Eager to advance and expand her knowledge of diamonds and precious gemstones, Joanna enrolled in a gemology course at the prestigious GIA in London.
“I studied jewelry design at the Central St. Martin’s. I spent four years working at the branch. Than I wanted to expand my knowledge, so I went to GIA and did the course in colored precious stones and diamonds. I became gemologist.”
Joanna has launched her brand in the UK, Italy and Lebanon. While working on her own jewelry lines, Joanna is also creating diffusion lines for QVC and Jersey Pearl. Keen to grow her business she created in 2016 two new multi-brand corners in both ABC Dbayeh and Achrafieh called The Corner by Joanna Dahdah.
“After my graduation show I sold most of my pieces, and I got very much encouraged by my family and friends who wanted to buy my pieces and wanted to see more. It was a natural process to start my own line, and to become a bit more commercial,” explains Joanna. “Jewelry in Lebanon is traditionally inherited from father to son, and I am the first one in my family to start working in this business.“
“My idea was to create very modern line, and at the same time to have the story for every collection. I didn’t want to create only something pretty; every piece has a story. For example, for the Tarbouche collection I designed eleven elements, such as “tarbouche” which is incrusted with rubies; a pomegranate also incrusted with rubies cabochons; a pistachio (which is very Lebanese thing to eat), a “manouchen” which is Lebanese breakfast food - Lebanese pizza with thyme. All this elements I designed, I designed them with different chains, so you can attach each element to the chain of your choice. This way every client designs his or hers own necklace.” - says Joanna.
Joanna’s designs are addictively playful. “For my latest collection La Cravate, the necklaces go up and down, and you can wear them long and short. With every collection I want to create sense of desire and the sense of surprise.”
“One of my favorite pieces, which I also think is the most special, is a “tarbouche”. It is symbolic. It’s a hat that men in the Ottoman Empire used to wear. It is 18 carats gold, incrusted with rubies, and inside is written Beirut in traditional Arabic calligraphy, which is the city I grew in, so this piece has a special meaning for me.”
Joanna Dahdah has recently launched her on-line store. “This is very exciting for me, because I am able to sell my jewelry worldwide. I am also working on a bridal collection. This is, too, very exciting. As a gemologist I get to play with beautiful stones and I love that.”
Author: Tanja Beljanski