- Baha’is abstain from food and drink between sunrise and sunset for 19 days. While this abstention from food and drink is a test of one’s will and discipline, the Fast is not just about abstaining from food. The Fast is, primarily, a spiritual practice.
Sameen Azizi Imani and Saman Iman Toloui have a wonderful way with beauty and the jewellery of their Baha’i-inspired shop, One Thousand Years, attests to this. In this images post, we hear from Sameen and Saman about the art and craft of their designs, what inspired them to collaborate, and the importance of beauty and art.
Could you tell us a little bit about yourselves?
We (Sameen Azizi Imani and Saman Iman Toloui) met a few years ago while living in the same Baha’i community in Los Angeles. We are both native Californians from Persian families, but with very different educational backgrounds and perspectives–which we think makes us a good team. Sameen is a doctor who was seeking a creative outlet, and Saman is an accessories designer who always had a deep interest in jewellery. Both of us found ourselves looking for accessible modern Baha’i fine jewellery – and decided to work together to turn our vision into reality. One Thousand Years Jewelry was born out of a love for our community, and our desire to make beautiful products that leave a positive impact on our world, and informed by the regal and elaborate jewellery our grandparents wore as well as the simple, modern aesthetic we like to wear ourselves. We love what we do, and are so thankful for the opportunity to share our dream with everyone.
Could you please tell us a little about your jewellery?
All of our jewellery is hand-made with love in Los Angeles by a family run manufacturer. They are made slowly, and carefully from either 14K or 18K gold and conflict-free diamonds. They are made with a deep consideration to the impact they leave behind on the planet and the people who wear them. We love jewellery in all its forms, but we are so inspired by the jewellery handed down from our ancestors who bought gold as an investment and something to pass down to future generations. We want to make jewellery that will last, and evoke love, spiritual meaning and joy for the person who wears it.
What inspires you to create? What inspires your designs?
We design each of our pieces with true love and respect for the Baha’i community, and for the symbols that represent the principles of justice, peace and respect for one another and our planet. We are so inspired by the growth of our diverse community and our wish is to connect and represent all of our global family with modern and fresh jewellery.
Could you share a few thoughts about the importance of beauty and art in building community and changing consciousness? It’s a huge question, I know!
In the 2023 Ridvan Letter, the Universal House of Justice states, “In this new series of Plans, increasing attention needs to be given to other processes that seek to enhance the life of a community—for example…drawing more effectively on the power of the arts.” Beauty and art play a profoundly important yet less understood and less appreciated role in building community and changing consciousness. Beauty in the form of art evokes an emotional connection among people experiencing the art together–whether it’s through visual or wearable art, beautiful music, or performances. This shared emotional connection serves as a catalyst to bring people together from diverse backgrounds creating social cohesion. Beauty and art are truly powerful yet under-utilized forces for community building, social action, and contributions to the prevalent discourses of society.
Thank you, Sameen and Saman, for taking the time to share this with us!
You can find the jewellery of One Thousand Years available online.
(Photos by the talented Nabil Samadani)
Leave a Reply
"*" indicates required fields
The arts and media have a critical role in how we share our community experiences. We’ve got resources, projects and more to help you get involved.
We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of country throughout Australia.
We recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their cultures; and to elders both past and present.