Jewelry industry

The Turkish jewelry industry is looking for talented young designers


A designer presents her handmade jewelry in Turkey. Photo: CGV

For a time, a centuries-old jewelry brand in Istanbul, Turkey, has struggled to fill the vacant in-house designer position because the paychecks demanded by qualified applicants are too high.

Serdar Senyuz, director of Prestige Jewelry, a local make-to-order brand with customers around the world, said they were looking for a designer who could create one-of-a-kind pieces that would put the business in a more competitive position.

“A big challenge facing the sector is finding qualified personnel. We have a great need for qualified personnel, and this is something you can hear all around us in the industry,” he said. told Xinhua while overseeing production at a workshop in Kuyumcukent, a hub of Turkey’s jewelry industry.

His company once reached a talented young designer who graduated from the jewelry design department of an Istanbul university and offered a monthly salary of 20,000 Turkish liras (about $1,200), the highest they could afford. allow, but was rejected because it fell short of his expectations. .

They then had to move a member of staff from their textile branch to the vacant position and taught them the entire design and production process.

Senyuz said many skilled designers prefer to either start their own business or try their luck abroad, especially in Italy, where careers in jewelry design are full of opportunities.

Company leaders “need to sit down and think about how they can divert young people to this work and make them love what they do,” Senyuz added.

For Mustafa Gurdamar, who founded the company 35 years ago, “a jeweler does not sell gold but his work. We take the raw material, give it a shape and sell our craftsmanship”.

Yazgi Eravutmus, a young industrial designer and business owner in Istanbul, told Xinhua why many jewelers opt for freelance design careers instead of working for prestigious local brands.

“In some gold jewelry makers, there are a lot of voices constantly involved in your designs,” she said.

“Either they find your designs too expensive or they just don’t like them, saying no one would buy such products, which is holding us back to a large extent,” she added.

Some local jewelry houses “put designers in a very small setting, and the person working there becomes an illustrator, not a designer,” she laments.

“Design is an area that requires a rich imagination. When you can’t do it, you get stuck,” notes the young designer.

According to local media, Turkey’s average annual gold consumption is around 200 tonnes, while its production level remains at around 40 tonnes. Business insiders say the remaining 160 tonnes of demand is met by imports.

Turkey’s gold production at the end of 2021 is estimated to have surpassed the record level reached in the history of the year in 2020, as noted by the local Anadolu Agency report.

As early as 2021, the country had decided to extract nearly seven tonnes of gold from a newly discovered mine in the northwestern province of Bilecik when production capacity peaks in 2024, Demirören news agency reported. .


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