Sophie Kahn and Bouchra Ezzahraoui are long time friends who decided to start Aurate, a contemporary and affordable fine jewelry business, in 2015. Hailing from the Netherlands and Morocco respectively, they work together to bring transparency and quality to the market. We sat down with the duo to talk about entrepreneurship, sustainability and selfcare with these women on a mission.
What initially inspired you to create Aurate?
We created Aurate to change the way women shop for their own fine jewelry. Looking at a market that is inaccessible and uninspiring, we decided to go on to create a company that believes the new generation of consumers wants it all: a beautiful and sustainable product with a purpose.
What are your favorite perks of co-creating your brand with a friend?
Being an entrepreneur can feel very lonely. I never felt that way going through this journey with my best friend that I can share everything with.
Where to start? Emotionally, you feel stronger and less alone - the lows & highs are both much better when shared. Capability wise, you get to both focus on what you do best. And finally, let’s face it, it’s also way more fun.
Are there any mantras that particularly resonate with you?
Work hard & don’t take no for an answer.
Just f*cking do it. Sounds simple, but it’s actually hard. Basically, less talk more action. You’ll learn & adjust along the way.
“We decided to go on to create a company that believes the new generation of consumers wants it all: a beautiful and sustainable product with a purpose.” - Bouchra Ezzahraoui
Materials are so important for both Aurate and OSEA. Why is using 100% recycled gold a priority for you?
For us this was a non negotiable. The world is in a precarious position and the last thing we need is to contribute to its waste. If we can make beautiful things without doing harm, why on earth (pun intended) wouldn’t we? I sincerely think and hope that this is the future. This generation won’t accept anything less. It’s not even a plus, it’s a basic.
We also share a passion for sustainability. What sustainable measures have you been able to implement both in the office and at home to minimize your impact?
We only use materials that we can track and are made in a sustainable supply chain. For e.g. we use 100% recycled gold which is an amazing resource, we track every single diamond from mine to workshop, strictly adhering to the Kimberly Process. Additionally, we insist that the mines & workshops we deal with have decent working conditions, offer fair pay, and respect local communities.
I try to run our household in the same way, we use less plastic and harmful products and I’m hoping we teach the kids how they can make an impact as well.
Are there any at-home selfcare practices that you’ve been particularly enjoying recently?
A bit hard to have a lot of these with very young children. Spending more time in my shower and some aromatherapy before bedtime have been the most relaxing practices I managed to incorporate in my hectic days.
Honestly that’s a hard one since there’s been very little “me time” lately, given that a) we WFH, b) we had a major worldwide crisis to manage, and c) I have a newborn and 3 year old. The best I can come up with now is some mini meditations via an app called headspace - even 3/5 minutes does wonders.
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