This week’s talent is not a single one, but five that have come together. It’s not just a group of working hands, but also a combination of creativity, hard work, perseverance, and skillfulness. Sepia is not just a fascinating jewellery brand, pieces of art, or a collective of compelling stories to tell, but also an inspiring success story of the work of five ladies who turned their college project to a reality.
Founded in 2018, Sepia is a jewellery brand that offers pieces inspired by the ancient Egyptian culture, but it doesn’t stop there. You might think that Egyptian jewellery is not that much of a novel idea, but aside from Sepia’s unique designs that easily stand out anywhere, the pieces come with fascinating stories too! Each piece tells a story, a real story from a point in our country’s history. Yes, wearing a Sepia design is a beautiful reminder of one’s great heritage. Not only that, but every fact or story is written on papyrus that comes with every piece of jewellery. It is indeed a great way to preserve our heritage, as well as raise awareness about the beauty of our culture. Quite impressive, right? But where did all of this come from?
Having graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts’ Department of Cinema and Theatre Set Design, a group of students started Sepia when they were asked to work on designing a product inspired by an ancient culture. It was, of course, a no-brainer to choose the ancient Egyptian culture. Their extreme passion for it, along with their talent in design pushed them to make this dream come true.
“Our culture is full of tales, legends, and secrets,” Dina, one of the founders, told us when explaining why the ancient Egyptian culture was such an obvious choice. “Before designing a new collection, we start doing research to find stories that speak to us and make us want to share them with other people. Then we start designing our pieces from the elements and the symbols in the stories.”
The group had no previous experience in jewellery making; their expertise was in the art and design field. So, they self-learned jewellery design, and also went to local workshops to learn how Egyptian craftspeople bring their designs to life. They also added to their management and business skills by taking extra courses and seminars to help them run their business.
Even the name of the brand has a story behind it. You might recognise “sepia” as a brown-ish photo filter, but where did it come from? Sepia is a shade of brown that the legendary Leonardo da Vinci often used to revive paintings in the Renaissance era. And just like Da Vinci, Sepia’s founders aimed to preserve and revive their culture.