I had the pleasure to interview Ola, the owner and founder of Ola’s Secret Garden, a unique handicraft/design business in the oldest street of Amman. If you are on the lookout for a unique gift or a special item for yourself, be it jewelry, a scarf or a top, I can only recommend to visit Ola’s Garden and take some time to browse through her shop. Read on to find out about her approach to design, how she started her business and what makes her happy.
Dear Ola, you are the Owner of Ola’s Garden, a unique design and handicraft business in Jordan that creates beautiful jewelry, clothes and decoration items. Please introduce yourself.
I have always been in love with colors and details, fascinated in how deferent textures, colors and sounds can play together sometimes in harmony or even in contrast.
My background is in graphic design, applied arts and handcrafts allowed me to understand the human need for beauty and creativity in all times.
I gathered all my skills in arts and crafts in one place where I can work, show my pieces and enjoy life; I dropped my bags in an inspiring peaceful street; 60 Khirfan Street the oldest street in Amman that overlooks downtown Amman, and … life has been amazing since then.
Sometimes I don’t know how I am getting away with having the nicest job ever and enjoying life and at the same time earning money … I spent the nicest 11 years in my life; even when someone asks me if I had any troubles starting my business I say yeah; sure I had lots but I can’t remember any now … that must be great don’t you think?
Now visitors from all over the world come to see what this crazy woman is doing in her shop; I realize that my little secret garden is no secret anymore.
How did you start your business Ola’s Garden? Are you working together with others?
My first shop was a 3 by 3 meters room in the second floor of an old house with a small nice window and a little green plant, never expecting anyone to find me I started working hours and hours sewing, beading, painting, sculpting, with the playful jazz music dancing around with coffee … and to my surprise people started coming to my Alaa Eddeen cave.
I work alone, happy with my solitude, till now.
Tell us a little bit about the unique items you create and your design process.
Entering my shop one cannot but notice the diversity of products, techniques, and materials, every piece has its own character and process, that’s what makes it special.
Also having all my materials around me makes it easy to see and feel the connections between them. I try not to be arrogant and force my ideas, sometimes the material itself has the final word in my designs whatever I struggle to shape it according to my idea.
It seems most of you items consist of many different materials and colors. Would you agree that a colorful mix of different materials is your special design approach?
Indeed; that reflects the way I see and deal with everything around me, I see every existence in this word as part of mosaic structures every part is special and unique in its self, my job is to combine those parts without making them lose their identity.
What do you try to reflect or express in your creations?
Beauty never dies it emerges in a deferent way, but we have to keep our minds open for the new possibilities.
Ordinary stone you find near the street covered with dust can become a unique piece. I believe every object, every existence in this world holds a great power, sometimes all it needs is a little varnishing cleaning or framing and some understanding.
Tell us something about your favorite item and why you love it.
In my shop pieces vary from jewelry, scarves, sculpture, painting, and mosaic to embroidery and many many more. Each piece is original and one of a kind; designed and made for unusual spirits, I loved every piece I ever created during my life even the pieces I had difficulties making them they are like a naughty child that in spite all the troubles you still love.
Do you have some new ideas for expansions or special events coming up?
I stopped planning for the future a long time ago, we all must wait and see what happens, I am grateful that I can still enjoy a cup of coffee at the entrance of my garden and watch people, cats and days passing by peacefully.
Where can one buy your creations?
You all are welcomed to my garden, it easy to get here: off the end of Rainbow Street, right to 60 Khirfan Street. Though I have to warn you, Bastian, it can be a dangerous shop; don’t bring a lot of money you might spend it all happily.
Come visit us, like and share Ola’s Garden page on Facebook to get the latest
Working hours: 11 am to 6:30 pm
6 days a week – off day: Tuesday
phone: 079 5390136
Have a nice life
Thank you very much Ola for the interview and giving us some insight about your creations.
Pictures were provided by Ola