Geometries and precious stones: the amazing story of Heena Shah and her Atelier Valani ♦ ︎
Forget the story of the little girl who loved to play with her grandmother’s jewels and grew up to be a designer. No. Heena Shah, originally from India, worked as an engineer at Google. From algorithms to gems: it was not a simple jump. But now she is satisfied and has known success with her Maison, Atelier Valani, based in New York.
The story of change, on the other hand, passes through the designer’s husband, who is part of an ancient family of gem merchants. For over 80 years, in fact, the Valani family has been buying precious stones directly from mines all over the world and employing artisans who work with traditional techniques. The designer is passionate about art and sculpture and at some point in her life she decided to travel. Before with her husband in Hong Kong, and then through the mines of half the world. The passion for sculpture and the discovery of the beauty of gems did the rest of her.
To become a jeweler, however, one step was missing: learning the trade. This is why Heena Shah attended design courses at the Gemological Institute of America in New York. The engineering profession has probably helped the designer in her design work. And in a short time she has collected several awards for her work, including an Agta Spectrum Award, a WJA Diva Award and the Platinum Innovation Award, while this year a diamond and emerald bracelet came first in the InStore Design Awards category. The style of Atelier Valani ranges between classic and modern: some jewels follow a kind of Nordic minimalism, others have an aspect that corresponds more to the typical canons of jewelery.