She is young, chirpy and confident, like any girl her age. What differentiates her from the rest of the clan is her choice of career – she is a jewellery manufacturer.
Meet Suhali Jain, owner of ‘Creador by Suhali Jain’. A Delhi-based jewellery designer and manufacturer, she already has a feather in her cap – she is India’s youngest jewellery manufacturer under World Skill India and had the distinction of being the only woman manufacturer in India under the age of 21, two years ago. She turned entrepreneur with her label Creador in 2013.
Suhali’s journey into jewellery making started in 2012, when she was in college. The World Skill India engages people in a competition every two years and Suhali participated in it that year. There were a whopping 30,000 applications and the participants were given 13 hours spread over three days to manufacture the design given to them. It was on the third day that they needed to assemble pieces to arrive at the final product. The competition was held in Mumbai.
Needless to say, Suhali and one more participant were declared joint winners at the national level, after they managed to impress all with their creativity. There was no looking back at a flourishing career thereafter. A rigorous six months training under expert Parag Vyas in Indore followed where she and the co-winner were striving towards excellence and aiming at the international title.
“I stopped shy of the final mark and lost out on the title by a fraction of a mark,” says 23-year-old Suhali, calling the entire experience nothing short of an extraordinary learning stint. Those six months of training earned her the distinction of a master jewellery manufacturer.
“We slogged a lot during that time. We would be on things till late in the night and then again be up on our feet by 9 am, it was a strenuous learning experience in the real sense of the term,” says Suhali adding that it went on to yield fruitful results.
Visiting the ancestral home in Marwar
Though born and brought up in Delhi, Suhali has her roots at Marwar in Rajasthan. Home to some of the most beautiful heritage buildings including palaces and kothis, Suhali always was fascinated by their intricate design carvings.
“I used to spend hours looking at them and soaking in their beauty. I also visited temples regularly to look closely at their designs. In short, those structures inspired me a lot,” says Suhali. Truly, the inspiration shows in her designs, which are a replica of what the monuments are like. Her creations reflect the grandeur of the heritage buildings and are a real marvel for the eyes.
Annual visits to her ancestral place were good enough for her to soak in the culture and then to blend that with the contemporary designs to give her pieces that chic look.
A jeweller by academics
“I always knew I didn’t want to do one of the usual degrees for my higher studies. So it would be something in the fashion industry, I had thought. Therefore, did not think twice before taking on this offbeat career path,” says Suhali. She pursued a bachelor’s degree in jewellery designing and manufacturing from the Indian Institute of Gems and Jewellery in Mumbai and took the plunge into entrepreneurship two years ago.
Given that there are not many women jewellery manufacturers, Suhali was rather curious to explore this offbeat career path.
“I really don’t know why women choose to restrict themselves to jewellery designing, manufacturing is such an interesting field. Although the perception is that of labour work, jewellery manufacturing is so much more than that. And somehow I feel women have an eye for the finer detail and manufacturing is essentially that, so they are best suited for such roles,” says Suhali, on a rather inspiring note.
So Suhali has taken the cudgels on herself to reach out to all women with a potential to become jewellery manufacturers. She trains a few women once every week in the intricacies of jewellery-making free of cost and derives a lot of satisfaction from the same.
Her age is the biggest deterrent
Suhali has to contend with a ‘problem’ in life – her young age and her youthful demeanour.
“People have a tendency to associate knowledge with age. The moment I tell them my age, they dismiss me as a novice. Very few people tend to first look at my work, speak with me and then take an informed decision,” she says. In fact, she has adopted a strategy to look older than her age – she has started flaunting salwar kameez more to get that professional look, shares Suhali.
Suhali has a burning desire – she wants to replicate the geometric shapes of furniture in her creations soon. “They simply fascinate me. Although I am more into designing now, I wish to return to manufacturing soon and it would surely be with a vengeance,” signs off the young entrepreneur.