" Lai: the beloved one (Sanskrit)
Lai: a lyrical, narrative poem written in octosyllabic couplets that often deals with tales of adventure and romance...''
Hello dear friends,
Introducing a fabulous accessory designer in my blog, for the first time--- Puja Bhargava Kamath, a graduate from the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Delhi and a gemologist. She has won many design awards including those from DeBeers, World Gold Council & Perles de Tahiti.
In her own words,''We like to think of our designs as having a strong personality, an Indian soul and a global spirit. Lai is contemporary, classic, chic, unique ...with a touch of fun !''
A love talk with her...........
How would you describe yourself ?
Fun, free spirited, travel obsessed and a sucker for trivia and knowledge!
How do you like to spend your free time ?
I love to travel (a lot !), to read, to cook and have a keen interest in textiles, architecture, mid-century modern designs and all things vintage and pretty....so if I'm not doing first 3 then I'm definitely surfing the net or visiting exhibitions for any of these!
Describe your work and the thought process behind your creations ?
I look for stories that inspire me and usually find inspiration in the more visual themes (such a vintage coins, calligraphy, mehndi patterns, haveli details etc.) rather than abstract ones. Once I decide on a theme to work on, I do a lot of research and from that material find the bits that I want to work with/incorporate/interpret in our jewelry collection.
All the pieces are essentially hand-crafted using the traditional jewellery making techniques [like rava (granulation), jali (fret work), meenakari (enameling) etc.]- ensuring the continuity of the old skills.
My main medium is silver but I love incorporating other elements in our designs too like vintage coin, glass, wood etc.
What's your favorite color ?
All....though I never wear green for some reason!
Tell us something about your first project.
My first project was many years back and I remember combining uncut semi-precious stones with dull gold for a Jeweller client of mine.
After many years of providing design services to a number of leading national & international jewellery houses and working with craft clusters across India, I decided to venture into producing my own designs. Lai, as a brand for my work in silver, though, was launched in 2011....I guess you can call that my favourite project so far!
When did you get the idea that ' jewelry designing' was the thing you love ?
To be honest, I don't think of myself as a "jewellery designer". When I studied at Nift, New Delhi (I graduated in Accessory Designing) we worked with a lot of materials, techniques and moved from designing leather bags to watches to jewelry to shoes. I loved the fact that as a designer I could work with a number of materials, across a number of products and use any technique I choose to. Over the past years (before Lai) I worked across a number of sectors and had a great time....I worked exhaustively in the craft sector for 4-5 years and still sometimes yearn for those days! With Lai, I guess you can say, I have thrown down my anchor.....though its really not in me to make a 5 year/ 10 year business plan!
Anything you want to share to your readers about setting up his/her own business ?
Love what you do and what you make....its the only way you will find the passion, convection & guts that you will so need in your journey as an entrepreneur! Oh, yes... and be prepared to work really hard!
Who is your dream client ?
None really! In fact a varied clientele means that I'm are able to cut across different tastes, age groups and personality types with my jewelry and there really can't be anything more satisfying than that!
Tell us a bit about your biggest challenge in your career, and the way you handled it ?
I think my move to the US a few months back....I'm currently in India trying to streamline my work process so that we can smoothly bridge the continental and time gap, and carry on work as efficiently as before. Its proving to be a bit harder than what I anticipated!
Your greatest inspiration is ?
Life itself, my loved ones and travel!
How would you describe your work place ..?
Currently in a big mess...divided, as life is, between India and the US !
Where can people contact you ?
Lai designs can be bought on-line from our Facebook page.....we help you make your selection on-line and courier the jewellery at your door step.
Our Facebook page is: www.facebook.com/laionline
My mail id: firstname.lastname@example.org