If I were to pick one woman who has carved a niche for herself.
If I were to talk about a woman who has grown multifold over the years
if I were to share the story of a woman who has been an inspiration,
then it has to be Archana Avinash of Strings & Beads..
Well, to be honest I have known her only for a short while, but have grown close and seen her journey from nobody to what she is today sitting in the passenger seat. Living in Doha, she had a good job [at least that is how many would refer to it], but then one day she calls me to request a small write up for an idea she has. And soon, she is off the job, and launching her range of silver jewellery under the label “Strings & Beads”.
She was clear from Day 1, she worked only with pure silver and semi precious stones.
She also knew she would be creating her own designs and changing the way people looked at silver jewellery.
There were earrings, there were neck pieces and there came the bracelets. She knows Tarot and healing, so her pieces are energised, cleansed and made with oodles of love. She believes that we pass on karma when we give away gifts, and it is very important to have good intentions when we do a deed, and this extends to her pieces as well.
I have asked her numerous times how the entire journey began, if she was always creative or if she always enjoyed jewellery. All she says is “I did love jewellery, my grandmom used to sketch and was also good at embroidery, so is my mom, so maybe that just rubbed off on me”.
There are days when she is filled with worry about a collection, and then there are days when she is floating sky high with the response she received. Love the fact that she is constantly thinking of something new, something different…
She is passionate, she is driven and she loves what she does! Recently, I got the chance to travel with her, and what a ride it was. We explored every nook and corner in Jaipur, sometimes looking for interesting sights, and other times for jewelers. And then we would spend hours in the store, I staring at everything with goo-goo eyes while she rattled names and details, making a bargain and closing a deal. I could see the twinkle in her eye when she spotted a pendant, I could see an idea, a design form in her head and then there were times when I could see her face go cold and we would leave the store empty handed. They become part of a collection for an exhibition or to be custom made into pieces for an occasion or part of a theme!
The transition from Doha to Chennai, the journey from corporate slave to entrepreneur must have been crazy and tough, with its share of struggles, but she seems to be handling it all quite well. She has had people buy and go missing, she has had people who buy and come back for repeat orders, and then there are those who buy from her and think they can start something on their own.