Jewellery exhibition off to a glittering start

A model showing a necklace at a jewellery exhibition in Vijayawada on Friday.

A three-day B2B exhibition Grand Abhushanam, organised by the All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (AIGJDC), was inaugurated at SS Convention Centre here on Friday by Municipal Administration Minister P. Narayana.

Addressing the gathering, Mr. Narayana said about four lakh people were dependent on making jewellery for their livelihood, and the government was committed to extending support to them and entrepreneurs looking to invest in the sector.

The government was giving incentives to attract investments, which jewellery makers should utilise, he said.

AIGJDC vice-chairman Anantha Padmanaban said road shows were conducted across the southern region in the last few weeks and jewellers were excited to visit the exhibition.

AIGJDC director Ashok Kumar Jain said the exhibition was intended not only to boost the trade in small towns and cities, but connect manufacturers from small towns with local trade bodies. Exhibition co-convener Rajesh Rokde, A.P. Bullion Gold, Silver and Diamond Merchants’ Association president K. Vijaya Kumar and chief organiser Shantilal Jain were present.


How Aussie jewellery entrepreneur Pinar Parry overcame horrific online abuse

Brisbane woman Pinar Parry was in a personal slump when she came up with the business idea that would turn her life around.

The mum was dealing with an ailing business and had put on weight due to stress several years ago.

“I went through a really hard time trying to grow my business and my whole life went to sh*t,” she told

“I wasn’t looking after myself, I put on weight, and I wasn’t living my best life.

“I started looking at what had gone wrong, and I was reading a lot of psychology books about how to find your passion and purpose. I learnt so many new ideas, and I thought it would be great to wear something to remind you to live your best life every day.”

And so the idea behind Delta and Co was born — a jewellery company which produces delicate bracelets engraved with straight-talking “truth bombs” and phrases designed to inspire the wearer.

It officially launched in January 2016 as a side hustle, while Mrs Parry was pregnant with her third child.

At that time, her husband Anthony was often away as a FIFO worker, and Mrs Parry struggled to juggle her hectic family life with her growing business.

Pinar Parry was targeted by online trolls after launching Delta and Co — but she ‘blasted back’. Picture: Instagram/@deltaandco

Pinar Parry was targeted by online trolls after launching Delta and Co — but she ‘blasted back’. Picture: Instagram/@deltaandcoSource:Instagram

For 12 months, Delta and Co products were sold at pop up stores and events but last November, Mrs Parry realised it was time to go “all in” and focus solely on the business.

Her husband quit his FIFO job and joined the company full-time, and they soon “started to find their stride” through Facebook ads.

But then the abuse began.

“I started running Facebook ads as a way of marketing and I noticed some comments on the ads saying I’d copied the quotes from another business,” the 39-year-old said.

“They started popping up every day and at the beginning I addressed them nicely and diplomatically, and then I started deleting them.

“But eventually I decided to address them full-on.”

In a post which soon went viral, Mrs Parry explained the business was “100 per cent original” and that its branding and quotes had been inspired by her own experiences.

“ … if you are going to let yourself be bullied by random people on the internet you won’t survive in business, or in life for very long,” Mrs Parry wrote in her viral post.

Mrs Parry eventually decided to ‘blast back’. Picture: Facebook

Mrs Parry eventually decided to ‘blast back’. Picture: FacebookSource:Facebook

“If you let yourself get pushed around and listen to every a**hole with a two-bit opinion about what you SHOULD or SHOULDN’T be doing, you are simply NOT going to make it.

“It’s your life and you need to defend your right to exist, to shine, to grow, fiercely. And no one is going to step in and do that for you, but you.”

The post soon attracted thousands of likes, comments and shares, with many Facebook users praising Mrs Parry for fighting back against trolls.

Mrs Parry posted her October sales figures on the Facebook group Like Minded B**ches Drinking Wine. Picture: Facebook

Mrs Parry posted her October sales figures on the Facebook group Like Minded B**ches Drinking Wine. Picture: FacebookSource:Facebook

“The story about haters trying to hurt my business resonated with people,” she said, noting the post had led to a big spike in sales.

