Occupation: Co-Founder of Mejuri
Astrological sign: Virgo
Favorite guilty pleasure: Chocolate
Favorite song: "Wind of Change" by Scorpions but I listen to "I Feel Good" by James Brown a lot too!
Fine jewelry is a woman’s best friend but if you’re looking for pieces which are unique, doesn’t look like it’s been manufactured en masse and can be purchased at affordable prices you may stumble into a few road blocks.
In comes Mejuri, an online platform and fine jewelry maker which uses crowdsourcing to give designers the opportunity to submit their creations to be manufactured and sold. Co-Founded by Noura Sakkijha, her and the company has been featured in The Globe and Mail and Toronto Star, and is changing the jewelry industry in Canada. Read on and learn Noura’s secrets to happiness, life, success and style.
Kimberly Lyn: Your family has been in the fine jewelry business since 1953. Did you always want to go into the family business or did the desire come later in life?
Noura Sakkijha: I have always had a great passion for jewelry and working in the family business. However, I didn’t really want to work in the traditional retail model; once I had the idea that brought innovation and technology to the jewelry industry, I set out to pursue my passion with my team.
Mejuri provides emerging jewelry designers from around the world with the opportunity and resources to manufacture and sell their creations online. How did you come up with the idea to merge old-world craftsmanship with the latest technology?
I have noticed a gap in the jewelry industry, customers are always demanding unique designs and want to connect with the creative people behind it; on the other hand, there are many talented designers around the world who might not necessarily have the means to take their products to market. Given that we have the manufacturing network and industry expertise, we thought of bridging the gap between the designers and customers through our crowdsourcing platform, business knowledge and manufacturing capability.
Your father was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. What advice can you give to women who are dealing with a parent who has a serious illness?
It is very tough and it definitely takes time to reach to a point where you feel you have some clue on how to handle it. I think the number one thing is to make peace with the changes that are happening and focus on making sure they are comfortable and loved.
Have you ever tried your hand at designing your own piece of jewelry? If yes, what was it and what did it look like?
Yes! I love how sentimental jewelry is and that it can be passed from one generation to another. My mother gave me a piece of jewelry a few years ago that she had wanted to redesign to suit my style, so I took the stones and designed this flower pendant that I wear most of the time.
What are your favorite go-to pieces in your wardrobe?
I love wearing my Mejuri earring charms designed by Chayle. I like them because of their simplicity and versatility; they add the perfect feminine and unique touch to diamond or pearl studs. I also like having the perfect black dress in my closet, it never goes out of style and it’s a must-have for every girl.
If you could create a recipe for happiness, what would it contain and why?
If I were to narrow it down to three things I would say: 1) be grateful – often times we focus on the things we do not have and forget to appreciate what we have and what we have accomplished; 2) find your passion and goals, and work towards them because having a purpose definitely adds a lot of excitement to life and 3) surround yourself with positive, supportive and like-minded people.
When you’re not working, what are you favorite hobbies/activities to relieve the stress of running your own business?
When I get some free time I like to do yoga, spend time with my husband and friends, and one of my guilty pleasures is watching TV series. In the summertime, I like to spend as much time as possible outdoor exploring the city, biking or hiking.
If you could spend Sunday brunch with a famous person (celebrity or historical figure), who would it be and why?
My number one choice has consistently been Elon Musk. I’m fascinated by the changes he introduced to the world, the way he approaches problems, and how he stands by his beliefs and persists to reach success. In my mind I picture him as a fearless visionary and I would absolutely love to learn from him.
What’s the best advice you share with your girlfriends when they come to you with their man troubles?
It really depends on the problem but generally speaking I think communication is key, making the effort to see things from each other’s perspectives to understand what the other person is feeling is the first step.