinized and tested until the pieces were exactly right. Lastly, we worked on our visual identity and our e-commerce platform. While we were both happy in our jobs, we had a burning need to express our creativity and step outside of our comfort zone and that’s what pushed us, at different stages of our corporate careers, to leave our jobs and do something completely different and entrepreneurial.
What was the inspiration behind your label?
Rita is the creative mind behind Maveroc. Having spent extended periods of time travelling, Rita draws on her inspiration from across the globe when designing our collections. Her passion for symbolism and special-cut gems hails from her time spent living in Morocco, Mexico and Peru. Her love of art and geometric shapes comes from no other than Paris, a city steeped in eclectic beauty which ignited her love of art galleries and opened her eyes to the importance of sophisticated simplicity.
The Maveroc pieces are truly unique. How does it feel to be at the forefront of design?
Thank you! We feel incredibly proud of our collections and are in love with every single piece we’ve released. We want our customers to feel the same which is why we designed pieces that can be worn day to night and tell a personal story. Many pieces across the collections can be flipped to give an entirely new look, with some featuring sophisticated mechanisms that reveal – or hide – a secret message. People are not one-dimensional, nor should jewellery be. The multiple looks that can be achieved by individual Maveroc pieces are symbolic of what it means to be human. Everyone has their own stories to tell.
To you, what does Maveroc represent?
Maveroc is all about the art of rebellion. We are a provocative, unconventional brand wanting to shake things up and bring a fresh, new perspective to jewellery. We appeal to people who openly – or perhaps secretly – want to challenge the status quo. Those who seek surprise, disruption, experimentation and innovation. We think that for a long time the jewellery market has been stuck in a relatively traditional mindset, in terms of design ideas that have to comply with a relatively narrow set of unwritten rules, in terms of the frequency of new collection releases (rarely) and in terms of the customer experience that often happen in luxury but somewhat uncomfortable retail settings.
We think consumer needs and behaviours have evolved significantly over the last few years and so Maveroc is all about breaking these rules: (i) Our designs feature bold colours and a wide variety of precious stones in special cuts and settings as well as sophisticated mechanisms, (ii) instead of releasing one or two collections per year, we release new original designs every month – there is always something new, and (iii) we sell online through a top-notch e-commerce platform bringing convenience and speed to our customers – we deliver in two hours in Dubai and next day in other Emirates and internationally. The meaning of the name Maveroc is symbolic of this, it is a combination of the words ‘maverick’, meaning doing things in an unorthodox manner, and ‘rock’, and it is also a nod to our country of origin, spelt Maroc in French.
What sets your jewellery apart from other brands?
A few things! First, our jewellery features a lot of bold and unexpected colours through the use of coloured stones and enamelling – the application of a glass-coloured paste to gold. Second, we often combine an unexpectedly large variety of different precious stones in single designs. Third, we have sophisticated mechanisms such as the one in our Dial-up collection which features a half dial that smoothly turns to reveal a hidden message. Lastly, stacking, which we’re all about! We think it’s the combination of all these things that give our pieces their edge and uniqueness.
What excites you about the fashion industry in the UAE and the GCC region?
We’ve now been living in the UAE for over 12 years and the evolution of the local and regional fashion industry over that period of time is really striking. There has always been incredible talent in the UAE and the region as a whole but in recent years what we started witnessing is this talent being more utilized and put to work to create brands at the forefront of fashion with the potential of growing outside the regional borders. We think the same movement is happening in jewellery and we want to be part of that.
You’ve clearly worked incredibly hard to get where you are today, where do you get your motivation from?
What motivates us is really to see our pieces worn and loved by our customers. When you create every design from scratch, with inspiration drawing from your own personal experiences and life, it is a part of your personal story that you share with others and so it does feel really special when we see our pieces being worn and cherished by our customers.
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What advice do you wish you had received at the beginning of your journey to success?
Success is a long journey, we’ve now just launched and we continue to learn every day. We think what’s important is to really enjoy the process. When you try to build a business and everything is on the line, it is sometimes hard to pause and see what you’ve built so far as you’re always looking forward.
Looking back over your career, can you tell us about some major hurdles you’ve had to overcome?
There are so many! For both of us, at different points in time, the most difficult thing was to act on our desire to create our own business and leave our well-established corporate jobs for the challenging world of entrepreneurship. Second, having to learn everything from scratch and finding a space in an industry that’s difficult to access, often made of family businesses that have been passed on from one generation to another. Third, moving to the manufacture of our pieces in-house, which is something we’re in the process of doing, in order to master the full value chain from design to the final piece.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, what have been the key milestones to date?
A few things. For Rita, one of the key milestones of her career was to have launched and successfully grown her first jewellery brand in Morocco over the last 10 years. For Ibrahim, simply having successfully developed as an investment banker over 13 years across three different countries. Last, it is the launch of Maveroc, which we did together.
This is The Collectors Issue – how do you cultivate your jewellery collection?
Crush is the keyword. When something catches my eye, I feel an impulse to add it to my collection – ASAP. I’ve also always been a crazy stacker especially when it comes to rings so this is definitely my péché mignon.
November’s – The Collectors Issue – Download Now
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