“The haters f***ed up — it ended up turning things from lemons to lemonade because I spun it around and sold so many (bracelets) just by telling my authentic story.

“Being authentic about who you are really resonates, rather than just saying ‘buy my sh*t’ — that doesn’t work.”


In conversation with jewellery designer, Archana Behede

by Radhika Sathe Patwardhan | November 30, 2018, 12:00 AM IST

Archana Behede

Getting the most exclusive jewellery for D-Day is every bride’s dream and brand Gautam Banerjee does just that. We have a tête-à-tête with designer Archana Behede where she talks about her journey, the design process and the brand’s collections.

“I did not know much about jewellery,” says Behede, “I was only a buyer.” But it was when she started learning jewellery design that she had found her calling. “I never knew my potential till then. I used to design for a few jewellery houses and seeing the good response my designs got, I decided to start this brand. I trained under designer Gautam Banerjee – whose name is given to the brand. I learnt everything (about jewellery design) from him.”

Archana Behede

Designer jewellery is considered very expensive by most, and it is something that one gets only for occasions – how much ever one may like it. “We wanted to clear this myth when we started this brand. We wanted every woman to wear a nice (jewellery) piece. When one spends one’s hard-earned money, they have the right to get one of the best pieces. As a designer, I always make something which fits the pocket of everyone. I want every woman to relish the jewellery she buys from us. We give good designs at good rates also. We don’t target to make only expensive jewellery; we are very flexible. We make jewellery so that a woman can keep it lifelong.”

Archana Behede

The brand has all the types of jewellery – cocktail jewellery, wedding jewellery or simple daily wear jewellery but “while designing we make sure that every design is really unique. We have simple designs because few people want really simple thing and therefore we have something for them too. But despite being simple, it is also unique in its own way,” Behede elaborates, “When it comes to the techniques we use in manufacturing, the quality of polish and the setting of the diamond, we always take lots of care and pain to see that there is no fault in them when they come to the store as well. After a jewellery piece is made – be it earrings, neckpiece or rings, I personally check it if it is done right, and there isn’t any problem with it like if it is uncomfortable to wear, any joints are stiff, etc. We have a very strict quality check.”

Archana Behede

The inspiration for design, Behede claims, comes from anything and everything. “Sometimes, even an ensemble or a motif on the dress inspires me to a particular jewellery piece. The inspiration can sometimes be something vague; sometimes it is just whatever catches my attention or my eye. For example, once I was travelling to Mumbai and was looking outside the window, and I saw multi-storeyed buildings. So I thought I should do something in multi-layered jewellery. So I designed a bangle which was multi-layered which had three layers. Anything can inspire me when it comes to work.


The Australian Jewellery Brand You Should Have On Your Radar This Summer

Classic and yet of-the-moment, The Silver Collective is the Australian jewellery brand you should get to know, stat. Lending summer wardrobes a hit of shine, the brand’s collection of super-cool—and surprisingly affordable—minimalist pieces will elevate both your off-duty looks (think denim cut-offs and linen button-up blouses) and after-hours style.

Headed by mother-and-daughter duo Maria and Anastasia Papazoglou, the brand specialises in versatile Sterling Silver jewellery that transcends seasons. A mix of classic elegance and contemporary flourishes, the designs balance timeless style with modern detailing—think of them as heirlooms you’ll want to wear now.

Launching from home under the brand name ICONIC-STYLE in 2015, the label has since been rebranded as The Silver Collective. After two years of online business, the start-up now operates both online and from their year-old Sydney boutique.

The Silver Collective’s wide-ranging jewellery collection includes ultra-fine necklaces and chokers (perfect for layering under beach coverups or metallic party dresses), sculptural earrings and stackable rings. Despite the brand’s love of clean lines and a pared-back aesthetic, each season is crafted with unique personality. One of the brand’s best-sellers—and one of our top picks—the Pella necklace is made from an ancient gold-plated coin. Distinct in shape, it’ll add an insouciant edge to any summer look.


