To some women, accessorizing just means throwing on a statement necklace or a bold cocktail ring. But for others, like Chicago jewelry designer Nusrat Siddiqui, accessorizing means a whole other way of looking at life.
Siddiqui was working in the corporate field of the Windy City, when she realized she wanted a more creative outlet in her life. And instead of going out and buying something to add that needed sparkle, she designed it! Thanks to this moment of clarity, and a real flair for the glamorous, Siddiqui now has her own jewelry line, Sparkle and Sophistication, and is helping all kinds of women add some creativity and fun to their daily wardrobes, corporate or otherwise.
I caught up with Siddiqui this past weekend at the shoot for her latest spring look book. At the amazing Lacuna Artist Loft Studios, she sourced local Chicago stylists, designers and bloggers including Jill from HOT PINK style and yours truly (eek!) to be her models. And this is only her first step in a much bigger plan!
She just launched the brand’s website, would love to partner with fashion house Rag & Bone in the future, and ultimately envisions a Sparkle and Sophistication boutique, complete with clothes! But how did she go from another corporate power woman to one with a jewelry line to boot? It’s al about balance and taking the time to do things right.
Siddiqui still works full time in the Windy City business world, but designs at night and on weekends, which isn’t always easy but is certainly worth it.
“The fashion industry has always been a passion of mine,” she states simply. “Starting a jewelry line was small step towards my passion.”
And these steps can take some time! The creative process – from initial concept to sourcing materials to creation – can take anywhere from a few days to a few months. But it’s worth it when she creates that perfect piece, like some of her personal favorites, which include layering up the (soon to be released) Purple Crush bracelet with her already popular Gunmetal Beauty and Draped in Diamonds bracelets.
She could see a star like Charlize Theron or Jennifer Lawrence wearing these or any number of her pieces, and says we can expect “white leather pieces, ombre pieces, and a lot of gold and rose gold tones” in her next line.
No matter the star or the season, it all comes back to passion for the designer, who will be taking another step towards her goal of an S&S boutique with her first clothing line (out soon!) And when asked what tips she’d give for other women looking to follow in her sparkly and sophisticated footsteps, she says it’s all about taking that first step…
“Follow your passion. Find a mentor in the field and surround yourself with people who are positive and supportive. If you have talent, you will be recognized.”