After working as a lawyer in Paris, Virginie Dreyer moved to the Middle East and began to actively explore her creativity. This led to the creation of her own jewellery brand, TinyOm, in 2012. Named after the Om mantra, which celebrates the birth of the universe imitating its original vibration, TinyOm jewellery is designed with a protective purpose.
Virginie designs talismanic, spiritual pieces that are good for the soul, taking inspiration from universal symbols, ancestral tales, and the beauty of nature. We chat with Virginie about the importance of creating symbolic jewellery with a meaningful purpose, some touching customer stories and her big dreams for the future.
How did you go from being a lawyer in Paris to a jewellery designer in the Middle East?
“I was - in what now seems like another lifetime - a lawyer in Paris. It was my family circumstances that brought me to the Middle East, where I started studying graphic art and design and where I have been able to explore my creative desires.”
When did you first fall in love with jewellery?
“I’ve always loved jewellery and when I was a child, I loved to play with my mum’s jewellery box. It was one of those secret locked boxes, where the key is hidden inside the box itself. Even after I’d learnt how to open it, it was always a magical moment to discover the key and the jewellery inside.”
"I was a creative child but I have never thought of myself as a designer. This has come much later when life brought me far away from my own country and comfort zone.”
Who inspired you to pursue your creative ambitions?
“I grew up in the South of France near Cannes. My grandmother lived with us and was very creative. She would sew a lot, creating dolls and clothes to play with. Her room was always filled with paper, fabrics, threads and beads. She never threw anything away. She was my inspiration when I moved abroad and decided to study graphic design.”
What drove you to create your own jewellery line?
“I was seduced by the art and craftsmanship of local goldsmiths in Bahrain, so I began to visualise creating a line of jewellery. I’m a yoga lover, which I practice and teach, and I was inspired by its philosophy. I wanted to create jewellery with a symbolic value and meaning. I wasn’t trained as a jewellery designer, but on this creative journey I have received great support from Al Zain Jewellery house of Bahrain where all the pieces are handmade with love by skilled artisans.”
"I wanted to create jewellery with a symbolic value and meaning."
Are there any customer stories you are particularly proud of?
“I am always amazed to receive beautiful messages from customers that I have never met and that have ordered online. They often tell me something very personal about what the jewellery means to them. This is the most moving and beautiful message I have received, 'I have offered the root chakra necklace to a young girl I know, who came very close to cutting her own roots – her young life – and leaving us empty of her presence. I want it to be a talisman for her, a jewel that continually tells her that we are with her always.'”
What are your core brand values?
“As a yoga student and teacher, I am deeply inspired by the concept of oneness and unity. The idea that we are ONE, we have always been and we will always be! In a way, every piece of my collection relates to this concept.”
How do you want someone to feel when they wear your designs?
“I want them to feel beautiful and in harmony with their life philosophy.”
"My jewellery reflects my desire for purity, simplicity and beauty."
Where do you find inspiration for your collections?
“My jewellery reflects my desire for purity, simplicity and beauty. Inspiration comes from universal symbols, ancestral tales and the beauty of nature. Starting from my yoga practice and love for beauty and nature, I realised that inspiration can be found everywhere every day. What really guides me it’s that each TinyOm piece is designed with a protective and meaningful purpose. Our signature Chakra collection was inspired by the meaning of the seven chakras and their beautiful symbol, the lotus flower.”
What has been the highest point of your career as a designer so far?
“I was very proud when Jennifer Lawrence choose to wear a TinyOm’s bangle at the presentation of her latest movie in LA!”
What does the future hold for TinyOm?
“I’d like to launch TinyOm for men. Jewellery adds elegance, class and charisma to men as much as women. I think there is still a lot to explore and create in this area. And if I’m dreaming big, I would love to open a TinyOm shop in New York or London! However, my main focus and drive will always be to keep on designing beautiful and meaningful jewellery.”
TinyOm is available to buy on Jewelstreet here.