Spike in diamond jewellery demand on Diwali

Aditya Pethe, director, WHP Jewellers said that they were expecting a 10% to 20% growth in footfall and since the day had started and it seems like we have met our expectations.
DiamondNSE 0.00 % jewellery is witnessing good demand in the Dhanteras-Diwali season, according to jewellers and trade officials. Lightweight gold jewellery too has emerged as the preferred choice for the consumers this festive season.

Atul Sinha, SVP – Marketing, CaratLane said “We are witnessing a shift in trend among jewellery buyers. The impact of higher gold prices is not so much on jewellery that can be worn on a daily basis. There is a double-digit growth in demand for jewellery that women can actually wear every day rather than heavy jewellery or gold coins which typically end up in the locker. We are expecting an increase in footfalls and a further surge in online purchases in the next two days.”

Added Vijay Jain CEO, ORRA “Both the run up to Dhanteras and Dhanteras has been positive. While gold has seen a positive trend over last year platinum and diamond jewellery growth rates have been in excess of 30 percent.”

Aditya Pethe, director, WHP Jewellers said that they were expecting a 10% to 20% growth in footfall and since the day had started and it seems like we have met our expectations.

“People are opting for light weight jewellery in gold and diamond. Traditional Maharashtrian designs like Naths, Mohan Maal etc are preferred by traditional customers. We have also seen younger generation visiting the store. One more thing we noticed this year is that customers are not restricting themselves to dhanteras for gold shopping. When we look at the year on year sales, we are meeting the expected sales targets.” he said.

Pankaj Khanna, MD, Khanna Gems said “We are expecting a considerable growth of 15-20% in the diamond jewellery consumption this year, as an impact of the extensive marketing campaigns of diamond jewellery by the brands. On the other hand, the demand for gemstones & gemstone Jewellery will increase by 10-15% this year due to the increasing disposable income of Indians during festivals like Diwali & Dhanteras.


How To Become A Jewellery Designer

Gemstones, diamonds and precious metals: jewellery is born of nature’s finest handiwork. It’s unsurprising, then, that it carries an intrinsic emotional value too. It’s not only the act of buying, receiving or wearing jewellery that invests a particular piece with meaning – jewels are charged with their designers’ experiences and values, too. “It’s important to have a personal relationship with the people or stores that are buying my jewellery,” muses Danish designer Sophie Bille Brahe. “If I made it, I want to make sure it has a good life when it leaves my office.” Thus, jewellery is where personal stories, luxury and traditional craftsmanship intertwine, and any aspiring designer needs to have a handle on a broad mix of artistic, technical and commercial skills. Want to know what it takes? Vogue speaks to six industry leaders for a step-by-step guide to becoming a jewellery designer.

What does a jewellery designer do?

The breadth of a jewellery designer’s job depends on whether you work in-house for a brand or set up on your own. Either way, the most important part of your role is to provide a strong artistic vision. At Bulgari, creative director Lucia Silvestri lays out coloured gems, picks combinations and fixes them in putty to model her preferred constellation. The process involves creating a technical sketch, modelling it with computer-aided design (CAD) software and selecting the stones. Production then follows, starting with a 3D-printed prototype and ending with the work of the goldsmith, which includes metal-casting and stone-setting as well as engraving and enamelling. Unless they are going it alone, most designers won’t be physically involved in this part of the process – but they’ll still need to understand the mechanics of how jewellery is made if they want their designs to be wearable.

Lucia Silvestri.


Guidance from industry leaders and famous jewellery designers

Whether you want to design in-house or run your own brand, the first step is to get educated. And while you can expect to be in school for up to six years, the good news is there’s a lot of flexibility to jewellery design courses. London’s British Academy of Jewellery (BAJ), for example, offers programmes that last from six months to three years, including paid apprenticeships. Depending on the level students apply for, the interview process can include a bench test – in which you’ll show off your measuring, cutting, forming and soldering skills – and a portfolio review. So how do you get that portfolio to the top of the pile? “I would certainly want to see what’s behind a finished piece,” says Sofie Boons, BAJ’s head of academy. Students should always include moodboards and prototypes in their presentations – “so that I can see their thinking, their problem solving, [and] how they have come to a certain solution,” adds Boons.

