A multigenerational family-owned business, Okidanokh (pronounced o-key-da-knock) shines a spotlight on opulent yet understated jewelry. Each perfectly hand-crafted piece is a testament to traditional European style goldsmith techniques, fabricating each earring, necklace, bracelet, or ring from the raw material itself. Goldsmith Jala Fabri and her team of apprentices are committed to save a dying art, breathing new life into each timeless creation.
When I first walked into Okidanokh, I was greeted to the ambiance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, a curved coral couch, and soothing tropical colored art on the walls. This fittingly encompassed the store’s history: classic designs born over the last 40 years in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Jala’s father Abel Fabri, an esoteric and spiritual man, named his jewelry store after the philosophical idea of okidanokh. “It’s a substance that permeates the universe and controls creative energy,” Jala explains. “As human beings, we have to be aware of and accept okidanokh into our lives to continue to be creative and have creative thought.” She tells me that many goldsmiths keep making the same pieces they’ve always made. “We’re constantly creating new designs and continue to evolve.”
This philosophy is evident in their jewelry. Traditional pieces have a new spin on them, such as textured rings for men, tastefully crafted interchangeable bracelets and chain-link necklaces, and buildable stack rings. The issue of frequently lost earring backs are solved by innovative twist-in and straight wire earrings. And don’t be fooled by the delicate design. “Our jewelry is built to last,” says Jala. “By hand fabricating it, you create a certain amount of tension and have more control over what your finished product is.” Classic yet contemporary, the designs boast clean lines that allow many pieces to function as unisex and versatile jewelry for all ages.
“Do you keep up with the latest trends to draw inspiration for your designs?” I ask Jala. “We keep up with trends in color,” she replies. She recalls the changing styles from platinum, to white gold, to yellow gold, and the boom of rose gold only a few years earlier. “Because we aim for timeless designs, color will always be relevant.” Jala also emphasized that the artistry and craftsmanship of the jewelry is what makes it eternal. “We pay a lot of attention to very fine, small details,” she says. “Over time people seem to enjoy the jewelry even more” by discovering and appreciating new details each time you admire your piece, such as rounded edges for a comfortable fitting ring or symmetric earrings.
Additionally, Okidanokh offers customization and creation from scratch. They’ll also reset gemstones from old heirlooms into a timeless design. They’ve made first baby earrings, traditional West Indian bangles, and engagement rings. They can outsource diamonds within a couple’s budget, create a design, and make a matching wedding band for the groom. They also have an inventory of colorful and differently cut gemstones available for selection, and an even larger collection in St. Thomas to choose from. “We only work with natural gemstones and aim to maintain their integrity,” says Jala, as she shows me three different natural tints of pearls. She’s been the primary gem buyer for the store for more than 10 years. Unlike other jewelry shops that purchase their gemstones in bulk, Jala hand-selects each stone for cut and color, preserving the craftsmanship of goldsmithing and the okidanokh philosophy.
I ask Jala whether trends in fashion, such as statement necklaces and bulky earrings, will ever appear at Okidanokh. “No,” she replies. “I’ve seen jewelry that is very artsy, but it doesn’t withstand the test of time. We make timeless pieces that look good today, are fashionable tomorrow, and will still be relevant in 30 years.” From men and women to young and old, this modest yet opulent jewelry store has everlasting pieces for everyone. Through thoughtfully executed designs and carefully selected stones, Okidanokh marries tradition and modernity while upholding the artisanship of jewelry-making. The result is a timeless and versatile range of jewelry that emanates classic and innate beauty.
Okidanokh is located at 1217 N. Orange Ave., Orlando, FL 32804