About Deborah Zama-Nath
Born in Mizoram in the North-East of India, designer & creative director Deborah Vani Zama studied Industrial Design, specialising in Furniture Design at the National Institute of Design. It was here that she had the opportunity to immerse herself in multiple disciplines, experimenting with structures and sculpture and winning the De Beers Jewellery Design Award, whilst still a student.
After graduation, Zama spent many years working closely with indigenous craft communities in India and Japan. She worked on numerous UNDP projects before she started dedicating more of her time to social and community projects with women self-help groups and developing sustainable income-generation projects based on local needs and skill sets. This was crucial in developing a deep understanding and appreciation for indigenous practices and the people that nurture them. She eventually went on to set up her own Bamboo & Textile Unit.
Zama’s creativity, respect and passion for grassroots development have helped to foster deep-rooted relationships with artisans in India and Japan. This ethos underpins all of Jewel Tree London’s collaborations with craft communities. Zama’s design focus is on interpreting and translating traditional skills and indigenous knowledge into a design language that speaks to the independent women of today.
After marriage, Zama moved to New York where she worked in the field of interior-architecture. It was during this time that Zama developed her interest in jewellery through evenings spent at a local studio in the East Village. Originally a hobby to “keep my hands busy”, Zama was encouraged by the strong interest in her personally-crafted pieces and it became a natural path to further her explorations in jewellery design.
“Jewel Tree London is an extension of my spirit. My backgrounds in furniture & architectural design and love for simplicity have naturally manifested themselves in my jewellery designs. My production team craft with absolute love, quality and care – ethicality and sustainability are incredibly important to me from both a luxury brand aspect as well as at a personal level. Who is the Jewel Tree London woman? Self-aware, elegant, independent and passionate about embracing the future.”
Now established in London, Zama spends her time travelling between Amsterdam, Nagoya and India, honing her craft and planning her next collection.