Alternatively, you could hone in on your preferred craft. Bille Brahe trained as a goldsmith for almost five years at the Copenhagen Technical School of Design & Technology before enrolling on an MA course at London’s Royal College of Art. “Without having the craft, [the design process] becomes quite hollow,” she explains. Or how about gemology? Among Silvestri’s team at Bulgari are graduates of the European Institute of Design (IED), the Academy of Costume and Fashion in Rome, and the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Other designers place less emphasis on technical expertise. “I don’t think it’s useful to go deeper if you [want to] create your own brand,” says French designer Anissa Kermiche, who advocates a short technical course to provide the necessary introduction to 3D printing, sketching and stone-setting. It suited her perfectly, combining two technical courses at the BAJ – CAD for jewellery production and Level 2 jewellery manufacturing – with a creative BA in jewellery design at Central Saint Martins.

Lucia Silvestri’s Rome studio.


How do you go from a student to a working jewellery designer?

Silvestri’s advice on getting that first break? “Shadow expert leaders, maybe abroad, even as an office assistant,” she says. And once you’ve got your foot in the door for an interview, you’ll need a strong portfolio of existing work showing competency at technical sketching and CAD. The BAJ advertises jobs through its social channels, but Boons advises students to keep an eye on trade publications and websites such as Benchpeg, Retail Jeweller, The Artists Information Company and The National Association of Jewellers. In some cases, it’s worth reaching out to companies directly, and important to bear in mind that the jewellery trade still relies on word of mouth. Applying for competitions such as HRD Antwerp or Talente in Munich – which in turn can lead to exhibitions – is essential to let yourself be known to as many industry professionals as possible.

The job interview process varies widely. Small businesses might require only one stage, but established companies can involve up to five, including bench tests, interview panels and, in some cases, a written exam. “Research is key,” says Boons. “Students should look into why their skills can contribute to the company, read their strategic plan and see how they could complement it. [Ask yourself] what job could get me the experience that they are looking for? It’s about planning and being resilient.”

Practice makes perfect

If you’ve been hired by a big brand, expect to keep training for the first two years of your career. “School is good, but practice is essential,” sums up Silvestri. “Even if our new recruits have commendable degrees, they always start by copying jewellery sketches from the Bulgari archives.” It’s the same at the Japanese heritage jeweller Mikimoto, where trainees spend 18 months learning Japanese traditional ink and fine-point brush techniques while sketching the entire Mikimoto design archive. The goal is to better understand how to manage your artistic goals with the mechanics of making jewellery. “Pearls are spherical and it’s quite difficult to incorporate round objects into jewellery,” explains Akira Haga, Mikimoto’s general manager of merchandise development. “It’s not something that you can learn in a day or two; you need a lot of experience.”

Akira Haga.

Learn how to communicate

At Mikimoto, designers compete to have their sketches chosen among dozens of other drafts, so it’s important to learn how to sell your design internally. “We line up all the rough designs on a table, followed by each designer’s presentation,” explains Haga, adding that communication skills are also essential between designer and craftsman. It’s this latter relationship that’s essential for a designer to master, as it’s the artisans who will interpret your design. This is easier in smaller houses; Bille Brahe, for example, manages a team of seven in her Copenhagen workshop. For bigger houses, it can be more complicated: at Cartier, the designers and craftsmen work under the same roof to ensure smooth communication, with Pierre Rainero, the brand’s director of image, style and heritage, describing “an endless discussion between the designers and the jewellers.”

