Turquoise, sapphire, crystal, silver, and gold… Indians are playing with all that glitter they can get and contributing around 29 percent of the total global jewellery consumption. The market size of gems and jewellery is likely to reach $100 billion by 2025, according to the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF).
Traditionally, jewellery has always been considered as an asset and an important part of family heirlooms. For Indians, jewellery is not just about gold or gems, but an emotion in itself.
However, with different trends in the market, youngsters today are game with experimenting with different kinds of jewellery as designers and consumers. You can find different quirky, out-of-the-box and experimental designs that are finding favour with a new breed of consumers looking for something different from heavy, traditional jewellery.
Here are four women entrepreneurs who are creating ripples in the jewellery market.
Aditi Amin, By Aditi Amin
After returning to India and getting married in 2006, former investment banker Aditi Amin found plenty of time on her hands as a stay-at-home mother. She kept herself busy by dismantling her jewellery and redesigning them, which became the foundation for her fashion jewellery line By Aditi Amin in 2012.
Started from her home in Ahmedabad, with an initial investment of Rs 30 lakh, Aditi’s jewellery has been picked up by Kimaya, a chain of designer stores in Mumbai and has also been displayed at jewellery shows across India, London, New York, and Dubai.
In 2018, she took a year off and pursued a Diploma in Jewellery Designing from Amore Institute in Ahmedabad and launched fashion jewellery line Argento and fine jewellery line Uncut last year.
After her business slowed down due to the pandemic, she revisited her strategies and took the brands online with an additional collection of jewellery available for under Rs 1 lakh called Micro Polki under Uncut.
Saroja Yeramilli, Melorra
Entrepreneur Saroja Yeramilli is an established entrepreneur in the jewellery industry and India’s startup ecosystem. Founded in 2016, her Bengaluru-based jewellery startup serves the millennial population by offering them a wide range of lightweight jewellery like necklaces, bracelets, earrings, and pendants. While pieces under a popular collection may be available for under Rs 50,000, the prices for others can go up to Rs 3 lakh.
Catering to customers across Tier I, II, III cities as well as the villages, it has delivered to nearly 1,700 towns within three years.
The brand also boasts of a unique business model without any premade inventory. Melorra begins manufacturing only after users choose and place orders on its website. Customised options are also available. The orders are delivered between nine and 12 days.
This week, Saroja raised $12.50 million in funding from Symphony Asia, Lightbox Ventures and Alteria Capital, which will be used for technological and product innovation and for brand awareness.
In just a week of starting up, the startup set a record for raising the highest seed fund in India, a sum of $ 5 million from Lightbox Ventures in January 2016.
Jenny Chowdhary, Chokhahaar
An MBA graduate in finance from Ahmedabad, Jenny Chowdhary left a cushy corporate job in 2018 and took the entrepreneurial plunge in 2019. Based in Udaipur known for its royal residencies, Chokhahaar is an online and offline marketplace of silver jewellery.
Started with an initial investment of Rs 20 lakh it curates and designs earrings, necklaces, rings, bracelets, bangles, handcuffs, foot kadas, and clutches. Once accepted, orders are delivered within 15 days across India. Bollywood actors Madhuri Dixit and Mouni Roy have sported some of their silver jewellery.
It leveraged social media sites like Instagram, optimised its website for SEO and gradually saw organic growth.
While the demand has slackened due to the pandemic, Chokhahaar has received 100 orders since January, ranging between an average of Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,000.
Targeting women above 25, many of Chokhahaar’s customers hail from Tier I and Tier II cities across India. Moving ahead, the entrepreneur is looking to enter the international market.
Ageerika Hari, Vaitaanika
Twenty-nine-year-old Ageerika Hari founded her jewellery label Vaitaanika in 2012 and has stood out in the market with her ‘one piece, one design’ policy. Starting at Rs 10,000, the label has not repeated any design in the last eight years of operations.
The entrepreneur followed her passion for jewellery by completing a BDES in Jewellery Design from Raffles Design Institute, Singapore and the Graduates Diamond Programme from the Gemological Institute of America.
So far, her label has introduced nine silver collections and designed fine jewellery with gold, kundan, and diamonds. Some of her unique creations include the Bhava Collection introduced last year. Bhava (meaning prosperity) is inspired by the Mauryan empire and features a range of pendants, brooches, cuff bracelets, earrings, cocktail rings, capturing the historic period.
Targeting middle-class women, the Delhi-based startup has a strong presence on social media especially popularising its store in Chanakyapuri in Delhi.
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