TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF AND HOW YOU BECAME AN ARTIST
I come from a very mixed-cultured family background and I also grew up in Dubai. Creativity runs through the family; my grandfather was a very talented Irish artist, whilst my mother encouraged us as children from a very young age to always create, draw, design and make. I remember I used to stand outside my villa and offer to “paint portraits” of my passing neighbours in exchange for a couple dirhams! I would stick flowers and shells on the paper to decorate the drawings, and would then buy sweets with my ‘profits’! I loved the idea that one day I could hopefully make a living out of doing something that I loved, and could bring joy to the lives of other people through creativity, art and design.
HOW DID CRYSTYLED BEGIN?
I was in my final year at University studying product design and had come back to Dubai over the holidays to visit my family and friends. I met up with a close friend of mine and she had just had an expensive designer phone for Christmas, which was covered in Swarovski crystals. I remember falling in love! I wanted one so badly but I couldn’t afford it on my student budget. So, the desire to have an equally sparkly mobile phone, combined with my creative ways, led me to designing my very own first Swarovski work of accessory art – and Crystyled was born! After graduating from University with a First Class Honours degree, I set my sights on properly launching my business – offering the application of Swarovski crystals to personal effects. The business launched in 2008 and relocated to Dubai in 2012, and I haven’t looked back since.
WHAT INSPIRES YOUR DESIGNS?
I can be inspired by literally anything. Nature and my surroundings influence a lot of my designs, as well as TV and films. My designs tend to be based on themes and are all named to give them a bit of personality. My favourite designs include ‘Queen of the Desert’ – a golden desert themed collection, based on my childhood growing up in the sandpit. I include beetles, butterflies, birds, dragonflies, stars, hearts and a range of other charms to mix in with the golden, cream, bronze and brown colour scheme. I once created a stunning one-of-a-kind pair of vintage heels with this design and photographed them in desert surroundings (check them out here). They looked fantastic against the vibrant orange sands of Hatta and sparkled unbelievably under the sun.
I also love ‘Boudoir in Bloom’ – a multi-coloured fun and flirty design which can be applied to any surface including phone cases, car keys, shoes and bags.
DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE ITEM THAT YOU LOVE CRYSTYLING? WHAT’S THE MOST INTERESTING PRODUCT YOU’VE EVER BEEN ASKED TO BLING UP?
I’m a sucker for a pair of sparkling high heels and I have quite the collection! Crystyling each pair is always fun, it doesn’t have to be the entire shoe – sometimes I just design on or around the heel, or even on the underside of the heel. I love that I can create my own designs and match them to an outfit and know that whichever room I walk into, they will always be totally unique.
It’s all about having something different. Crystyled enables you to stand out from the crowd and it’s a great feeling knowing you are not just another cog in the fashion wheel. It allows you to take risks and be part of the design process by choosing the cameos, colours, charms and so on.
I also love personalizing items with names and messages. Glass flutes and bubbly bottles are another favourite. I always choose to create and gift these to my nearest and dearest for birthday, anniversaries and weddings. I love the idea that you can collect these and keep them in a display cabinet to remind you of a special occasion.
HOW HAVE YOU ADAPTED CRYSTYLED TO THE MIDDLE-EAST MARKET?
Cultural fashion trends include the use of the Hand of Fatima and the evil eye, which I use in a lot of my designs. I would also say that the local market demands a greater level of customization. Fashion and design is celebrated here and although the market is fairly small in size compared to the UK, there is a huge amount of support and need for new and upcoming designers. It comes back to the point that even more so, people are craving a new and unique look. Because this town is so small, you need to be a little smarter in sourcing your unique fashion finds. Crystyled is the perfect brand to turn to as you can select the most mundane and simple pair of heels or abaya and let us do the rest! We take your blank fashion canvas and turn the item into a work of art!
WHAT OFFERS AND EXCITING CREATIONS DO YOU HAVE FOR THE FESTIVE SEASON?
For the upcoming festive period I have created a gorgeous Christmas themed collection of glass flutes, each hand embellished with a Christmas motif: Reindeer, Christmas tree, holly, snowflakes. I can even crystyle a name and message on flutes, mugs and other items too, such as ‘Mr & Mrs,’ logos, ‘Mabrouk’ – anything goes!
– 20% off a set of Crystyle glass flutes when you buy six or more
– 25% off high heel customization
– AED 250 for car key customization, instead of AED 350
C O N T A C T D E T A I L S