Experience has taught us never to presume, never judge a book by its cover - this belief is cemented into the foundations of the Oscar Graves brand.
Today, 18 year old Suaad Alshleh reminds us why we can never renege on it.
When the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, mentions your name, it's a pretty big deal. While delivering her inaugural state of the union speech, the president reiterated the importance of nurturing the talent, skills and energy of the displaced. Suaad Alshleh was the person that president von der Leyen mentioned to prove her point. This young woman is now an Irish resident and has been awarded a prestigious scholarship from the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland. Suaad is no ordinary student. She and her family are refugees from war-torn Syria.
A provision centre is not the most conducive environment for any human, never mind a teenager with big ambitions, but that is where Suaad spent her first nine months in Ireland. However, it didn't deter her from her dream of becoming a doctor. Neither did bureaucracy, prejudice or poverty, it seems, as Suaad is now well on her way to securing her medical license. She was brave enough to get the help she needed and push forward with her life. She didn't let the change in her circumstances deter or define her. Her story resonated and tugged at the heartstrings of our brand.
Yes, we are renowned for our love of all things bright, sparkly and shiny but we also are acutely aware that many brands want to define their clientele into a certain genre or class. At Oscar Graves we strive to achieve the opposite. We believe that the presence of an Oscar Graves piece of jewellery should cast doubt over your perception of its wearer rather than define her.
As far as Oscar Graves is concerned; nobody gets left behind. Underestimate the underdog at your peril because it's their light that usually shines the brightest.
And in case you happen to be listening Suaad....a huge congratulations on your achievements to-date. We've no doubt that Ireland and the world will benefit from that shining light of yours. Never dim it!