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Meet Afreen Mirza of Jewel Thief

Today we’d like to introduce you to Afreen Mirza.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started with the love of Arabic Calligraphy, it always fascinated me as an art form. I started searching and found artisans who were employing this art to create bespoke pieces of jewelry. I had some custom pieces made for myself, and after receiving compliments, I felt like I wanted to share this beautiful art with people. I slowly invested a small sum of money and had a few pieces made, had a small trunk show at a friend’s house, and it was a sold-out show! Encouraged, I spent time designing for another trunk show, and made a Facebook page, I was selling out before I could make more!

I did the trunk shows, and now I’m mostly an online seller… I enjoy the social media aspect of showcasing my jewelry. I love photographing, engaging with my clients.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It has been anything but smooth! My jewelry is made in countries where the politics doesn’t suit us! I have had many restrictions on shipping, paying duties, lots of questioning about the artisans, etc.

I am also a one man show, to keep my prices affordable, I try to manage everything myself, and so at times it gets unorganized, and growth has been slow.

Please tell us about Jewel Thief.
Jewel Thief has been about bringing old world charm into a more affordable and modern scenario. I do everything from the designing, to the business matters, packaging, mailing. I’m the designer from concept to sale. I’m known for my bold and brazen pieces, Jewel Thief is wearable art. I feel like what sets me apart is my attention to detail without compromising on my promise of an affordable yet unique piece of jewelry.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Living in different countries, Dubai, Hong Kong, London, Cameroon, Egypt, and Pakistan! It truly enriched my soul and understanding of people and cultures, I feel like its reflected in my jewelry.

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