When launching your own business, start small

When launching her brand, Kermiche transformed her house into a jewellery lab, crafting her first prototypes with small, relatively inexpensive stones. “I managed to save money because I spent [the previous] years learning how to make my own prototypes, so I didn’t have to spend on manufacturing,” explains the designer. “I don’t recommend mass producing right away,” adds American designer Jennifer Fisher, who was a wardrobe stylist before launching her own label. “You have to start small, grow from there and see what is successful.” Fisher made personalised dog tag charms for clients on set before setting up a customer-facing website, while Bille Brahe began making bespoke pieces while sourcing the financing for her brand. For the investments you do make, be strategic. “[It was important] getting a team that had the experience I didn’t have,” says Bille Brahe, while Fisher adds the simple but all-important advice to “make sure that the infrastructure of the business is sound.”

Jennifer Fisher.

Learn to tell stories

“Journalists love telling a story,” says Kermiche. Designing personalised pieces with a narrative can help you create an identity for your work in the international marketplace. Fisher, for example, created her dog tag design to celebrate the birth of her first son, while Bille Brahe started incorporating pearls in her jewels after her mother gave her a pearl necklace to celebrate her pregnancy. “You cannot offer anything as amazing as some of the big jewellery houses do,” she explains. “The only thing you can do is offer something that is very different and personal.”

Social media vs traditional PR

If you’re launching your own brand, social media can be your friend in getting the word out. Kermiche used her Instagram account as a lookbook, creating a fully-fledged visual identity for her new-born brand at a minimal cost. She then used the app to find journalists. “It won’t be long before they notice if your product is right,” explains the designer. Hiring a PR agency is another option, but for Kermiche the decision boils down to the designer’s personality. “If your friends are influencers, just do it yourself,” she explains. “But if you’re more of a creative mind, then of course a PR is vital.” However, thinking carefully about commercial partnerships you make and being aware of legal implications, including avoiding long contracts, is paramount. “I would have loved to have had a background in law,” she adds. “It would have saved my life on a daily basis.”

Sophie Bille Brahe.

Value your relationships with retailers

“I think it’s very important to respect relationships in this business, stay true to your word and respect the people who have respected you,” says Fisher. Barneys was the first US brick-and-mortar department store to approach her and she has maintained that relationship exclusively ever since. Similarly, Kermiche manages up to 20 face-to-face monthly meetings with retailers and mines these relationships for consumer insights she can feed back into her design work. “I ask them what sells in [their] shop, what’s the price point they like the most, what’s the colour of gold [they prefer],” she says. “It really helps me target my designs in a way that will sell.”

A step-by-step guide to becoming a jewellery designer

If you want to work for an established company:

  1. Choose a degree in fields like Design, Gemology or Fine Arts.
  2. Scan trade publications for job offers. Applying for competitions, exhibiting your work and networking are the easiest ways to get noticed by future employers.
  3. Get in touch with established brands, even if they are not publicly advertising for a role.
  4. When applying for a job, your portfolio should showcase your technical, manual and creative skills as well as your thought process. Include sketches, prototypes and moodboards.
  5. Do your research and keep up-to-date with industry news. Showing a good knowledge of a company’s history and commercial strategy can give you the upper hand over other candidates.
  6. Communication is key: as a designer you will be required to work with artisans, so practise explaining your thought process and concepts in a clear and concise manner.

Sketches at Akira Haga’s studio.

If your goal is to launch your own business:

  1. Combine a short technical course with a creative degree.
  2. Be financially aware: start with a small production, support yourself with bespoke orders, make your own prototypes and find people with the experience you don’t have.
  3. Self-promotion is essential: learn how to use social media to your advantage by creating a strong visual identity and connect with journalists, clients and retailers. Be mindful of your relationship with retailers: nurture them with personal meetings and use them to better target your designs.


OPINION: Seven habits of a successful online jewellery retailer

Guest column by The Diamond Store chief executive officer, Gary Ingram

The job of online jewellery retailers has never been so tough. The cost of acquiring customers and in particular Google clicks have soared. Brexit looms. Modern customer expectations and the social media landscape are forcing us to do more with less.

