There’s something about Mojee Shokri’s jewelry that is so delicate and unique. Picture mixed pieces of turquoise and lava rocks or smoky quartz and white agate, strung on a delicate chain, with soft touches of gold. Beautiful, yet humble, not unlike her own soft-spoken nature.
The designer, originally from Iran, has recently expanded her jewelry collection to include 14 and 18 karat gold pieces, some inspired by her Middle Eastern roots, which she unveiled at a champagne reception Thursday at the Keith Lipert Gallery on M St., where she has been displaying her work for the past six years.
“I saw in her work: creativity, good craftsmanship and great design,” said Keith Lipert, gallery owner and one of Shokri’s first customers. “I want each person [whose work is on display in the gallery] to have a different voice, rather than just repeat other artists. Mojee brought a touch that was specifically hers and I didn’t see around anywhere else. She has this wonderful, sophisticated touch,” said Lipert.
“We have this perfect partnership and it’s been doing great for both of us,” said Shokri.
Shokri’s artistic eye comes from her love of art. She brings an artist’s perspective to her pieces, choosing to only select stones that she picks by hand.
“I have to feel the stones to be able to buy them,” she explains. “I don’t order online, I don’t go to trade shows. The stone itself is what really inspires me. There is nothing more than the beauty of the stone---the colors---the carvings---it all inspires me to design each one individually.”
Only six years ago, Shokri was working as an interior designer, photographer and painter, when she came across some beaded jewelry that her friend was working on in San Francisco. “It was nothing fancy. She just worked with beads,” said the artist. "But I liked the stones she was working with and so it was an instant awakening for me.”
Now, Shokri’s collection has been the number one bestseller in the gallery for the past two years, with pieces also selling in Miami, Dallas, and California. She has customers from as far away as China. She travels twice a year, gathering inspiration from places she has visited---56 countries so far. Shokri recently returned from a trip to India and Iran.
With her stone jewelry collection flourishing, Shokri is now focusing on her fine line pieces made from gold. One piece she wore on her arm during the reception, a simply constructed gold symbol in Farsi meaning “devotion” wrapped around a thin, black band, was a symbol of her work and future endeavors.
So what’s next for the world traveler and designer? She is looking toward starting her own clothing line, and has recently created silk scarves and will later design t-shirts.
“The shirts will represent the first empire of Persia---it’s going to be a surprise.