By Muhammad Riaz Usman Khaleej Times, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Jewelry entrepreneur Amreen Iqbal says she started her business "Piece of You" shortly after the birth of her third child. After the baby was born she designed a beautiful keepsake necklace to celebrate the arrival...soon after the business was born too!
Amreen Iqbal is the scion of a renowned family of jewelers.
While growing up, jewelry and design were a big part of her life. She started customizing her jewelry from a very young age; it was just a hobby at that time.
After graduation, Amreen started working for her family business, Pure Gold Jewellers, in the corporate communications division.
"Out of interest, I also did several courses with GIA in diamond grading and jewelry designing. My passion for designing personalized pieces continued as I customized everyday dainty jewelry pieces for my family and friends while still designing extensive and more luxurious jewelry pieces for clients of Pure Gold Jewellers," Amreen, founder and chief designer of Piece of You, explains.
In early 2017, shortly after the birth of her third child, she designed a beautiful keepsake necklace to celebrate the arrival of the newborn.
"My husband was very appreciative of the design and he encouraged me to start my own line of unique personalized pieces. Immediately, I felt in my heart that it is the right decision -- and within three months, Piece of You was born," she continues.
Amreen says that Piece of You aims to celebrate the beautiful moments of life through customized jewelry.
"It is for everyone; our prices are very reasonable and we love to be part of our clients' important life moments. We mainly operate through Instagram and most of our customers found us through social media," she says.
Amreen says Piece of You can change the way people view jewelry purchases. Instead of buying from a set collection of jewelry at a shop, they can unleash their creativity and get a unique piece designed for themselves.
"Customers can contact us with a short note on the particular life moment they want to celebrate with a customized jewelry piece, whether rings, bracelets, necklaces or anklets. They can let us know their preference for yellow or white gold, diamonds or other precious stones and I send them a few designs to choose from. Once the design is finalized, I bring it to life. It is then delivered to the customer in a beautifully crafted box," she elaborates.
Amreen started the business almost two years ago. Since it is personalized jewelry, she does everything from design to packaging.
"I also have a factory in Dubai to produce custom pieces. I am very particular about the design and quality. I spend time with the clients to understand exactly what they want and create designs that they can choose from. I really enjoy this creative process and I am not keen to outsource it," she adds.
Amreen believes the UAE has a very strong startup eco-system for various industry sectors.
"There is a great startup movement in the UAE. The government has many initiatives to encourage young entrepreneurs. The process of obtaining a trade license and setting up a company is very much streamlined. The UAE's Smart Government initiatives make it easy to do everything online," Amreen says.
"The UAE also has many conferences and mentorship programmes for entrepreneurs to learn from others. If you have a plan you are passionate about and you are persistent, there are many opportunities in the UAE," she adds.
Amreen started her business through Instagram, now she has a factory and an e-commerce website. "Due to the nature of our business, it will grow mostly through e-commerce as it is all about personalized design, not readymade designs. I also intend to set up a kiosk or a design consultancy in the future where customers can come for a face-to-face consultation," she says.
Advising young entrepreneurs, Amreen says setting up a business and growing it takes patience.
"It's a constant process of learning and improving. It's important to have a plan and be organized so that you can have a healthy balance in life. Above all, listen to your customers and be willing to take constructive criticism," she urges.
"I am a mompreneur who is actively balancing the role of mom and the role of entrepreneur. My advice to mompreneurs is that creating a work-life balance is very important to being a successful mompreneur. You should not feel guilty, both the roles should be equally enjoyed, find joy in parenting as well as entrepreneurship. By being an entrepreneur, you are also being a strong role model to your children and instilling good values in them as they grow up," she concludes.