Portrait of an Artisan> Shamila



Shamila Jiwa, Founder of Shamila Fine Jewelry

Born in Tanzania of Indian heritage and currently operating from Seattle, Washington, Canadian designer Shamila Jiwa creates jewelry that reflects her extensive travels, passion for unusual gemstones, and rich ethnic heritage. Noted for distinctive yet timeless styles and color combinations, Shamila was honored with an Emerging Designer Award at the prestigious Centurion Show in 2012. Shamila continuously explores working in fine and precious metals whilst seeking inspiration from historically rich and exotic locales.

A self-taught designer and avid gem collector she continues to incorporate unusual stones in her designs, revealing radiance in the often overlooked. As a child she would accompany her father to the local goldsmith in Tanzania to have special jewels commissioned for her mother and her sisters. Years later she would convert her hobby into a passionate career. Incorporating fine quality precious and semi-precious gemstones in distinct shapes and colors sets her work apart. Shamila’s reappraisal of Labradorite for its inherent beauty and versatility, her insistence for varying cuts, shapes, and designs, has fueled its recent popularity and was acknowledged by the American Gem Trade Association in their article “Longing for Labradorite.”

Shamila studied at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver BC, where she received a bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology and International Affairs. With an expanding and discerning international clientele, she remains focused on designing timeless products that showcase the natural beauty of gems in sophisticated expressions. Shamila spent a significant part of 2009 as an apprentice with goldsmiths and masters in Istanbul, Turkey. This training inspired her signature Lokum Lale Luxe collection shown in New York City during Fashion Week Fall 2009 and in the Czech Republic, France and England. The Luxe collection is available at select jewelry boutiques, galleries and museums in the USA and Canada.

The Lokum Lale Luxe collection is a tribute to the historical city and rich culture of Istanbul. Lokum means Turkish delight, while lale describes the tulip motifs, two ubiquitous symbols of beauty and taste. The collection features cut-to-fit gemstones in exquisitely carved and etched minaret shaped settings of reclaimed high karat gold and quality sterling mélanges, lale motifs, chocolate diamonds and a stunning array of topaz including rare Rutile Topaz, Labradorite, various quartzes and tourmalines. The Lokum Lale Luxe collection is born out of a deep labor of love to create simply beautiful, thoughtful and timeless jewels showcasing brilliant and rare gems while exuding understated elegance.

Chimera is Shamila’s other signature collection, which features an annually evolving range of gems inspired by exotic locales such as India, Thailand and West Indies. This collection explores a feminine element woven with storytelling, travel and relationships. Sexy lariats, simple solitaire layering necklaces and cascading earrings are created using high-grade Italian 14k gold fill, superior quality sterling silver and uniquely cut gemstones.

Shamila is an avid participant in and supporter of charitable organizations. Philanthropy and giving are closely tied to her business and personal lives. She donates 10% of her yearly revenue to myriad of causes each year.


Posted on July 24, 2012 .