In the heart of Korba in Heliopolis Rabab Salem, a jewelry designer opened her showroom, Ruby’s Silver. The showroom features unique pieces of silverware influenced by Arabic calligraphy and poetry.
“I started designing jewelry in January 2010 and opened my showroom last March,” says Rabab Salem. Although born and raised in London, the young designer always had a passion for old Arabic sayings and calligraphy. She started by designing little pieces of art for herself and her friends and then launched a group on Facebook.
“Each piece is unique but I also create custom made jewelry upon request,” adds the young woman. Salem was always fascinated by the Arabic calligraphy and music and read Arabic poetry as she was growing up. “I always research before I start working on a new collection and my sources are usually old Arabic books of aphorism and poetry,” explains Salem.
“My clientele is young women who are looking for something different,” says the young designer. Ruby’s silver designs are experimental and that is what differentiates the designs from other mainstream designers who use Arabic words in their designers. “I was told several times that my designs are like Azza Fahmy’s but I didn’t know who she was at first,” explains Salem. The young designer is impressed with Fahmy’s work but believes that her own designs are funky and different while Fahmy’s style is more classic.
Ruby’s prices fluctuate from average to slightly pricey. “I also ship to London but sometimes the shipping cost is more than the actual price of the piece which makes it hard for many to order online,” explains the designer.
According to the young entrepreneur, sales have been affected by the latest economic and political changes to the country, but she says she hopes thing “will change for the better soon.”
According to the young designer, people who love and buy silver jewelry are usually more sophisticated. “Gold is usually an investment for many and most of the time the jewelry is bulky and ugly but silver jewelry is an acquired taste,” she explains. She adds that her designs can be done in gold but the craftsmanship must be extremely high.
Salem also started her own line of purses and bags adorned with calligraphy in copper. “The purses are real leather and the copper pieces can be also silver plated,” explains the designer. Moving to Egypt definitely influenced her. “None of this would have been possible if I hadn’t moved back to Cairo,” she says.