To combat the pressure, here are seven critical habits that I feel will help British jewellery e-tailers build stronger brands and bottom lines heading towards 2019, which we apply to

  1. Be adaptable

Digital trends, Google algorithms, smartphone touch payment technology; the tools that drive online sales are in a constant state of flux. As frustrating as it is sometimes, we must constantly be prepared to trash yesterday’s plans and start again. Embracing change is the only way forward in the fast-moving world of ecommerce.

  1. React to trends as they happen

Celebrities dictate trends – as we’ve seen with Meghan Markle. But if we want to sell products off the back of trends, we need to react to them in real time. Tomorrow is too late. During the week of the Royal wedding, traffic to our online magazine’s Royal Family articles spiked from 12,000 weekly organic visits to 35,000. This provided an incredible vehicle for sales, but we were only able to benefit from it because we had exciting, interactive web and social content poised to go live as the event unfolded.

  1. Get granular

Granular… this marketing buzzword has been thrown around so much, some have come to loathe it. Yet it is exactly what brings an online environment closer to a “real store experience”. Granularity refers to crunching marketing data down to the finest level of detail. For instance, we know that our biggest social media sales converters are females, 25-35 of age. We also know fairly accurately who, and for what occasions, they buy jewellery gifts for. This amount of detail allows us to create targeted campaigns that offer genuine value to our customer niches.

  1. Overlap customer services and social media

Today’s online shoppers expect to communicate with retailers instantly, via multiple channels. We offer Live Chat, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, social media feeds, and of course, email and telephone. This means our Customer Service and Social Media teams need to work closely together to catch every customer comment and question. The focus is on gaining trust; when our teams align their efforts it makes our customers feel reassured.

  1. Find practical ways to refresh product lines

Baby boomers and generation X are still shopping for classic heirloom jewellery, while millennials look for pieces with a shorter trend-based lifespan. This makes curation of product lines incredibly tricky. But often simply updating best-performing collections by introducing variations in precious metal type, gems or design details, keeps things exciting for loyal customers, while attracting potential new shoppers.

  1. Expose your brand to unbiased feedback

The Competition and Market Authority (CAM) estimates that around £23 billion per year spent by UK consumers is potentially influenced by online reviews. We have been subscribing to the independent review platform since 2011 because it not only allows us to get honest feedback, but also respond to it. Again, in an online environment where we don’t meet our customers face to face, this is another route to personal interaction and trust building (as well as overall improvement).

  1. Provide value

Sales are what keep businesses going. But modern consumers don’t like to feel that they’re being sold to. Tweaking your message from “selling” to “being of service” adds value and creates a shopping experience so good your customer want to repeat it. To add value, do your research and give customers what they want; speak their language, provide attractive packaging, offer trustworthy advice, useful content and fast free shipping. Arguably, the overall message of value that brands provide can sometimes be even more important that the products they sell.


Is India’s Online Jewellery Market Mature Enough to Support Niche Players?

Is India’s Online Jewellery Market Mature Enough to Support Niche Players?

Online jewellery shopping has been slowly growing in India over the last few years. Companies like BlueStone are becoming more recognisable names, while Caratlane, another early pioneer, was acquired last year by Titan’s jewellery arm Tanishq. And while these specialist companies have been growing, Amazon and Flipkart, the bigwigs of the Indian e-commerce space, both have jewellery sections as well.

But is the market now developed enough to support specialist plays such as CharmsDay, a company that specialises in making silver charm bracelets? Started about a year ago by Parul Nagpal, who used to be the VP-Marketing at BlueStone, CharmsDay is focussing on a small niche within the larger jewellery space, and it’s been operational actively for just a little over a month now.

Gadgets 360 chatted with Nagpal to understand more about the state of online jewellery in India, why smaller cities represent a better opportunity than the big metros, and what new technologies are coming up in the jewellery industry.

“We got started around this time last year, but we launched the website about a month ago,” says Nagpal. “It’s backed by Liali, a Dubai-based jewellery company. They wanted to enter the Indian market and we were doing ideation on what product to come out with, and we traveled around the world to figure out what India is missing.”