Parenthood and Philippine heritage-inspired mom of two, Mirabel Rosar, creates her very own fine jewelry brand, ARAO.
After a long and illustrious career in Marketing, Mirabel Rosar relocated with her family to Hong Kong where she finally pursued a love for jewelry design. She recalls, “My two girls were the biggest inspiration for creating Philippine South Sea pearl jewelry and calling the brand, ARAO.”
Mira admits that raising two young children in a foreign country poses several challenges. “We live in a foreign land, away from family and friends. To top it off, having parents from different nationalities makes it more difficult for kids to learn Filipino values and traditions,” she details. The birth of ARAO was a means for the mom and budding entrepreneur to make her motherland more familiar to her children. She declares, “I wanted my children to be proud to be Filipino. Our golden South Sea Pearls are the best in the world and I know that this is something that will make them proud.”
Creating Modern Heirlooms
Mira is uncompromising when it comes to the quality and design of her pieces. This is why she only works with finest pearls, gems and gold. A clear vision towards sustainable luxury also informs ARAO’s products and processes. Mira shares, “Sustainability has been a buzz word, especially during the pandemic. Everyone wants to expand their ESG portfolio and the fashion world was no exception.”
In determining her brand’s ethos and DNA, Mira journeyed inwards to find a greater sense of purpose. “What does sustainable really mean? It simply means meeting our needs without compromising the ability of the future generations to meet their own. It’s a simple yet daunting task,” the founder opines. Going the sustainable route empowered Mira to do her part in securing a safer and greener planet for her children. Mira explains, “I started this business to teach my children to care for the environment—to avoid waste by creating modern classic jewelry that are timeless and long-lasting.”
ARAO’s fine jewelry are heirlooms that transcend time and trend. They are meant to be worn, kept and passed on. Classic pearls are reimagined into contemporary design pieces that are versatile and timeless. Mira refers to this as “every day luxury.” The brand’s intention is to veer away from the outdated notion that pearls are jewelry for grandmothers, often kept vaults. “Pearls are organic, natural gems that you can wear everyday with anything,” Mira opines. “They are pieces that you grow and evolve with.” And just like the values of sustainability that she hopes to impart with her girls, ARAO’s fine jewelry are crafted so that they can be passed on to future generations.
A Paradox in Parenting
Raising two girls in a foreign country, all while running a business amidst a pandemic is no small feat. Everyday is a juggling act for Mira. Hours are divided between getting her daughter to school, attending meetings, and making sure daily operations of her brand run smoothly. She intimates, “I love my girls and enjoy every minute spent with them. There are times, however, when I just want to be alone, relax and have some quiet time.”
The ironies of parenting and other contrasts presented in daily life, inspire ARAO’s 2021 collection, Paradox. Mira describes, “The paradox of being a parent is spending a whole day in the theme park with your kids and loving spa time with a good facial or massage. It’s both selflessness and self-love.”
To capture this concept of contrasts and polarity, pieces from the Paradox collection marry opposing elements. Gems in rare colors and flawless cuts, are combined with imperfectly perfect baroque South Sea pearls. It is a union of treasures found in the deepest depths of the earth and ocean. Gold forged by fire is merged with baroque South Sea pearls formed by the tides to create everyday luxuries reflective of the everyday experience of contrasts.
The launch of ARAO’s Paradox collection, soon led to the introduction of the brand’s Pearl Lab. This newest innovation in luxury e-commerce allows customers to create their very own Paradox jewellery by mixing and matching favorite gems with pearls. The game changing feature on ARAO’s website also brings the luxury boutique experience to clients shopping at home. This interactive feature also pays homage to the time-honored tradition of women going to their trusted jewelers to create custom heirloom pieces for them.
Pearls of Wisdom from a Mompreneur
Since launching in late 2020, ARAO has hit several milestones and firsts. It has grown a community of empowered women across in industries and oceans. This intimate circle of founders, taste makers, artists, advocates and game changers is known as the Women of Pearls.
In Hong Kong, ARAO is also expanding its reach through partnerships with contemporary art galleries, spas and other like-minded organizations. The brand’s strong and steady trajectory, according to Mira, has a lot to do with purpose. The founder and mom advices, “Know your purpose. What is your Why? Things will reveal itself in due time. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or support. You’ll be surprised by how many other women are keen to help. Surround yourself with people you are good for you. Last but not least, pray to God for direction.”