For the Kazakh people, jewelry has always been of particular importance. Kazakh jewelry was not just decoration, but also a kind of talisman, which was worn on girls from the very beginning, to protect them from the evil eye and harm. Jewelry art of the Kazakh people is relevant today.
The history of Kazakh jewelry, whose origins go back thousands of years, has always occupied a huge place in the cultural history of the nation. Archaeological excavations have shown that since ancient times, products from copper, tin, gold and other precious metals were created on the territory of modern Kazakhstan. Also, jewelry was an integral part of clothing.
Jewelry masters, zergers, have always been very sensitive to their work, with enviable professionalism creating jewelry with their own hands individually for each girl. Kazakh jewelry has always been distinguished by its sophistication, luxury, wealth and beautifully decorated traditional ornament. It is the incomparable ornamental decor that distinguishes Kazakh jewelry from European Jewelry. The kind of jewelry a person wore on themself could tell their whole story synch the family they belonged to, their marital status and position in society.
One of the most important features in the Kazakh jewelry art is the attitude of the craftsmen to the stone, which always carried a lot of meaning and played a role much more important than ordinary jewelry. For European countries, stone was a kind of demonstration of wealth and luxury, being for the most part just an ornament. But for zergers, stone has always been a source of indescribable power, which will guard and protect its owner from evil eye, troubles and other ailments. This is due to the fact that the Kazakh people, for the most part, are quite superstitious, therefore, since ancient times, people have always believed in the power of amulets.
National Kazakh products, also, are distinguished by their massiveness and solemnity. One of the most popular jewelry is amulets (tumors), rings (zhuzіk), sholpa and shashbau (jewelry that is attached to the hair), bracelets (bіlezіk), earrings (syrga) and necklaces (alka). And despite the fact that currently jewelry in the minimalist style is in great demand in the market, Kazakh national jewelry continues to remain in demand among modern girls. The master jewelers of our time continue the magnificent traditions of masters of the past with great honor and respect.
One of those who honor the traditions of the past is the domestic jewelry manufacturer Kazakhyuvelir. And today we bring to your attention an interview with its manager – Aida Inkerbaeva.
– Aida Dabyrovna, “Kazakhyuvelir” has existed in the domestic market for almost 80 years, delighting its customers with jewelry with national colors. Please tell the story of the company. How did it all begin, and what is Kazakhyuvelir today?
– The company begins its history in 1941. At first, it was an offshoot of the all-Russian company Yuvelirtorg, and after the completion of the privatization process in 2000, it received a new name, Kazakhyuvelir. Today, our company has 17 jewelry stores in 15 cities of Kazakhstan, and each store has its own name, for example, in Aktobe – “Emerald”, and in Oskemen – “Yantar”. Over the past two years, we have updated the management team, and at the moment we are working to create a unique and valuable position in the market, with which we must differ from competitors and keep up to date, sometimes even ahead of competitors. We are also working to expand the assortment of jewelry to cover all target audiences, from young people to older people, and to increase the selection of our own products in order to preserve and transfer national traditions. In 2019, we made a general reconstruction of one of our main salons in Almaty – Almaz, which is located at the intersection of Gogol and Panfilov streets. But instead of the sign “Diamond”, you see the logo Kazakhyuvelir. Thus, we want to say that as we reconstruct our salons in Kazakhstan, we plan to unify the name of the salons with the name of the company.
– And how did you get the idea to start creating jewelry that reflects our national flavor? After all, it is quite unique.
– Our country and people are rich in wonderful traditions, and we wanted to preserve them, since without the past there is no future. Using our resources and capabilities, we want to maintain our traditions through jewelry. In this regard, we leave our unchanged slogan: “Kazakh jeweler – eternal values.”
– How were Kazakh jewelry modernized? What features of modernity were introduced into them?
– Recently, we often hear from our customers that they want to wear products with Kazakh motifs, but they must be modern. Accordingly, we experiment with our designers, check archives about the history of the ornament of our peoples, study the modern trends of world jewelry houses and create unique jewelry with national notes to make our customers satisfied.
– What can you tell about the assortment of your products?
– At the moment we are working on national collections in silver and gold, which we want to offer for the wedding season, taking into account our rich traditions, which begins from meeting the bride and end with gifts for relatives. We constantly participate in international jewelry exhibitions, where we study new trends and jewelry collections.
– It’s no secret that modern girls prefer minimalism more in their jewelry, imitating the Western style. This begs the question, what kind of jewelry with Kazakh symbols these girls are looking for?
– We always listen to the opinion of our customers and try to keep up with the times, making different types of products with Kazakh symbols, including adhering to minimalism. First, we made very beautiful broach earrings, they are also called pro-threaders – a modern design with elements of the Kazakh ornament and presented to our partners for the holidays. Having collected almost 100% of positive feedback, we finalized the set in the form of pendants – sautoirs, which were previously made only in gold, for earrings.
– How could you describe the image of your customer?
– Our target audience has historically been mainly ladies of middle age and older, and our task is to preserve them. But we also want to attract the younger generation to our target audience, choosing modern collections containing our traditions for them. Therefore, the image of our client is a modern girl or woman who is full of strength, energy, fashionable, modern, beloved and loving, and certainly beautiful.
– How often do you manage to update collections?
– A diﬃcult question. I would like more often, but the design process in the jewelry industry is different from the fashion industry. From the design of sketches to drawings, the creation of master models, testing and launching into mass production. This is quite a diﬃcult task than it seems at first glance and takes a lot of time. Our goal for today is 4 collections a year, tomorrow it should be 8. Also, recently we released the first collection of silk scarves as an accompanying product for jewelry with a reflection of national traditions in design. At the moment, in partnership with a Kazakhstani artist, we are developing additional sketches.
– Tell us about future plans for the future of your enterprise?
– One of the important steps today is the modernization of our salons: modern interior design, window dislays, lighting, and music. Another important area is the expansion of the branch network. Not of less importance, we also consider the issue of increasing the selection of our own designs at of each of our salons and of course the high quality of service for each client, because we want our customers to prosper with us.
– Aida Dabyrovna, how did you get into the jewelry business? What inspired you to do this?
– Like any girl since childhood, I like jewelry, but in life I was brought into the world of finance, where I worked for many years, and after maternity leave, I decided to try myself in business. In 2018, a change of generations took place at Kazakhyuvelir, and the shareholders made a choice in my favor, entrusting me their company with clearly defined goals and objectives, including the time frame. Now real professionals are working with me and we see the results of our work. We know what we are striving for and are constantly growing. Taking this opportunity, I want to thank our regular customers for their loyalty to our brand, wish them well-being and health, and to new customers who are thinking of choosing Kazakhyuvelir, I want to say that we are constantly working on updating our assortment, launching new products, quality of service, to attract your attention and win the right to call us your favorite brand. Flourish with us, our dear customers.
translation by Ghada