Meet Amber, founder of RÜYA Workshop. RÜYA was founded in 2021, born from a love of gold, a love which began after being passed down a gold bracelet from her mother at the age of 14.
Amber is passionate about encouraging people to invest in solid gold that can be passed on to future generations, like those that have been passed on to her.
CREATED TO WEAR, LOVE AND PASS ON’
For those that don’t know you please can you tell us a little bit about yourself and RÜYA?
My name Is Amber and I am a fashion photographer, stylist and jewellery designer based in Brighton. I started my career when I was 16 working in fashion photography and styling, I was constantly surrounded by design and I think this instilled an interest in me from a young age. I also was lucky enough to spend time growing up in Turkey, as this is where my dad is from. There is such a huge culture surrounding gold in Turkey and I think always being around this then led me to the jewellery industry and starting Rüya.
What is the ethos behind RÜYA?
The most important thing for me was to create pieces that will last forever. All of our pieces are crafted in 14K solid gold. I think it’s so easy to buy jewellery that tarnishes and has to be replaced, however by investing a bit more, you can have a piece that will last, and in the future can be passed on, which I love the idea of. I also try to operate with minimal waste. The gold used is recycled, and any pieces not sold are then either reworked for future collections, or melted down to make something completely new.
When did you start creating these beautiful pieces and how did it come about?
With Rüya, I started creating pieces that I wanted to wear. I didn’t want to be selling something that I wasn’t completely obsessed with myself. I wear a lot of gold jewellery, and have collected my own jewellery for years. I often had people asking me about it and where I had got it from. I realised that it wasn’t that easy to find what I wanted, and there was a big gap between fashion and fine jewellery. So I finally decided to start creating it myself.
Can you tell us a little bit about the process and the workshop in which the pieces are made?
So I design all the pieces in Brighton, I constantly have new ideas for jewellery, so I’m always drawing up new designs. I then work with a small workshop in Turkey. This is a workshop I have used for years, before starting Rüya, to have my personal jewellery made, so I have a close relationship with them. I send over all my drawings with measurements and sizes for them to then create the samples to send back to me. It’s actually such a fun process and I have learnt so much along the way!
How did your love of gold begin?
My love of gold jewellery began after being passed down a gold bracelet from my mum when I was 14. Investing in gold pieces and building my own collection became a fascination for me. In Turkey it is also a massive part of the culture. You are often gifted gold at big events such as births and weddings. It is then almost used as currency, and can be traded, either for money or other jewellery. Whenever I visit Turkey, if I see something I absolutely love, I often trade one of my old pieces in for it.
What is your favourite part about designing Jewellery?
I honestly, absolutely love the whole process. It’s so exciting for me seeing something go from an idea in my head, to a drawing, then to the finished product. Seeing people wearing the jewellery still blows my mind!
Where do you look for inspiration/who inspires you/how do you fuel creativity?
I have always been completely obsessed with photography. I find so much inspiration in it, whether that's in magazines, galleries or on instagram. I think photography has then become quite a big part of Rüya as a brand. I am also obviously inspired when I spend time in Turkey. There is honestly gold EVERYWHERE, and it looks so amazing when you see shopfront after shopfront, completely full of gold. I’m so excited to finally get back there in a couple of weeks!
What are your hopes and dreams for your business?
Rüya was started as a complete passion project, and to see it growing already is so exciting! I would absolutely love for it to become a full time business, and just for me to see more people wearing the pieces!
What is your biggest piece of advice for female business owners and those wanting to start their own business?
I truly think it’s all about believing in what you do and trusting your gut!