A story how we became this Maral Kunst today
Hi! I am Maral Jafarian, I was born in Iran in 1980 and moved to Norway in 2014.
I am an Iranian Norwegian Artist Jewelry creator and curator.
Maral is a Turkish name means deer ( I am half Azeri )
Kunst in Norwegian means Art.
This is my life journey about how I ended up creating the Maral Kunst jewelry brand.
When I was in Iran, graduated as Textile engineer in Tehran,
I found my passion in art, paintings and handicrafts more than engineering.
I learned painting with Master Iranian Artists
Gholamhossein Nami https://www.mutualart.com/Artist/Gholamhossein-Nami/561623BFAA29C656/Biography
Nosratolah Moslemian https://instagram.com/moslemian_nosratollah?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=
Mehrdad khataee https://instagram.com/mehrdad.khataei?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=
Beside painting I was making handcrafts pieces and selling them to gift shops , also holding friendly events at home from time to time.
I also was modelling for a drawing club .
I have always liked to pose in front of the camera from childhood.
I also liked to capture moments so asked my dad to gift me a camera when I was accepted in university.
Jewellery making was a hobby for me
I basically enjoyed redesigning old jewellery
And make a new piece combining gems and beads .
I got married when I was 26.
And most of my life time was spent painting, creating and holding exhibitions in Iran.
My daughter was born when I was 31.
And we moved to Norway when she was only 3 years old. in 1th January 2014.
And the transformation got started.
In my dream life I always see myself as an Artist and I did a lot of work until I became an Artist.
My teacher always told me that this is a long journey Maral and you should find your signature . What are you standing for?
Not easy of course.
When we moved to Norway it was exactly at the time that I was ready to exhibit my expressive arts in Iran. And that immigration which was all of a sudden decision of my ex-husband turned everything around.
New country, culture, and language was challenging.
I should find my way, we had a financial crisis and I must find a way to make money though.
Back then I couldn’t speak Norwegian nor English. I had no confidence. I have never been in another country for living, specifically I was coming from Iran completely another world.
I went to Norwegian courses to learn language and after that some other courses from the government to find a job for living.
Besides that I continued painting and was going to art galleries one by one asking to hold exhibitions.
It was not easy at all. I got many NOs .
But I didn’t give up.
6 months after our move in June 2014 I found a Sunday local market in Oslo.
Søndagsmarkedet på blå
Every Sunday market from 12-5 pm
My first day on the market with my own oriental jewelry, which I redesigned from gems and old jewelry. June 2014
Since then until Pandemic 2020 I went to the market selling my jewellery and painting.
About the Sunday market, where I've been every Sunday for six years.
I literally grew my business via that market.
That was my life back then!
I worked as a seller 60% of the time in shops named Indiska and lager house.
Holding my paintings in bars and restaurants.
In 2016 my husband lost his job and we were almost to lose our visa. If we couldn’t manage it in 6 months we should leave the country.
That challenge made me start my business to get Visa for living in Norway.
When I rented the gallery I prepared it with natural things while I waited for the result of the Business Visa
A very risky and stressful time.
Despite all details and challenges along the journey that was how the journey of Maral Kunst gallery got started.
At the beginning I just wanted to survive,
And I had more paintings rather than Jewelry.
That's the reason I named it kunst(Art)
Here's how it was in the beginning
Mostly painting and selling what I could paint at lower prices.
I had some old jewellery from Iran that I redesigned.
I also tried to find jewellery from brands when they were on sale and I made a new design to sell at a more affordable price at the market.
Making and selling low-priced bracelets and necklaces because I'm afraid of not being able to sell them.
When I started I had more oriental bohemian style jewellery with gemstones colors and statements as I was used to based on my Iranian culture.
Later I found out Norwegian is completely opposite and very minimalist. They like simple and elegant things. So I changed my design based on Norwegian desire.
I also found out people Love Frida Kahlo because of her art and her character.
So I started to paint Frida to make a living and cover my expenses.
Me, painting frida kahlo in the streets to make money to survive.
Not only Frida but also abstract paintings College and photo painting I got many orders at that time to paint.
After my separation 2016, I found myself alone.
A Single mom without any support not much confidence.
I had no place to live and I was sleeping in my gallery with no bathroom, for a few months until I rented a small apartment.
All the decorations and tables were made by me and all the waste was left over from the previous owner of the shop.
It was a tough time, my gallery was in a hidden street and no one knew me.
I was selling my jewellery very cheap because I was afraid that if I didn't sell, how would I cover my expenses?
Then I found Sunday market the best place to introduce myself and at the same time on my IG and FB.
I had some challenges on my personal life that made me grow and had a big impact on my transformation.
When I found out I have to find my purpose to be happy, That I am responsible for my own life and destiny.
That I am the creator of my own life.
I started to read books and learn how to become successful in life and business.
That was when my new identity started to shape.
I had a little bit of money that I got from my divorce and I invested that on better quality jewellery as it was on demand.
Now I am travelling the world and collecting jewellery from local designers of every city I travel.
I redesign some vintage jewelry and also have vintage collections. And we have gulI decided to make jewellery business bigger to support my passion which is painting.
How it looks after 6 years
The journey was not easy. I made my decision and that was to make Maral Kunst Jewellery gallery a warm welcoming place to feel like home.
To inspire you for the love of life and authenticity, for those of you who live or are visiting Oslo, Norway the country of Ice.
That became my mission Not to survive but to thrive.
Along the journey roadblocks, upscales, many mistakes and challenges I faced that I will share with you in details on my current book I started to write.
And today I am proud to say...
WE MADE IT.
Me and my amazing team who are helping Maral Kunst become a brand to serve you with so much love.
And this is just the beginning of our amazing journey.
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