Duha Ramadan... From Passion to Goals

  • Publish date: Wednesday، 03 March 2021 Last update: Thursday، 06 April 2023
Written by: Noura Al- Swaity
Photographer: Mohammed Jasem
Hair: Cleo
Makeup: Charlotte Tilbury

1. How did you begin your journey in the world of fine jewelry? And what does “Aubade” mean?

I have always been obsessed with jewelry, but most of my favorite jewelry brands and styles were only available overseas. I got frustrated because I couldn't shop for the jewelry brands I liked in the local market, and I noticed that most people in Kuwait were buying jewelry from the same 2 or 3 big brand stores.

“Aubade” was founded with the idea of bringing all my favorite international brands to Kuwait, and it allowed me to introduce new brands to the jewelry market.

“Aubade” has always been my favorite word. It is derived from the French word "aube", which means dawn, and it is a song or poem that celebrates the dawn. As someone who loves and writes poetry, “Aubade” meant romance and beauty to me. Regarding the story behind the name of the store, I didn't want to give it my own name, but I thought that Duha in Arabic means "early morning," so Aubade, as a morning song, resonated with me -Duha- in so many ways.

Duha Ramadan 01

2. What is the best thing about managing your own jewelry store?

I do what I love every day! I love to work with jewelry, I love to travel to different cities, meet designers and check their collections. My favorite part is playing with jewelry and trying on so many amazing pieces. It's like a dream come true.

3. You have such an impressive mix of jewelry in your store, does it reflect your personal taste?

Yes, of course. A lot of the pieces you see in the store are pieces that I wear personally. In fact, I usually fall in love with a brand and buy a few pieces for myself first before I bring them to the store. Once I start getting compliments on my jewelry pieces, I realize that it would be nice to present them in “Aubade”.

However, this mix is also driven by the taste of my friends, our community, and our customers. I take a close look at the trends in our market and try to incorporate that into our purchases each season.

Duha Ramadan 02

4. How would you describe your own personal style?

My style is versatile, but I mostly stick to casual chic style because it's what I'm most comfortable in. I like basics and neutrals, but I like to add a fancy touch during winter and a bit of more bohemian look in summer.

5. Name three Instagram profiles that you make sure you follow and keep up with?

3oud.com - for local and regional news.

enews - for celebrity gossips.

sothebysjewels – to check out the finest jewels.

6. What is the inspiration behind your style?

Some of my favorite style icons are Christine Centenera (Fashion Director of Vogue- Australia), Hailey Bieber (for her perfect street style), the Olsen twins (I'm obsessed with The Row brand!), and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley (-----).

Duha Ramadan 03

7. What gems are you attracted to currently?

I have always been drawn to emeralds - the glow of green is so enchanting and there is something very calming about this stone. There is nothing like a no oil Colombian emerald to win my heart.

I also have a new love for sapphires - just as I was drawn to the emerald glow, I found I couldn't resist looking at the deep, velvety blue sapphires.

8. What challenges have you had to overcome throughout your career as a working mother?

The biggest challenge I constantly face is to find the balance between family and work. Mommy guilt never leaves you, and owning your own business means you never take a day off (I was sending emails a few hours after the birth of my third child!). But you have to find the balance somehow, and I think that balance is different for each family (what works for me may not work for others). It is important to have time for work, for your family, and also for yourself, otherwise you will feel overwhelmed. For me, the key to finding that balance is having a strong support system. If the caregivers of my family and children don't support me and stand by me through hectic times, my business will not succeed.

Duha Al-Ramadhan 04

9. Did the current situation with COVID-19 cause you to re-think about what might cause “devaluation” in your life or business moving forward?

COVID-19 has changed my perspective on many aspects of my life — especially those related to my work and family. I was slowly beginning to prioritize myself in situations where I would put myself last. I'm starting to make more time for my family, especially my kids because they're growing up so fast and I don't want to look back and regret the time I didn't spend with them. I'm also grateful that COVID-19 has slowed down the fast-paced life I used to lead, it has taught me that I can do a lot of my work from home – meetings, purchases and appointments now take place virtually, so this flexibility means I can be around my family while still accomplishing the things I used to do before COVID-19.

10. What are the most essential pieces that every woman should have in her jewelry armoire?

Classic gold chains, a tennis necklace or bracelet and a diamond pinky ring.

11. Being an entrepreneur in this field, can you share with us your tips for maintaining work-life balance?

Time management is the key. I am a morning person and I believe that if you start your day early enough, you can make time for your work, family, friends, and most importantly, yourself.

Duha Ramadan 05

12. There is a strong connection between the world of fashion and the world of jewelry. What are your favorite fashion brands that always go along with the jewelry you wear?

I love simple clothes and compatible colors - they form the perfect background for your jewelry to shine for real. Some of my favorite brands are The Row, Bottega Veneta, and old Celine. With these looks, I generally wear yellow or rose gold jewelry pieces from Azlee, Anita Ko, and Venyx. I also like to add a touch of uniqueness to my style now and then, so brands like Saint Laurent and Prada do the trick. To complete these looks, I wear black or white gold jewelry from Repossi, Spinelli Kilcollin, Eva Fehren and all of the above-mentioned brands are available in “Aubade”.

13. What is the most sentimental piece of your own jewelry collection and what is the backstory?

Anita Ko's custom emerald ring, a birthday gift from my husband in 2014. I've always wanted an emerald solitaire ring, so I asked my friend and designer Anita Ko to get some Colombian emeralds for me to choose from. When we were in Los Angeles, she explained the options to us and my husband selected his favorite stone personally, which she set in a stunning ring. I really loved the journey of bringing the ring back to life, and Anita herself said it inspired her to create more emerald rings over the years.

Duha Ramadan 06

14. Describe a typical day in the life of Duha Ramadan

First thing I do is running or working out with my personal trainer. I don't drink coffee, so working out is my natural caffeine kick in the morning. It's usually breakfast on the go, and right after that comes work (however, with COVID-19, I'm often homeschooling in the morning and going to the office later during the day).

A day in the office includes visual merchandising, jewelry orders, and event planning. I also spend a lot of time online and on social media, but it's all part of my job! It is the best way to keep me posted with the latest trends and news in the jewelry world. It's also how I come across a lot of jewelry brands. At home, I spend time with my kids especially my baby (lots of hugs and kisses!), and once they go to bed, I wind down with a good book.

15. What is the first place on your list of travel destinations?

Norway to see the aurora lights.