From financial operations to jewellery designing and conceptualising fashion for homes and offices, Shadya Al-Ismaily, the brain behind Deema Oman, has proven her versatility in the complex world of style and fashion.
The year was 2011 when Shadya Al-Ismaily, a committed career woman, decided to put the brakes on her full time occupation in the field of finance and investment and devote all her time to Deema, which had been registered in 2008 as the first ever national designing house for luxury jewellery to be born in Oman.
Pan to 2017, not only has her dream turned into a successful brand; she has let her passion soar in the world of style and fashion by branching out into other related areas of designing.
Her inception into the world of jewellery designing was spurred by her observations that most Omani traditional jewellery pieces weren’t practical for office wear or everyday wear. She’d noted early on that the use of Omani jewellery was becoming more and more restricted to important social events and festivals. It was this compelled her to find ways to encourage modern Omani women to readopt traditional jewellery. It soon led to the creation of Deema collections, whose sole objective was the incorporation of traditional Omani jewellery and the latest trends in the exalted international jewellery markets.
Having a natural leaning to all things art and design since school days, Shadya found it easy to relate to her designing venture. Despite her ensuing higher education in Finance, her passion for art remained unabated. She dabbled in painting and other home designing projects, before heeding the suggestions of friends and family to jump into the designing field. She started designing jewellery as a hobby in 2008 and strengthened her aptitude with formal professional jewellery designing courses from Birmingham School of Jewellery.
Eventually, she became a professional designer and has since won the ‘Women Super Achievers Award’ from Femina Mumbai, India (in 2017), been featured in a luxury book issued to mark 90th birthday of HM Queen Elizabeth (2016), got selected as one of Oman’s most powerful business women by a local publishing house (2015), offered the role of ‘Ambassador of Innovation’ by Dr. Zahra Al Rawahi of The Research Council (2014), awarded ‘Women Award of Excellency’ (2013), and was one of the ‘Super Achievers of the Sultanate’ by a publishing house (2012).
In October 2014, Shadya’s daughter, Suad, joined Deema as a partner, bringing in with her sound legal experience and strong interpersonal skills. She has, since, been taking care of the legal and contractual affairs of the company; covering public relations and marketing side of the business.
Deema Oman has been gaining recognition for its revolutionary impact on the Omani jewellery designing approaches, and has been celebrating the brand’s successes through its presence at prestigious events like Jewellery Arabia (2010), International Jewellery London Exhibition (2011), the celebration of 150 years anniversary of life and legacy of Sir Henry Royce (2012), Knooz for Fine Jewellery and Watch Exhibition (2012) and the celebration of 110 years anniversary of Rolls Royce (2013), among others.
During mid 2011, the house revealed its fine dining tableware collection for the first time to the public. Today, unique chinaware sets are being commissioned by the house’s clients to meet their requirements for customised features and represent limited edition issues. With increasing market appetite for other Deema Oman’s products, the house introduced a new line aimed at designing sophisticated high-end corporate gifts in 2013.
Interestingly, Deema Oman’s designing philosophy has been largely influenced by four key elements:
Omani heritage: Oman is rich in its heritage and other legacies that cannot be ignored. Hence, it was logical that Deema be affected by this beautiful legacy. The viewer of Deema’s collection would instantly realise that it tells stories as diverse as the ancient stories of our seas and marine journeys.
Islamic art and design: Islamic architecture and its designs also have a special imprint on Deema’s work. This line was included to promote the beauty of Islamic art and creativity.
Nature: The nature in Oman is also considered as a source of inspiration in the designing process. The ‘Palm’ collection, for example, was inspired by the date tree, and was the first collection under the ‘Nature’ line. Every element of the tree was carefully employed in a piece of jewellery.
Architecture: A line dedicated to both historical and modern architecture and landmarks in Oman was introduced in 2014. Designs of jewellery, including men’s’ jewellery and luxury sticks, corporate gifts, chinaware, and linens were created drawing inspiration from landmarks such as the Sultan Qaboos Grand mosque, Royal Opera House, Al Riyam monument, etc.
The latest at Deema was the launch of the house sub brand ‘Leila by Deema’, which was developed to bring about a balance between creating elegant yet comfortable, and well-made garments for children. The brand is specialised in children’s formal and casual wear for age group starting from 1 year to 14 years at modest prices.