Pearls, because pearls are timeless, versatile and have the most dreamy quality about them. My childhood memories of my granny and mum have included them always-wearing pearls. In fact my mum to date is never seen sans her pearls even when she does her groceries,
So it was not surprising that when she turned to entrepreneurship from a career in law, pearls were foremost in her mind. “The idea was to create something simple and classy – in a league between precious jewellery and costume jewellery, and revere was born,” says Pia.
Pia’s passion lies in design and product development, and so to her the karkhana is a “magical haven” where her sketches take shape. Simple, classic and edgy pieces are her style. “It has taken a long time for me to impart the sensibilities of minimalism, high quality and consistency to our team of karigars,” she says.
Born in Delhi, she has spent her childhood across different cities such as Hyderabad, Chennai, Bengaluru, Goa and Delhi and even at a boarding school near Kasuali. Pia’s childhood has been a rich one due to the summers spent in London and travelling around Europe during holidays. While living in different parts of the country, especially in South India, she has learnt Tanjore painting and Bharatnatyam too.
She went on to complete her schooling in London and college at the University College London (UCL). “I then moved to New Delhi to start life as a corporate lawyer and worked with Tier I law firms such as Trilegal and JSA. I credit the corporate law life for helping me develop my sense of drive and purpose.” However, after eight years in this profession, she decided to make it on her own and started revere in 2014.
Pia sources the pearls directly from pearl farms, which specialize in freshwater pearls and are spread across South East Asia. She is a GIA (considered the world’s foremost authority in gemology) certified pearl grader and she personally selects all the pearls, which become revere jewellery. “Our sourcing directly from the pearl farms enables us to get good pricing, the benefit of which is passed on to our customers.”
To ensure that customers concern about purity and authenticity is tackled, the company provides certificates and a 30-day refund. Though at present they are limited to an online presence, for customers in Delhi and NCR they offer ‘try before you buy/ home service too.
Based in New Delhi, Pia tries to stay involved in the day-to-day business operations without micromanaging. Initially she was heavily involved with hiring and training too. She has a team of 10 plus craftsmen working full time on production and there are others who take care of the rest. The investment in a business such as this is heavy, shares Pia and her business currently is self-owned and self-funded.
Talking about challenges she says that,
Every business has its own set of teething troubles. Traditionally in India, the jewellery business has been predominantly male dominated and initially, as a woman I did face the problem of not being taken seriously. But I got good training in my prior life as a lawyer – to stay focused on the task at hand, dismiss the initial awkwardness and get down to business. It doesn’t take long for people to realise you know what you are talking about and then they afford you complete attention.
“These days, I think women entrepreneurs have an edge when it comes to jewellery, whether it is in design, touch and feel or even styling. Or even because you get to sample the final design and improvise
practically before getting a piece out to a customer.”Her biggest challenge has been the number game especially because she does not know how to count well in Hindi. Often she would be baffled when the karigars and local suppliers would rattle numbers and measurements, but she managed to work around it by politely asking for a translation!
She has found great support in her family and friends. “My mom is my voice of caution and reason and my dad always told me to follow my heart. And, I have some very real but crazy friends – so everything balances out in the end. With much love and encouragement by family and friends, I never felt any pressure to fit my unique perspective into a certain paradigm.”
Her love for pearls and the sheer celebration of it through design, keeps her motivated to go on. Pia is excited about the future as she plans to increase her reach of clients, expand in terms of design and is excited about the interest two venture capitalists have shown in revere. So she is keeping her fingers crossed!
While Pia creates pieces that can be used as heirloom jewellery for sentimental value, we ask her for pearls of wisdom on how to recognize pearls?
Pat comes the reply –
The easiest way to differentiate real pearls from faux ones is to gently rub one pearl against another. If it’s a real pearl, there will be some pearl dust due to the friction and no damage to the surface. If it’s a faux pearl, some part of the surface will peel off.