Saturday, November 25, 2017

Jewellery ties east to west in Dhaka startup Ora

  • Samin Sababa,
    Published: 2017-02-09 15:04:00 BdST


A collection that marries travel with jewellery awaits an exhibition in Dhaka.

Hundreds of custom jewellery pieces by Ora will be featured in a two-day premiere at Bay’s Edgewater at Gulshan-2.

Ray Mardia, a Bangladeshi-born lawyer in Australia, says the collection is a fusion of her trips to various parts of the world.

For two years, she has hand-curated custom jewellery for Ora, digging through suppliers, designers and manufacturers in Turkey, countries in Europe and America.    

“I have a vision of this woman who is bold, curious and is a dreamer. I designed my brand for her,” she told on Wednesday.

“The jewellery by Ora tie together the east and the west. I have a lot of respect for gold or Kundon that form our tradition, but women are complex and I mean to open up the world to them.” 

Mardia said she did not start her brand with fine ornaments because custom jewellery formed a broader concept that allowed more adventure.

“There is definitely a middle eastern element in Ora which I found in Turkey and their use of a lot of greens and semi-precious stones. Then there is also the connection with Italy and France.”

But how Ora will reach out to women will depend on insights of those who visit the exhibition, she said.

“A lot of it will depend on you… the women who will be there. We are definitely listening to opinions before deciding whether we will sell online or have a store.”

The prices of the products that will be quoted on spot at the exhibition were set based on uniqueness and availability, she added. 

As for the many online outlets selling foreign jewellery through social media, she said, “I have been researching on competition. But fortunately there is nothing similar to what we have. Our products, customer service will set us apart.” 

Despite being a startup, Ora already has an endorsement from Bengali screen legend Sarah Begum Kabori.

“It was such a dream-come-true because she is a big icon. I feel so honoured that she was excited about this.”

Ora’s exhibition will be open from 11am to 9pm at Edge Gallery in Bay’s Edgewater on Feb 11 and Feb 12.