Our Exclusive Interview With Nada Al-Hasan Of Flawless By Nada
What inspired you to start curating bespoke jewelry pieces?
Actually, the whole idea was inspired over lunch with one of my best friends back in 2017. I have always had a passion for jewelry. Whether it be collecting vintage, or art deco pieces, having an eye for things overlooked by the mainstream, and, oddly enough, redesigning my friends’ neglected jewelry. More and more, friends and acquaintances kept asking where I got my pieces from and if I could find them similar items and increasingly, asking my advice on redesigning their existing jewelry. Finally, this came to a point where this needed to be a business, thus Flawless By Nada was born. A venture that I am loving and that continues to excite me when I see my clients wearing my pieces and delighted with the result.
Deducing from the name “Flawless” by Nada, do we assume every piece will carry a precious stone?
Ha-ha, come to think of it, I can’t remember working on a piece that didn’t have some sort of precious/semi-precious stone. But of course, the name reflects the ideal that I strive for in quality and service. “Flawless” depicts the pinnacle. I work hard in curating exquisite timeless pieces, but my priority is providing my clients with an experience. And that experience has to be flawless.
In your opinion are diamonds a girl’s best friend?
I love your questions. As much as I love and cherish my real-world family and friends, I have quite a few jewelry items that are my BFFs as well. Every piece I own, I hold close to my heart. Most of them have sentimental value. Birthday gifts, first salary gifts, marriage gifts, parents’ gifts, baby arrival gifts, and the occasional gift to myself; they last a lifetime. But each piece I own speaks to me, is unique and right for me, and that creates the emotional bond.
Just as important; I love it when my friends remember me with the unique jewelry that I gift them. It keeps that bond tight and creates memories. So, to answer your question: it’s the emotional value that makes diamonds a girl’s best friend.
How do you discover new designers to feature in your online shop?
To be very honest, it’s quite an effort to look for the right designer with the right pricing and quality. It takes time and effort to look for a suitable designer to fit a growing business. I must be mindful of my client’s tastes, but always be aware of new or unique trends. I curate what I see fit and suitable for my environment. Fortunately, some designers are flexible, even if they are popular, and were swayed to work with me based on trust and word of mouth. Initially, the designers I worked with were already friends, which made it easier. However, to find new partnerships I had to attend exhibitions and popups and dig through the internet and social media platforms. Every little effort helps. More recently, as Flawless has gained traction, I am in the fortunate position of designers approaching me through my online presence
What sets your curated jewelry pieces apart from others in the market?
The jewelry market is vast but dominated by mainstream designers. So, what makes Flawless special is finding unique designers and pieces, and curating for clients.
I try to focus on partnering with designers that have an element of uniqueness to them. That shows details only passionate jewelers see. I follow my gut, if the design is stuck in my head, then that’s it, whether it is the piece or the designer. Also, a main consideration for me is the quality, the finishing, and the details of the design. Such as the way the stones are set and the intricate details that make the final result.
The second half of what sets Flawless apart from the others is the client experience. Much like an art curator has to find that perfect piece for the client’s art collection, it makes sense for a jewelry buyer to get expert help to find the right piece. My clients trust my taste and eye for jewelry, but I am also good at understanding my clients’ needs and suitability to find a piece that they will treasure.
What are some of the challenges you have faced when starting your online presence?
Establishing Flawless as an online business has been both exciting and challenging. At the start of it, I felt the smooth flow of the ride. Then I realized, a lot of effort has to be put into it. Cutting through the traffic of the online markets, making a presence with so many competitive businesses, and grabbing the attention of your online users and potential clients is quite the challenge.
Innovation and creativity are other big parts of the business. I have to be a step ahead of those within the same line of business. There are so many fish in the sea, and for me to stand out, I have to invest time and resources, to make my social media presence engaging and interactive; this is another challenging aspect of the online business.
Your virtual client is key here too. Being able to build that sort of relationship with potential online customers, and have their trust and belief in you and the work you are selling is so rewarding yet challenging. Your honesty and patience will have to bring down barriers, for any situation to dissolve.
Can you share with us your favorite jewelry designers?
