Redefining Luxury, One Stone at a Time
Some people are destined to pursue their passion. Archana Parasrampuria’s stint with jewellery though a happenstance, is certainly meant to be. With choicest stones and exquisite designs, she makes many brides happy with her creations. By Kavita Parab
Archana Parasrampuria’s designs exude freshness and warmth just like nature from which she finds her inspiration from ever so often. Her designs reflect fine craftsmanship and careful observation of the shapes and movements of nature. She focuses on fine quality and attention to detail. She specializes in bespoke jewellery that is timeless and will always add regal touch to anybody who wears it.
How did you venture into jewellery design?
Being born and brought up in Bareilly, the shift to Mumbai after marriage was a game changer for me. I started trying my hand at different things. I stumbled upon jewellery and it was my mother-in-law who observed my eye for detail. She suggested I take this forward and pursue a design course at St. Xaviers. It helped me sharpen my skills. I started off by repairing vintage jewellery for friends and family. A friend saw the spark in me and asked me to design a pair of earrings for her. She fell in love with the design, asked me to create it and the rest as they say, is history. Today, our loyal clientele is one of the biggest achievements we have. We have always believed in working with our customers closely. Our biggest award is when our clients proudly tell everyone that they are wearing Archana Parasrampuria’s jewellery.
Where do you draw your inspiration from and what would you say is the most difficult aspect of jewellery making?
The travels and rendezvous with Mother Nature is what inspires most of our designs. The movement of nature, the intricacies and patterns of all things green, have influenced some of our bestsellers. Since we handcraft our jewellery, attention to detail is a must and getting exactly what we have envisioned is the toughest part of what we do.
Tell us about a recent collection that you have worked on and the creative process of the same.
Our latest bridal collection comprises of some of the most exciting new pieces that we have recently achieved. Our contemporary thought process behind this collection has enabled us to create bridal jewellery pieces as multifunctional and wearable designs. We have created necklaces that are large and layered, and yet, they can be separated. Our bridal bracelets can easily be converted into wearable chokers. We believe that this multi-functionality will enable brides to feel that the jewellery they buy for their big day is actually an investment that can be used afterwards, and for us, we are happy that our customers adorn our creations time and again.
Would you like to share any interesting anecdote with us about your experience as a jewellery designer?
At the beginning of my career, a client visited our studio to see my bridal wear collection. In the middle of a negotiation for a certain piece of jewellery, I told him I would get back to him with the final price in a day or so. His response to me is still fresh in my memory, “Don’t go to wash your face while trying to close a client.” It’s one of the biggest lessons I have learned because I ended up losing the deal and the client. Now, I make sure to strike while the iron is hot.
What lessons have you learnt so far in the industry?
Constantly innovate and customise! Over the last 25 years, seeing many jewellery houses rise and fall, we have learned to customise according to the customer. We won’t stop until our client is satisfied with the quality and our unique designs. We operate via appointments and cater to clients individually. We do not believe in diluting our brand by being present everywhere.
Describe the sensibility of your wearer?
The Archana Parasrampuria woman is smart, she is sexy and she has clarity about what she wants! She is the woman who wants to dress to impress and her confidence makes her shine. Be it a homemaker or a CEO of a million dollar company, she is not afraid of making a statement, going all out with her jewels. She takes pride in being an Indian and stays true to her roots. Every woman has her own unique style and personality. My personal favourite is to wear something modern (couture) and pair it with some diamond and pearl jewellery. That’s a classic and you can never go wrong with it. I feel that urban Indian women must use more real jewels than they usually do. Gold works brilliantly well on our skin tone.
Who’s your muse? Which current or past style icon would you want to see wearing your creations?
The one icon we regret that we will never ever get a chance to work with is the late Nargis Dutt. Her style, elegance, timeless beauty and personality led to her being one of the most beautiful women of her times. As a kid, I grew up watching her, being mesmerized by her and always wanted to work with her.
What jewellery piece has been the toughest or the most unique for you to work on?
Recently, we had a mother daughter duo meet us to design the bridal jewellery for the daughter’s wedding day. While the mother suggested we make her jewels very elaborate, and design large statement pieces, the bride herself wanted something classy that she could reuse. Finding a balance between the two was tough, as both had opinions that were poles apart. However, we saw this as an opportunity. We delivered them exquisite jewels with large solitaires and based the entire set around that solitaire. We also made it a layered necklace, making it multi-functional and something that could be worn as two separate pieces. This made both the bride and the mother extremely happy.
Which materials and gemstones do you mostly enjoy working with and why?
We only use gold, rose gold and white gold. Silver does not serve as the best base for our products. Other than diamonds, we also work with rubies, emeralds and pearls. My favourite combination is that of emeralds, diamonds and pearls set in gold. South sea pearls really suit the average Indian skin tone and emeralds add colour and regality. It is rightfully said that ‘A diamond is a girl’s best friend,’ and we use a lot of marquise, rose cut and hand cut diamonds.
You seem to have a special affinity towards gemstones?
Gemstones add colour, provide contrast and bring our designs to life. A diamond piece will become more eye-catching with a beautiful emerald, or a ruby or even a blue topaz along with it. We use a variety of rubies and emeralds from all around the world to give our pieces more vibrancy. Gemstones also enable our clients to match certain pieces with their couture. We get a lot of customers who ask us to experiment with different kinds of gemstones to add uniqueness.
What are your hobbies and interests besides work?
Whenever I have free time on my hands, I experiment with food. Baking gives me immense joy. I also spend my time reading spiritual books.
Which other jewellery designer do you find inspirational?
Two of my favourites in this field are Harry Winston and Mikimoto. Mikimoto’s use of South Sea pearls and Harry Winston’s use of baguette diamonds is mesmerizing. Their designs have always been original and that’s what I respect the most.
What would be your advice to aspiring designers?
The most important advice in this field would be to always be original and true to your work. You don’t want people to walk by your products and say, “This is the kind of stuff we see everywhere”. Put in all you have and let your work do all the talking.
Where do you see yourself and the landscape of jewellery design five years from now?
Since buying jewellery is a personal and emotional decision, we always want to give our clients the attention they deserve. That’s why in the next 5 years, we want to grow into a bigger brand, but not one with 20 stores all over India. I always want to be available to my clients and that’s how I have been training both my sons.
How has customization helped you garner more audience?
Many a time, it so happens that families have heirloom stones and jewellery pieces that are passed down generations. When clients bring us these solitaires, we have started a unique concept of designing a piece of jewellery depending on the center stone. This level of customization enables our clients to lend a bit of themselves and their family legacy to their new jewels that are designed only for them.