Artisan Organization: Chintan
"I am basically a Gujrati but have settled in Mumbai. I grew up in a joint family with many cousins and relatives living under one roof. We led a very humble lifestyle staying in rented accommodation and did not enjoy the luxury of life in terms of amenities, as we were not very financially stable. However, the love and care of family always united us and today, after 30 years, I can proudly say that we have our own homes and all our hard work and dedication have paid off.
"My grandfather started making handmade jewelry in 1940 and my father learned this art at a very tender age. So being the third generation, I was always fascinated with it, and curious to learn the art and the trade. For me, jewelry is not only an art but also a reflection of our culture and our rich tradition of jewelry making, which I want to preserve and show to the world.
"I have learned a lot from my older brother Nirav who, even as a child, was very sincere while I was very naughty, and so my father had very low hopes that I could master the art and continue our family tradition business. But I was lucky to have an older brother, who today is my teacher as well as my mentor. He taught me the art and techniques of making jewelry and now I have few artisans to whom I am able to teach our techniques and the use of tools.
"My brother is such an inspiration for me. He encouraged me and gave me the opportunity to visit Western countries to see, know and learn their ways of making modern jewelry. This of course enabled us to make a fusion with our traditional jewelry styles. So, apart from traditional jewelry, we also design a lot of modern styles to suit everyone's taste.
"We work mostly with sterling silver and gemstones, and often use gold as an embellishment. We also make traditional jewelry in pure gold. We buy silver in its purest form from banks or dealers, making sure that we get the right quality always. The remains and scraps are also utilized 100 percent.
"I love making rings and earrings, which are my best sellers. I love to play with different color stones to keep with fashion trends as well as reflect the personality of the person. To know what women want in jewelry and meet their expectations is the most challenging task.
"For me, my shoppers are my biggest asset and so is their feedback. They inspire me to improve in beautiful ways. Every comment and critique I receive teaches me something. You are always at the back of my mind when I design anything new and I love to relate to you who wear my designs.
"I love every moment of work. To be able to get your own ideas to become reality is an amazing feeling. I am also proud to be associated with you as you promote my work and have given me an opportunity to reach millions of people.
"For me, family is truly a great strength— if you succeed or fail they are always on your side. We all work in the same workshop, using the same machines and there are other artisans helping all of us.
"My father, brother and I create our own styles of jewelry from our own ideas and inspiration. There is no other feeling that can surpass the feeling of working together with your own family and enjoying the fruit of your success.""