Ojamie is a second-generation business founded by George Ojaimi. It all started in George’s younger years when he would spend school holidays going to his dad’s pawnbroker shop and playing around with all those gadgets. From the days of the very first Nintendo 8-bit, the Sega Master System and Atari, he had the time of this life growing up. These gizmos were fun, but George’s passion did not rest in the joys of gaming. It was his eye for jewellery.
When he was old enough, his father asked him to start helping out with those precious jewels. From polishing the pre-loved, selling to fortunate clients, being perplexed by the gems that stood supreme in that abstract ring; his fascination with the jewellery industry was on its way to infinite possibilities.
Then the travel bug hit; incurable, no known medication and often contagious. George embarked on his overseas adventures, meeting different people, learning what the wonderful world has to offer all the while completing his business marketing degree and working in the family business. Just like all good movies; a turning point half way through. A point that makes all movies worth watching. An unexpected decision; leave the jewellery industry to spend the next year and a half living and working overseas, so spontaneous it involved the cancellation of the return ticket, phone calls back home and a decision that another path should be taken.
The journey was phenomenal, hard to describe in any of the 6,500 languages word-wide. With that journey came George’s beautiful wife and once again, he found himself looking into jewellery windows on the majestic streets of Beirut reminiscing about the career he left behind. It was time to return. The travel bug that once penetrated the soul was gone, it was cured, FINI!
The return! Sales and marketing, the degree he earned during his university days. A job was found, he worked in the field, enjoyed it, saved to pay off a house; the standard life procedure; but his blood never went higher than the safe 37.5 degrees. His “like” for marketing was warm; simply existent, then, non-existent. It was a sudden revelation, while on his phone, date, 2nd of August 2013 to his best friend he said, “I’m going to start my own jewellery business” (something along those lines). It was an inspired moment and one he never looked back on. Over the next few days, paperwork was organised and everything was put in place to build “Ojamie”. Countless hours were spent and subconsciously his passion developed the business of ‘Antique Jewellery’…
From all the polishing and selling of jewels in his earlier days, those artistic, intricate, detailed pieces of history were the jewels he was hunting. Far and wide he searched to collect the finest antique jewellery. Precious pieces from the 1700’s, 1800’s, 1900’s, the hunt gathered momentum and finally a collection worthy of presenting to the market. It wasn’t to stop here; something very important he noticed; the jewellery of today had lost its touch. In fact, it had no touch. It was generic. Basic. NO LOVE, PAS D’AMOUR! Just like printing one thousand copies of one document and selling to the unsuspecting public. All jewellery was the same. It was done for the dollar; maybe two dollars. Purely business. From the Victorian era to arguably the peak of design and workmanship in the Art Deco era, quality of jewellery became horrible!
The decision came to offer what was lacking. To create a piece to match identity, to grow sensation through jewellery; create a market for those wanting the QUALITY contemporary and those who want to take it to another level; La qualité suprême! This is the market he wanted to provide for. For those that love simple quality pieces of jewellery they can wear for a lifetime and those who want more, the premium of premium; the Ojamie Black Edition. Each piece has hours upon hours dedicated to sourcing the gems, designing, creating to finally reach that finished exquisite product. Phenomenal pieces have been produced with pure passion, for people who want something more, who want to be distracted by their fingers for years to come, to say ‘Ojamie created this’, they are incredible designers; have incredible jewellery; the very words that keep us going. This is what we strive for.
George spent, four years studying to acquire his degree in business, and another six years becoming a qualified gemmologist and diamond grader with the Gemmological Association of Australia and a registered valuer with the National Council of Jewellery Valuers. He is currently a final year lecturer at the Gemmological Association of Australia specialising in synthetic and imitation gemstones.
Over the last few years the number of hard-to-identify synthetic gemstones have appeared on the market causing harm to the industry and requiring increased specialisation to phase them out; namely the rapid increase of synthetic diamonds, both HPHT and CVD.