Introducing KHOI, a Wearable Art Jewelry brand Launched by Chicagoan Hayet Rida


( ENSPIRE Business ) KHOI, an Art Jewelry Brand by Hayet Rida

ENSPIRE contributor: Mayleen Marrero

KHOI is a journey in duality. The brand’s inspiration comes from Hayet’s native Ghanaian culture, along with her father’s Lebanese heritage. Every piece, size to dimension, reflects some sculptural designs and intentionally modest look that has been empowering the brand’s loyal following- KHOI babes, to express themselves unapologetically. The brand alludes to knowing that love will come- honoring Hayet’s journey from self-doubt to self-love. She discovers ways to tell her story, every chapter unfolding with a limited-edition collection that changes monthly.   

The name of KHOI’s newest July collection, Nour, comes from the Arabic word for sunset. Following last month’s Masked identity, Nour shows Hayet’s journey of coming out of imposter syndrome and stepping into radiance and light divulging her true self who had been hiding behind a mask for self-doubt. The collection includes three connected capsules: Fishing, The Sun, and Celebration. The pieces honor the hope and resilience she saw during her time in a Ghanaian fishing community in Labadi and are designed to open and show the fire courage and bravery in those who wear them. 

While visiting a Ghanaian fishing community in Labadi, Hayet got inspired by watching the men and women set up their nets every night and pull them back in at sunrise, hoping for a big catch. If the nets came back empty, they would continue to cast them until they were successful. She modeled the Badu earrings after traditional fishing nets, and the Ashe earring references the fishing baskets that the fisherman and fisherwoman used and improvised in their mission to make it work. The pieces honor the resilience and hope Hayet witnessed during her time in Labadi. This visit inspired her to name one of the 3 interrelated capsules Fishing.

The second inter-related capsule is The Sun. Fishing heavily depends on the sun’s golden hours as it rises and sets. Just like the sun provides essential energy and keeps everything on course, these pieces are designed to open and highlight the fire and fortitude in those who wear them. The Raya bangle and Kora earrings portray the sun’s rays, while the Nova necklace and Keke hoops represent a partial moon.

The third and final interrelated capsule is a celebration. July brings a spirit of happiness to KHOI. Not only does the collection come out on July 1st, but the date also transpires with the brand’s first anniversary. Like how she watched those fishermen and fisherwomen weather and flow, Hayet’s entrepreneurial journey has had its ups and downs- making the first anniversary so much sweeter. After building brands for others for 15 years, Hayet is now focusing her energy on casting her net and growing her brand. KHOI is her catch. The hearty designs of the Onyx, Eyra, Soma, and Nylo earrings and Enzo bangle from this capsule all commemorate this celebratory time. 

KHOI launched while Hayet was working a full-time job. She pursued her dream of launching KHOI tirelessly because Hayet believed there was no perfect timing to take the chance on herself. After she earned a double major in Art and Communications, Hayet worked in advertising for the last 15 years. Through her path to entrepreneurship, Hayet taught herself to design websites, blogs, and logos. She also explored retail and brand strategy. Hayet views KHOI as a high point of her “false starts” into a distinctive brand. 

ENSPIRE got the incredible opportunity to interview Hayet Rida about KHOl, and here is what she had to say.

Why did you choose the name KHOI for the company?

The name is derived from a Japanese saying “Koi No Yokan,” which I fell in love with years ago. When I began my journey as an accessory brand owner, I titled it my KOI year. Then I added the “H” as an ode to myself as I stepped fully into this amazing brand.

What made you decide to launch a jewelry line? / When did you decide to launch your own company?

I never wanted to do this. It wasn’t in my plans. But that is special about me. I never sit down and say, “I want to start a brand.” I surrender to life, and when opportunities present themselves, I go all in. As I type this, I am dedicating myself to studying jewelry design and structure. I knew none of this when I started.

What best describes your style of leadership?

I have a very tough approach from years in the advertising and tech worlds. I treat KHOI as a startup and encourage everyone to have a startup mentality. I constantly remind my team that excellence is our bare minimum; that is the ethos I hold them up to daily.

What aspect of this company’s future most interests you?

I don’t think much about the company’s future; that’s not who I am. What I am excited about is how the things that will present themselves to me will inspire the future collection. It’s almost like saying that I can’t wait for life to just keep coming at me. That’s where the creativity is hidden.

Hayet thinks that by giving Ghanaian businesses opportunities, she can give back to her native nation. Because she believes in the local talent’s immense potential, Ghanaian creative teams produce all of KHOI’s marketing initiatives. Each collection created by KHOI has a significant influence and a deeper meaning. Every item is a component of a journey that Hayet has taken and witnessed.

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