The peppy line

By Sadaf Jabeen
Tue, 05, 16

This week meet two young girls - Tasbih Qazi and Hafsa Zuberi who have recently introduced their line of jewellery...


This week meet two young girls - Tasbih Qazi and Hafsa Zuberi who have recently

introduced their line of jewellery...

Hafsa & Tasbih
Hafsa & Tasbih

Whether fancy or costume, nothing can add oomph to your wardrobe like jewellery. Jewellery adds the perfect finish to outfits and the right jewellery pieces can make or break an outfit. Costume jewellery is an easy, inexpensive way to change up or complement a look. In line with the higher demand in fashion is the growing need for costume and fashion jewellery as it is budget-friendly, beautiful and is more fun to wear.

Today fashionable girls like to wear trendy jewellery and now they have a wider choice, thanks to the easy availability of well-designed jewellery. There is an array of jewellery designers in Pakistan like Shafaq Habib, Nazneen Tariq Khan and Nadia Chhotani who create exquisite pieces of jewellery. Recently, two young girls Tasbih Qazi and Hafsa Zuberi have joined the bandwagon and introduced their own line of jewellery - Esfir. Tasbih did her Bachelors of Science from the University of Toronto, with a double major in psychology and economics. She has done few courses in art and design as well. Hafsa did her undergraduate degree in Political Science and History, from the University of Toronto as well. Both the girls became friends in Toronto where they shared their similar passion i.e. jewellery designing. Read on to find more about their work...  The peppy line

You! What made you interested in this field? When did you guys first realise that you two had a flair and passion for jewellery design?

Tasbih: While living in Toronto, we both bonded over our unhealthy obsession with jewellery, because we are jewellery hoarders, and love collecting unique, trendy pieces. When we moved back to Pakistan, we noticed there was a gap in the local jewellery industry, with a lot of it imported from India or Turkey with a predominantly eastern aesthetic, so we decided to channel our interests into creating something that was both edgy and different, with an eastern flair.

Hafsa: It’s always amazing to be able to make your hobby into your career, and that’s what motivated me to start jewellery designing with Tasbih. We really enjoy what we do, from the design process to the marketing and planning, it never feels like a job, and that’s why we wanted to get into jewellery, because there’s nothing like doing what you love for a living.

You! When did the two of you exactly launch your label? How did you go about creating your first item of jewellery?

Tasbih: We have been working on the pieces for months and our collection has been available online since the beginning of this year. But officially we launched our label - Esfir - with our first exhibition in Karachi in March 2016 where we showcased our ‘Time Capsule Collection’ which focused on different eras. Our pieces drew inspiration from the Dark Ages, The Renaissance and Contemporary times. Our first item was probably the most difficult to create, but was a combination of a lot of research.

The peppy lineYou! Who supported you financially as you two are quite young?

Hafsa: We both worked in Toronto for two years prior to moving back, and had amassed some savings which we have plugged into Esfir. Our families have also been very supportive in every respect, so whenever we face a road-block, they’re always there to support us.

You! What is your design philosophy?

Tasbih: ‘Elegance with a twist’ is our motto. Our twist could be in the form of some eastern flair, a touch of history or just a simple cut.

Hafsa: Our design aesthetic is a fusion of the modern and traditional, so all our pieces have both an eastern and a western element to them, for instance our ‘Picasso’s Triangle’ ring is very modern in design but still utilizes Kundan and Feroza to add that eastern touch.

You! Do you have any outlet? Do both of you work as equal partners?

Hafsa: We are not currently stocking anywhere, but do take appointments if someone’s interested in a viewing. We plan on expanding in the future, so that is part of our business plan. We are both equally involved in the marketing and design, so this is how it works - one of us gets an idea (this usually happens at an ungodly hour), we sit down to discuss and modify it and (many hours later) we decide on the final piece, and this creative process continues with the marketing as well.

The peppy line You! What type of jewellery do you design for women?

