Hoping to transcend cultural barriers and unite women around the world with her jewellery, designer, Amany Shaker, tells us why jewellery design has become so important to her and how sharing stories of the people around her influences her process.
q: Where did the name AMMANII come from? Was it inspired by your own name?
a: AMMANII is my name but in a different spelling. It's an Arabic word that means 'Good Wishes'. I thought it's a perfect fit for launching a new adventure!
q: What was it like working in humanitarian aid, helping build peace and resolve conflict?
a: I was fortunate enough to have these experiences and get to be part of witnessing people finding tools and answers to life's challenges. You learn to appreciate and redefine what really matters in life when you are witnessing the devastation and loss that some families have to endure because of circumstances outside their control, such as war situations or displacement because of political strife. The work I did was very rewarding as I became part of these people's lives, and ultimately, they became my supportive community.
q: How do you think that has influenced you as a designer?
a: I think people's stories and the understating you gain in realising the similarities we share have become a great inspiration for me. I want to tell these stories through my designs. Stories of love, connection and building bridges despite any cultural differences that we may have.
q: What is the main company ethos of AMMANII?
a: AMMANII's core value is about creating a positive message through a neutral and beautiful platform, that is the jewellery. I am Egyptian, born and raised, yet spent most of my adult life between the States and other countries. I mentored women and listened to their hearts and minds in different parts of the world. I hope to funnel these experiences and translate them into designs that speak of the inner power that women have - our resilience, courage and leadership. AMMANII is about inspiring us to see beyond the negative lies that the world might have told us. With that in mind, I apply myself into every piece to give something special in design and workmanship.
q: What are the changes you’d like to see in the world?
a: The world is selling us a big lie through social media platforms - whether it's about the standard of beauty, happiness, or self-worth. I think the line between what is real and what is a marketing tool has become very fuzzy. Despite the extreme challenges of the current pandemic, on a human level, I think there's more awareness and a great move towards true value, whether it's ethical, personal or monetary. Awareness is the first step towards change.
q: There are a lot of symbolisms in your jewellery design, what do they all mean to you?
a: The symbolism has part of my journey in it - part history and culture. When it's all weaved together, I want it to trigger a connection that an AMMANII woman would experience through the jewellery. It's not only about choosing a pretty design, but also how this design or symbol will connect with that person.
q: What do you hope AMMANII will bring to the world, especially to women?
a: I hope AMMANII brings beautiful stories that could connect women from different parts of the world. To form a global sisterhood and a community of queens who dream and collaborate to bring about their own change. It could be a change they need to achieve in their own personal lives or even on a larger scale. This is my dream, goal that I'm working on and hoping to achieve.
Ammanii Message of Peace Garnet Chain Necklace £340
As a team that is founded and run by women, we at Curated Crowd understand the importance of uplifting and empowering the women around us. In a world where there is so much negativity and unrealistic standards, especially in the fashion world, we have to be the ones to help alter that. That is why we have formed such a bond with one of our newest jewellery brands - AMMANII. They too have the desire and passion to unite women around the world and show them the strength they possess.
Designer, Amany Shaker, is a strong, independent woman herself. Having worked in humanitarian aid around the world, she has seen first hand the effects of war and political strife, and what ordinary people have to deal with on a daily basis. She has learnt a lot from those people and heard many stories from them that she hopes she can retell through her jewellery.
For Amany, designing isn't simply to make something aesthetically pleasing, it is about building communities and spreading love and connections with people from different cultures and backgrounds. The symbolism and motifs embedded in her jewellery are part of her own story, but it also gives us, the people who wear it, a chance to put our own spin on it and add our stories to it.
Ultimately, AMMANII jewellery gives us a reason to share love, compassion, experiences, courage and hope in these times of uncertainty. It is something we didn't know we needed.