Farah Adly Sabbour on the Timeless Jewellery of Hermania! 

Hermania Egypt

Farah Adly Sabbour is a 27-year-old Cairo-based architect. Farah has always been fond of history, art, and culture. Her love started when she was a little girl doing arts and crafts with her mom, then that love and passion grew into something bigger. Farah took different art and design courses because she loved creating things with her own hands. As Farah grew, she fell in love with architecture, and she truly saw the impact one’s environment can have. Farah truly believes in architecture as a message and an identity, that is why Farah Adly Sabbour found Hermania. 

Hermania Farah Adly Sabbour
Photo Credits: Laila Adel and Heba Ezzat

Hermania is not only a jewellery brand, it is a tribute to the rich and true culture of Cairo. 

“I appreciate art and beauty, culture and identity, having a story, and having an impact. Being an architect, having a passion for art and design, loving people, and having the curiosity to learn and know about their stories; these all shaped who I am today and are reflected in Hermania, hopefully.” – Said Farah Adly Sabbour on Hermania

We sat down with Farah to know more about her journey! 

Hermania Egypt

So, what is Hermania? 

Hermania is an Egyptian brand with a purpose launched in 2021. Hermania aims to find value and connection with what we use and wear by taking inspiration from Cairo’s multilayered stories, communities, and art; creating timeless pieces handcrafted out of natural materials by local artisans. 


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We embrace the past, explore the present, and aim to find a middle ground for what is yet to come.

Hermania offers timeless fashion and lifestyle pieces. It creates an impact through reviving and supporting traditional communities by empowering handmade artisans and industry. We do that through diverse materiality, arts coming from different layers we have in our Islamic and Pharaonic heritage, and our contemporary approach. 

Where did the idea for Hermania start? 

Hermania for me was a business dream that developed incrementally. I always noticed that the contemporary globally fast-paced market products offered no authenticity or uniqueness.

Photo Credits: Laila Adel & Heba Ezzat

Also, this market isn’t able to adopt the traditional handmade industry in it. From here came the idea of bridging that gap, by reintroducing the traditional handmade industry in a more contemporary way, breaking the common stereotypes while preserving its traditional craftsmanship.


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Hermania started with a 6-month plan to launch in 2021. I was faced with the reality that I had to be the jack of all trades for Hermania. I became responsible for designing the products, formulating the collection, and setting the art direction I wanted for it and Hermania as well. Luckily Salma Hassan, Hermania’s Head Graphic Designer, a brilliant designer, and an amazing friend, agreed to be the needed addition to the team to fulfill Hermania’s character and atmosphere vision. She became responsible for creating the visual identity of the brand. Salma is the one in charge of the striking designed posters and posts that you see.

Have you always been passionate about Jewelry design? If so, what sparked your passion for it? 

As a matter of fact, it’s a yes and a no. I don’t consider myself a jewelry designer but a designer. I think that part of the reason why I believe that jewelry can be so beautiful is my grandmother’s jewelry collection. It’s something that I still cherish until now. I fell in love with how strikingly elegant they looked, their quality, designs, and materials that are still surviving the test of time. I know that we can do better. If we cared more about the designs, quality, and materials.


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When I was younger, I was still starting university. I tried to start a small business creating necklaces using precious stones and accessories. I used to go buy the materials and play with the designs and assembly. One thing I remember was the time when I presented the idea to my grandfather. He told me that I needed to integrate natural materials, like silver, brass, and leather to make it more valuable. Back then I thought that was out of my expertise, little did I know that those materials are the ones that I would end up working with now.

Hermania as a brand has a very distinctive aesthetic and feel, how did you reach that in the branding and the design? What was the process? 

Due to the nature of my work and the detail-oriented approach in university. I learned how to create a holistic and detailed plan to create not just products but a “Brand” a story, feel, and aesthetics that delivers what I want to sell. Also, having Salma Hassan who shares the same mentality and handles all the visual designs made it happen.


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I believe that because Hermania is a slow fashion and lifestyle brand, we are very selective in what we do. Everything is well thought of. We are more of a boutique rather than a big chain as we want to give each detail the time it deserves, and this helps a lot in investing time in the larger picture of how a brand should make you feel.


