Artisan Organization: Alok Jain
“I joined Novica way back in 2002 when the company was just a couple of years old. I owe a lot to Novica. It has helped me shape my interest and my whole perception towards my work and craft. In the beginning, my product was just a piece of jewelry; now it has become a piece of art. My biggest achievement I feel is the recognition I get from my customers and the sense of satisfaction I get from my work. Nothing can be more satisfying than the feeling of doing what you want. I am financially much better, I know what quality really means and I am a better person altogether. “When I started with NOVICA 20 years back I used to have only one helper working for me on a part-time basis. Now after 20 years I have around 4 regular helpers who are working mainly for me, some of whom are totally dependent on me. I have gone through rough phases also where workers made bad quality jewelry and then disappeared, causing huge losses, but these things helped me learn. Sometimes trust is lost along with money, but that’s part and parcel of trying to do things in a different way. There is an attitude in India, chalta hai, meaning that “some flaws are acceptable”. I had to fight a lot, and I am still fighting with workers to get this attitude out of their head by explaining why any tiny mark on the silver or stone is not acceptable. Things are changing, albeit slowly. “Things have also developed a lot in my personal life. I have two beautiful daughters. One has completed her graduation and the other is still in school. Both of them have a very keen interest in jewelry and design. In fact, the elder one has started designing and is now a featured Novica artisan. “I want to keep on designing new styles and experiment with new stones. Jewelry is about fashion, and fashion keeps on changing. It also changes from region to region and among different age groups. I feel my style of jewelry is more fit for mature adults. I want to focus on this age group, but want to design for youngsters too. But I don’t want to lose my style just for the sake of selling, so I am trying to maintain the equilibrium. Hopefully Novica customers will keep on patronizing my designs. I want to give the best working atmosphere to my workers who are directly associated with me by providing them with the latest tools and technology. “To all my customers, I would like to say that by buying my products, you are not only helping me but a lot of workers and artisans who are working behind the scenes to make beautiful pieces with the best workmanship possible. Each and every purchase helps someone financially and motivates him or her to further create something new. All the workers and their families are really grateful to Novica and its patrons for their continued support.”
Original Artist Story
"My family has been involved in the realm of handicrafts for many years now. I was barely 17 years old when I realized I was completely immersed in the creation of handcrafted pieces, including sandalwood and brass items and jewelry, among others.
"Lately, I have been much more involved in the design of jewelry. I'm inspired by nature, hence you will find that most of my jewelry items feature natural motifs.
"My journey into handicrafts has been great, yet the highlight came in 1995, when the Sultan of Brunei placed an order for my designs! It was time bound, it took me and my artisan collaborators about two months to complete the order. All in all, it was a really exciting experience to be working all together.
"I always strive to improve designs and quality, and demand for my products has steadily increased. I hope and wish that my association with you will bring new opportunities.""