At a very young age, Arto Artinian already knew a thing or two about high jewellery. Growing up in a family of Armenian jewellers, he and his brother Saro used to watch their father sort and assemble diamonds. “It was so much fun for us then, not knowing how valuable the little stones were,” he shares.
The brothers would also go around their father’s workshop and watch how the artisans used to shape gold and set stones. “It was just all so exciting for us. We wanted to learn more, explore more, and reach the mastery of the bench.” Today, with his own jewellery company, Artinian did not only master the art of producing high jewellery, he had developed a real respect for the art and the industry.
Maripet Poso: Why did you decide to move to Bangkok and establish your own jewellery company?
Arto Artinian: I had just finished my studies in Cyprus when I came back to join my father’s business. I felt that I needed to expand my horizons and reach out to more international market. During my first expedition to Thailand in 1993, together with my brothers on our first Asian discovery and gemstone sourcing trip, I felt that Bangkok was the place that touched my heart. I envisioned that I can place my future here, expand my horizons, and realise my business ambitions.
MP: You specialise in using fine gemstones, integrating traditional craftsmanship in contemporary designs. How are you able to keep the Armenian spirit alive in every piece you produce?
AA: I feel blessed to be an Armenian. We are known to be savvy traders by nature, as well as good craftsmen and successful entrepreneurs in practice. This spirit is innate to me, and I integrate my learned vision of refinements to my work, by sourcing the finest gemstones and turning them into art pieces with traditional fine craftsmanship and contemporary design — skills which we have acquired through our family upbringing.
MP: As the second-generation jeweller in the family, what are the three things you and your brother have learned from your parents in terms of management style and design philosophy?
AA: We are privileged to have had a first-hand guidance on how to work like seasoned jewellers and think like entrepreneurs. We were taught to fully understand and respect the important values that make clients confident and satisfied with their jeweller. It’s also important for us to build trust — and that has been the foundation of our Artinian philosophy and work ethics. We consider professional integrity and honesty to be paramount in our work, to respect the promise we make to the client and, most importantly, to be consistent in the way we conduct business.
Another lesson that we have learned is to be kind and considerate to the employees around us, as well as the society. I believe if we can motivate our teams, we can win the loyalty and respect of our employees in return. Life is not only about taking, it is also about giving. We have learned how to share and contribute towards the society, both within and outside our working environment.
MP: How does being a family-run company add a distinctive element to your creations?
AA: Most of our creations have a distinct Artinian DNA to them. The quality orientation, the specific design elements, the attention to details, and that extra luxury weight which is characteristic to Artinian fine jewellery. Being a family-run company indeed adds a distinction to the creation, because all members of the family grow more or less in the same environment and get influenced by the work ethics, habits, and traditions. However, at Artinian, we also value the contribution of new designers. We are always open to new ideas and refreshing inputs.
MP: What’s your role in the design department?
AA: Design at Artinian is a collaborative affair. We take pride in our design aptitude and the imaginative propensity of our team. Our Creative, Design, and Development departments are spearheaded by Saro. I take pleasure in being part of that creative and strategic process. Although design is an internal process, I believe that we are a very market-led company; and our design process is always the starting point of pending success of the next season. I place huge importance in understanding and absorbing market expectation and recreating our collections, lines, and design elements a few steps beyond those expectations. I give clear guidelines on what is the direction of the company, how we need to position ourselves, and what are the immediate requisites of success today, in terms of creativity and successful design.
MP: Where do you get your design inspirations from?
AA: Life is inspiring all around us. People are inspirational. Of course, nature and our ordinary routines are inspirational, too. Moments of reflection, sudden bursts of ideas endow us with their inspiring moments and experiences. As a CEO of an innovation-led company, I admit that chasing inspirations is in our thinking. At Artinian, we are constantly searching for new inspirations. Visibly, the recurrent design drifts of life play a critical role. Other sources of inspirations are private travels, architecture and, of course, the colourful, emotional moments and lifestyles of our everyday lives.
MP: Please share with us something about your latest collections.
AA: First, we have really studied the market and analysed the trend and lifestyles of the consumers that we target, then we have created a very interesting line, which fit the lifestyles of clients. The occasions during which they wear the jewellery are also very important. Today, people are more independent and more educated. They want to style themselves more independently. So, we create our new collections to match their lifestyles.
MP: Please describe the woman who embodies the Maison Artinian jewellery.
AA: The Maison Artinian woman is the well-travelled, cosmopolitan, sophisticated, and affectionate middle-aged mother who also happens to be a successful and accomplished individual. She is comfortable enough to create her own style at different occasions. Maison Artinian’s collections are designed to appeal to this specific segment who is confident enough to exude style celebrated by those around her.
MP: What else do you wish to accomplish for the brand?
AA: We enjoy what we do. We are very passionate in our work, in our collective creative processes, and our jewellery — whether our Artinian Fine Jewellery collections, Sartoro new collections, seasonal launches, or even the bespoke orders of Maison Artinian. I think our accomplishments so far are the result of our passion for excellence and our commitment to quality — both on products and in our relations with our clients. We want to continue that, and I believe more will be achieved in time. When we present our pieces and see the joy on the faces of our clients, we get reassured that the work and timeless hours of attention we give to each and every piece lead to what I personally think is the high prestige of Artinian jewellery.