Tasbih: We design statement pieces that are unique and trendy, but have an innate eastern elegance to them. We make a wide range of jewellery including earrings, hand cuffs, bracelets, rings and our materials include copper, gold plating, Sterling Silver, Kundan, semi-precious stones and Swarovski Crystals.

You! What are your favourite pieces of jewellery and why?

Tasbih:  ‘Starfall’ is my favourite piece from the collection; it is bold and completely unique in structure. But our ‘To catch a pearl’ cuff comes in at a close second, because I love the fusion of pearl and onyx against a gold background.

Hafsa: I have to say the ‘Bird Cage’ Earrings are my favourite, that was the piece I was most excited about, and it turned out better than I could imagine. ‘Two Birds and 1 Stone’ is my second favourite piece, just because it’s so versatile you could wear it anywhere, with eastern or western outfits.

You! Why do you think women should wear designer jewellery?

Tasbih: Accessories complete an outfit, and designer jewellery is carefully crafted to represent different types of women. Some designs exude glamour and others subtle sophistication, so jewellery doesn’t just complete your outfit, it can also reflect who you are.

You! What are you currently working on?

Hafsa: We’re currently working on our website, collaborating with other brands and of course our new collection, which will be completely different from our first.

You! Do you make exclusive pieces or do you make just popular designs?

Tasbih: I’d say a bit of both, we have certain limited edition pieces in our collection, but also popular designs that have been appreciated by a wide audience.

You! What is your inspiration?

Tasbih: I am inspired by almost everything around me. It could be nature, city landscapes or elements of art, anything that catches my eye really.

Hafsa: I am inspired by small things that most people don’t notice, like the hand of a clock or an element within a painting, because when you combine small things with big ideas, you can come up with some cool designs.

You! Do you design every piece yourself?The peppy line

Tasbih: We work on the designs together, combining my edgy taste with Hafsa’s more feminine and flirty approach.

You! What qualities do you think a jewellery designer should possess?

Hafsa: It goes without saying you have to possess creativity, but you should also be willing to get into the nitty gritty of things - so researching what stones are available, the best supplies you can use, things which may seem technical but are important for a designer to know. And while it’s important to follow trends, don’t be scared to set new ones.

You! What makes your line so special? Why should people be buying it?

Tasbih: You make a statement just by wearing Esfir, and the beauty of our pieces is that they’re not particularly big or bright, but people always notice them. We also use local artisans to make all our jewellery, which is something that distinguishes us from other brands.

You! Are you not afraid of copycats?

Hafsa: Not at all, we are not bothered by what others are doing because we trust our designs to speak for themselves. Plus you can replicate an idea, but not the vision!

You! Which jewellery designers have influenced you?

Tasbih: ‘Amrapali’ has some stunning pieces, but for me, my surroundings influence me more than people.

Hafsa: ‘Bochic’ designs some stunning pieces, and I love the fun quirky vibe that ‘Print Therapy’ brings to its designs.

You! Where do you like to shop?

Tasbih: Everywhere! Zara tops the list for trendy western pieces though.

Hafsa: I love shopping in small vintage boutiques, you always find really interesting things there - but I’d say H&M and Zara are my go to places for trendy clothes.

You! How would you describe your personal style?The peppy line

Tasbih: Edgy with an element of surprise.

Hafsa: Feminine with a little bit of edge.

You! Where would you like to take the collection? In terms of expanding and different lines?

Hafsa: We love experimenting with new styles, so we are definitely going to keep coming up with edgier, more beautiful designs. We plan on collaborating with other brands as well, and even expanding into male accessories. Our eventual plan is to cater to an international audience, so fingers crossed that we can keep the momentum going!

You! Is there a new trend that you’re looking forward to trying this coming season?

Tasbih:  Chokers, chokers, chokers.

You! Will you girls pursue jewellery designing as a career or just a hobby?

Tasbih: We’re definitely looking at making a career in it, it stopped being a hobby the minute we saw our first piece and realized we had the potential to create some beautiful things.