Maya, Meena and Zeenat Mukhi, founders of the well known Beirut-based jewellery house, Mukhi Sisters, know that working with family can be challenging, yet it is also rewarding like few other endeavours can be. The sisters come from a long line of jewellers, so it was almost destiny that led them to found their jewellery brand.

In the 1920s, their grandfather left India and launched fine jewellery stores and Oriental works and textile stores in Beirut, though the family also had shops in Egypt, Syria, Libya, Doha and Dubai.

In 1979, the sisters’ father, Chandru Mukhi, married Lebanese entrepreneur Effat Kreidieh, who opened her own jewellery store in 1982. The couples’ three daughters grew up developing a keen understanding of styles, gems, and tradition. In their mother, they had a powerful example of female entrepreneurship that would inspire them to open their own brand in 2009.

“I trained in jewellery design yet have to say that I learned the most important things from my parents. In addition to learning about techniques and materials, my sisters and I received first-hand training in everything from inventory to administration, marketing… anything and everything to do with running a jewellery business,c says Maya Mukhi, who designs jewellery.

Maya admits that when their company was first launched, she was carrying out the lion’s share of the work. “One day, after finishing a meeting, I said ‘That was great!’ and Zeenat answered. ‘Maybe for you, but I was just sitting there. We should name this company Maya and her sisters’ (she laughs). I didn’t realise they were feeling left-out. We started the company as sisters and I wanted the three of us to be happy and fulfilled. We then decided to take charge of separate departments and our roles became much more clearly defined. It’s a challenge to be in a family business and remain close but we’ve managed to do it.”

Maya and Zeenat both design jewellery pieces. Zeenat (who lives in London) is also in charge of all the internal communications in the company and everything to do with accounting (she has a fine jewellery blog, which you can check out on their site). Meena, meanwhile, is the Sales and PR manager who oversees the work of the company accountants. The Mukhi Sisters currently have 10 collections, the last of which was recently launched as part of Wild Things London.

In Beirut, their shop is divided into two areas: “In one area we sell our own designs and in the other we stock multi-brand lifestyle products designed by other jewellers,” Maya explains. Their boutique also tempts shoppers with books, perfumes, accessories, and assorted items – a homage to their grandfather’s shop, which sold textiles, crystal, bags, and other items from the Far East, as well as jewellery.

Each collection crafted by the Mukhi Sisters comes from a personal moment in their lives, stemming from real experiences that touched them. Maya says: “Reverie on the Vine happened during a year in which I decided to stay in Lebanon instead of travelling. I visited different villages, trying their food, discovering nature. It was an exceptional summer in which people in my social circle and I talked about our dreams, falling in love… so many special moments happened during sunset, which inspired a pendant design bearing a sun shape.”

Reverie on the Vine is a magical collection indeed. It contains nature inspired pieces such as tsavorite earrings reminiscent of leaves. “I recommend wearing just one and wearing a headpiece from the collection in your hair.” Equally symbolic is the Harem collection. “Harem rings normally have three, five, or seven bands. When I was a child my father gifted me a Harem ring with orange diamonds and I fell instantly in love. Zeenat, Meena and I have always stacked our rings, so we created Harem rings with nine bands. Each individual ring is unique but all look beautiful stacked up.”

In numerology, Maya tells, me, the number nine is linked to femininity, a fascinating fact that makes for interesting conversation. Indeed, items like the rings from the Harem collection are the kind of piece that gets people talking at parties and get-togethers. They come in a multitude of materials, including diamonds, rubies, and emeralds.

The Mukhi Sisters’ latest collection is called No Guts No Glory, which is yet to be launched online. “This collection is very special to us because we created a superhero named Glory. She is a woman who decided to take charge of her own destiny. We believe it is vital for women to believe that they deserve the best because they believe in themselves.” The collection comprises sets of earrings, necklaces, and rings, which are also sold separately and can be mixed and matched. “They are inspired on the armour of warriors but they are very feminine and sexy yet simple. Our aim is to emphasise that strength comes from within.” The collection only has one motif: a snake, which symbolises two things: rebirth, and eternity.

Female empowerment is, indeed, important to the sisters. One campaign sees a woman lifting her ring finger defiantly, with one bold statement beneath: “I buy my own gifts on Valentine’s.” It was their first publicity campaign and one that enjoyed huge success… so much so that the following year the campaign featured a man wearing a ring and making the same gesture, answering, “Me too.”Maya laughingly admits to wondering whether Mukhi Sisters was the right name to go for. “We decided on this name rather than a trendy one because we are three sisters and friends and that will never change. Our family name is and always will be Mukhi and we will always be sisters.”