Silk is something I always fancied,” says Ritu Chopra, holding out a silk thread for us to see.
Staying true to her interest, Ritu is now engaged in the fascinating hobby of creating silk thread jewellery. For a person whose free time was spent in her mom’s beauty salon or clicking pictures at her dad’s photo studio, jewellery making was not even an initial option. It surprised both her parents too. “I always thought that she might pick up photography as a hobby,” says her mother Minal Chopra.
Ask her about how she got interested in this field and Ritu explains, “Every time I planned on wearing a dress for a special occasion, I would have to hunt for the right accessories to go along with it. Even though I spent hours in the busy bylanes of Shivajinagar and Chickpet, I would never find the right coloured accessories that matched exactly with my outfit.”
“Even if I did find something, the make of the piece would not be good enough and it would wear out fast. Whatever I saw in the shops looked more like use-and-throw trash than a piece that one could cherish. This is when I thought of handmade jewellery, which I can customise according to my needs,” says Ritu.
During her many sojourns to Avenue Road in search of those elusive trinkets, she found herself more drawn towards black metal and silk thread jewellery.
“I started noticing them and the intricate craftsmanship they entailed. As time passed, I became enthralled by how many things can actually be handcrafted. After a lot of research, I started making small jewellery pieces for myself. When friends and peers started noticing and appreciating my efforts, I started taking it more seriously,” she adds.
Her repertoire is extensive — studs, jhumkas, tassels, bangles, tassels to put on plain kurtas and much more. She now spends most of her weekends engaged in this creatively satisfying but exhausting work.
“Even though this facet of my life is only known to a few people, they have started giving me orders so my hobby has also become an extra source of income for me,” she laughs.
On a more serious note, the pastime is also an effective stress buster for the busy HR specialist. “Everybody should live their lives to the fullest; busy schedules should not be a deterrent. I feel everyone should engage themselves in some sort of a stress-buster activity,” she said.
(Ritu can be contacted on email@example.com)