Romancing the stone

Romancing the stone

Gem work

Jyothi Radhakrishnan has an affinity for all kinds of semi-precious stones — be it the quartz cousins like agate, amethyst and onyx or garnets like melanite and cassiterite; she even loves her rubies, turquoises and corals. This is why she started ‘Mayuri Jewels’, a start-up that works with semi-precious stones and silver. She hand crafts beautiful necklaces, earrings, bracelets and nose rings and moulds these gems into one-of-a-kind statement pieces.

Her love for beads and jewels began at an early age. “When I was in school, my parents would get me beaded necklaces and I’d make different patterns using them. But it was only around 2002 that I started taking it more seriously,” she says. That was when she began reading up about the different kinds of stones. After thorough research, which lasted three to four months, she decided that these semi-precious stones are what she’s interested in. “I wanted to work with natural materials and not plastics or harmful metals like lead, cadmium or nickel. A lot of people are allergic to these matels and I don’t want my pieces to create a problem.” Her work with jade, tiger eye and even wood began here.

This switch from plastics to earthy materials has made her popular with her clients. “Most of them come back to me for more. They also tell me that they never have any allergic reactions to my products, which makes me very happy.”

Not only does she hand crafts these items, but she also doesn’t manufacture in bulk. So it’s a guarantee that your piece will be the only one and no duplicates can be found. “I make 12 to 13 pieces every two weeks and they are sold out by the end of it! I want to keep my designs exclusive.” Jyothi takes the time to even name her collections. “I have a collection on the ‘Wonders of the World’ and a more traditional set for the festive season. The past year and a half, I’ve been working with silver as well as it’s a trend. I’ve made two sets of nose pins — one for musicians, in the shape of a music note, and another for dancers, in the shape of Nataraja.” The Swastik and Om symbol are her favourite designs. “Not because of what they mean but how they are written,” she clarifies. She also stays away from precious stones because, “I want my products to be affordable and working with precious stones is expensive.”

Why did she call the brand ‘Mayuri’? “‘Mayuri’ translates to peahen. While the peacock is admired for its beauty, even though it does nothing, the peahen is ignored. The same applies for women who do so much work but get no appreciation for it and don’t even have the time to groom themselves. ‘Mayuri’ is for the strengthening of womanhood!” she says, passionately.

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