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Also, the written data and informative part is as important, we advocate, educate not just sell. We try to work on both sides, the community as in the artisans and our customers, they are both family and we love to connect them together because Hermania won’t succeed without either of them.

How would you like women to feel when they wear Hermania? 

I want them to feel empowered, unique, and expressive of what they want to say without saying. I want women to feel more feminine, to know that they will catch the attention of each and every one. 


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Another aspect is that I want them to feel proud that they’re wearing something that local artisans from their country have created. Not only that, but know that by their purchase they have helped revive a traditional handmade craft. They have generated income for around four artisans and their families, helped integrate and revive our heritage in our lives once again. It’s not a purchase, it’s an investment. Additionally, giving us the chance to design more!

What’s your favorite Jewelry piece from Hermania? 

Hahaha, that’s quite a tricky question, I just love each and every one of them. I think the Aqua stars (the one with the two white carved stars inlaid in them with smaller blue stars) and the Pharaoh earrings would be my favorites. I just love their design, composition, and the ability to translate those two designs into these pieces that turned out more beautifully than I even imagined.

Aqua stars

What were the biggest challenges you faced when you started and how did you overcome them?

The challenges we faced in Hermania range in many topics. There are challenges that I face personally due to my young age and being a woman. Unfortunately, men dominate the traditional handmade crafts industry. So, it’s always a struggle to stand up for myself and establish a tone, boundaries, and everything when dealing with them. 


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After establishing the first line and was ready to start the process for a new product. The core artisan “Sadafky” exceeded his limits in how comfortable he was while talking to me. I had to start over and search for a different artisan, this was like going a step back rather than a step forward.

I can proudly say that I managed to find someone else. However, I had to bring a guy into the picture to avoid that happening again. It is still something I’m learning along the way but I’m telling you this because I want you to see how different it is for a woman, if I was a man, this wouldn’t have happened. Work could have been more flexible. I could do errands at night, I can walk feeling safe in the streets. 


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Finding the right artisans that meet the criteria I am looking for is surely a top challenge. Time is a constant challenge, no matter how you develop your foundation with the artisans. Then comes the financial challenge, the handmade industry has many high-cost demands but it’s more tricky when they see that you’re a young girl, so they higher their prices.

Hermania promotes authentic craftsmanship and there is nothing like Egyptian craftsmen. How did you find the right people to execute your vision? 

Choosing the artisans happened after a-lot of filtering through meeting with them, seeing their work, then choosing the ones that match my criteria on a professional level and are good respectable ones on a personal level.

However, I think that as you go more through the traditional craftsmanship sector, you find that it’s a closed community just like everything else. Eventually, you will be led around and understand who does what and their expertise and reputation. 

Finally, I like to say that I have “a wardrobe” of artisans for each stage now. Which is good in terms of being able to produce. Still, I’m hoping to expand more and find more artisans to work with.

Why is it called Hermania? 

It’s a combination of the words “Heritage” and “Mania”.


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It is a celebration and passion for our inherited cultural legacy. I love that it also has a class to its tone. I believe that “Hermania” fully embraces what we want to do, create, and can build onward with.

What are your future goals for Hermania? 

Firstly, I want to start working on the second collection and hopefully integrate different kinds of pieces along with earrings. I want to open the door to being able to export worldwide, not just work locally. I want people outside to be able to get a hold of the exquisite pieces that can be locally manufactured by local artisans in a contemporary way.


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Also, I hope that Hermania’s team grows and hires the skills needed to complete our team. In terms of artisans, I hope to be able to empower them more and provide larger job opportunities for them.

Finally, I hope one-day Hermania will have its own small boutique shop in one of Cairo’s go-to destinations.

Is there anything you’d like to add? 

Hermania wouldn’t be here without the great love and help of everyone who supported, pushed, and encouraged me to launch. Without them all, Hermania wouldn’t have become a reality. Endless gratitude for my family, who helped me through many obstacles that I faced. Without their support, I might have given up during the process. 

Make sure to catch Hermania at Sultan Fair this Saturday, make sure to check the event to know more!

You can check more of Hermania here!

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