Gosh, where do I start? I have a few that I’m fond of. First of all, I love all the designers I currently work with. I have built a good and strong relationship with each and every one of them. They all have different styles and I admire their work greatly.
However, there are a few other designers I would love to work with. Eleuteri Jewelers, they are an established vintage jeweler. I am obsessed with vintage and art deco jewelry. Their uniqueness is fascinating. Another one would be Nuun Jewelry. I haven’t seen anything like their designs; the way the diamonds are set and the intricate details. Another couple of brands (established but not so mainstream) are Buccellati and Repossi. The fine work that goes into every piece is mesmerizing. Of course, these brands may seem a bit out of my reach at the moment, but I am crossing my fingers that one day I will be working with them. I have so many ideas that if anyone can read my mind, they would lose theirs :)))
What is your favorite type of jewelry to wear?
I am a sucker for rings. Rings all the way! Earrings come second. Lately, I have been trying to balance my pieces, so I have a bit of everything. Over time I have realized that all types of jewelry have a purpose and time to be worn. Of course, clothing and occasion influence the type and theme of jewelry I wear, but there are also certain pieces of jewelry that I like to keep on no matter what. Not only are they sentimental, but they look good with everything.
What advice would you give to someone who is new to buying a bespoke piece of jewelry?
Come to me! Ha-ha. But for those who still need to discover me, I have the following advice. First of all, there is a fine balance between knowing roughly what you want and setting a budget. In most cases, the idea of bespoke happens because something caught the client’s eye, and they keep thinking about it. The bespoke process should kick off with a brainstorming session and initial sketches. The next step is sourcing the stones and finding the most suitable jeweler for the design. After finding the right materials at an acceptable budget, you need a proper drawing. At this stage, you really need to coordinate with the client, so they are in complete agreement. Unfortunately, I have OCD issues, so I constantly overlook the jeweler’s work to ensure the quality, look, and timeliness of the piece. Never accept the piece unless you are fully satisfied with it.
How do you handle custom requests from your clients?
Most of my orders are custom requests. The first step is to contact me. I have all my details on my Instagram page Flawless By Nada. It’s never difficult to contact me. I try my utmost to accommodate everyone and make sure anyone who is working with me gets the best out of me. As my existing clients know, my aim is to make you comfortable in the process and there is no pressure. It’s an exciting experience. My aim is to not only come up with the perfect piece but to also make sure the logistics are as convenient as possible. I also offer styling tips and how to wear your jewelry to get the best out of your custom pieces.
Do you have any upcoming collections or designers you are excited to work with?
Flawless By Nada is working towards big things. The plan for the new year is to bring a collection of my own to life. In the short term, we will continue collaborating with new designers and even a few established designers that are below the radar. There are so many talents out there that I have my eye on. As all the pieces come together, Flawless will become one of the biggest online retail jewelry spaces in the Middle East. I’m so looking forward to what’s coming next. My eyes are wide open for the opportunities coming my way. All I can say is keep checking the platform to see who is joining me next!
What is the most unique piece of jewelry you have ever sold?
I like to think that most of what I sell is unique. I love everything that I have sold. But to think of a few. There was a custom-made heart-shaped diamond ring that was redesigned from existing jewelry, I fell in love with the outcome. Another piece was a pinky ring for a client gifted to her by her sister. I chose for her a loose diamond, where we emptied the pave diamonds in the middle of an existing ring and centered the oval diamond instead. It fits like a glove and the client never takes it off. A very sentimental piece from a big loving sister to her younger one. I love doing custom jobs, they are the most fulfilling.
What is your vision for the future of Flawless by Nada?
Well, the ultimate vision is to be the Net-a-Porter of jewelry…this is what I see the future of Flawless By Nada looking like. I have big dreams and I am bursting with ideas. I want to curate from the best and the finest; choose pieces that are so unique; become the one-of-a-kind destination to shop for jewelry; collaborate with more designers; participating in top events and exhibitions.
I want to enter and understand different markets to spread my knowledge with my taste and ability to see each client as different. I have big visions and dreams, but Rome was not built in a day. Each dream needs planning, research, negotiation, and execution. Flawless By Nada is here for the long run, building on each new designer partnership, each new custom design, and each new client in love with their jewelry creation.