Designed to perfection

Handmade jewellery
Last Updated 23 August 2015, 18:33 IST

Whenever she is out, she loves to shop and look out for different and quirky fashion accessories across cities. On one such hunt during her trip to London, Suguna Srinivas came across jewellery made from polymer clay, which she had never seen in India. “It looked different. So, I picked up a few playdough-like clay bars for myself and watched some videos and slowly started making jewellery for myself. My friends complimented my work, so I made some for them as well,” says Suguna.

   Soon she realised that it is a versatile and durable material to craft and no other locally available material is this sturdy. This is when she launched ‘Koral Tree’ in the beginning of 2015.

She adds, “‘Koral Tree’ provides soulfully-crafted jewellery unique to each woman’s need. Our jewellery includes necklaces, themed ‘jhumkas’ and earrings. We have been expanding by starting boutiques in many cities and also outside India and online.”

Its versatility and durability with a fashion need that suits any occasion and outfit, be it ethnic, western or party-wear, brings it to a new level in handmade fashion jewellery.
 “Unique and handmade jewellery is our core value proposition. We make sure that the out packing boxes are also handmade,” she says.

 She adds, “I have a team of five artisans who are involved in jewellery  making and finishing. We provide our customers with a wide range of colourful jewellery that would match any outfit. Some of our fast-moving  products are floral ‘jhumkas’ and Millefiori necklaces that use intricately crafted beads.”

Suguna uses polymer clay as the base to make the jewellery, “We import this clay from the US. It is of very high quality and versatile in nature, and comes in different colours. We blend them using an ancient Italian technique known as Millefiori. For premium jewellery ranges, we combine these materials with fresh water pearls or semi-precious stones from Jaipur.”

Commenting on the feedback ‘Koral Tree’ has received, she says, “Many of our customers are impressed with the colourful and lightweight range of jewellery. Surprisingly, we have an equal number of men shopping for our jewellery as they find our make and story strikingly different and consider these as something unique for a gift or surprise.”

However, according to Suguna, these accomplishments were not a cakewalk; with every new step, came a new challenge.     “Finding semi-skilled artisans and training them to make consistent quality handmade jewellery is difficult. Polymer clay is fairly new to India, so we had to train the workers from scratch. We are trying to bring more structure into the making process without compromising on design innovation.” 

She adds, “Facing challenges is the first step to learning and building new experiences. I always wanted to start something of my own where there is everyday innovation, and finally I found my niche. Not being from a fashion background helped me approach challenges in a different way and solve them using a different perspective. My determination helped me give wings to my newfound passion.”

(Published 23 August 2015, 14:38 IST)

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