How this handmade jewellery brand became the choice of celebrities and A-listers during the pandemic
Nikita Gupta grew up watching her elegant grandmother, whom she fondly called Amma, adorn silver jewellery that she had painstakingly collected over years. Her grandmother’s personal style statement, quite distinct from other women of her generation, inspired Nikita to follow in her footsteps and express her creativity through unique creations of her own.
She launched Delhi-based jewellery brand Amama in 2017, which witnessed phenomenal growth during the pandemic, becoming a celebrity and influencer favourite almost overnight. The likes of Yami Gautam, Masaba Gupta, Rhea Kapoor, Neena Gupta, Nora Fatehi, and Kangana Ranaut, as well as popular influencers That Boho Girl, Komal Pandey, Masoom Minawala, and Kusha Kapila, among others, have been spotted wearing Amama’s designs over the last year.
Jewellery is an aspirational yet necessary component of any wardrobe, and every piece has a story to tell. Playing off this philosophy, Amama frequently updates its jewellery collection and prices it affordably. Most of its jewellery is designed by Nikita herself, with about 30 percent of the collection curated from exclusive selections and indie brands around the world.
How it all began
It was quite a struggle for Nikita to set up her brand. Equipped with oodles of passion, Rs 50,000 of her own hard-earned money, and a will to succeed, she embarked on a venture for which she had no traditional training.
“I belong to a family of businessmen, who have sold home appliances for years, and I’m married into a family of biochemists and pharmaceutical manufacturers – both safe and age-old enterprises. This made it very challenging for me to explain the idea and the need for a jewellery brand to them. They were mostly worried about the longevity of the business and whether it was a mere time-consuming hobby or something that could be taken seriously,” Nikita tells YSWeekender with candour.
However, with her grandmother’s encouragement, she overcame the disparagement of her family members and threw herself into researching the intricacies of an online jewellery retail business. Before long, she set up a small website herself, which displayed pictures of 10 products clicked on her smartphone, artistically arranged in her own drawing-room.
She says that the first couple of years were difficult due to a lack of funds, yet she kept doggedly pursuing her goal. However, there was light at the end of the tunnel as after the pandemic, popular social media platform Instagram launched its short-video medium called Reels. Nikita took the opportunity to create quick and engaging content styling her brand’s jewellery, which began going viral.
The pandemic’s role
“As they say, hard work pays off in the end, and Amama effectively picked up last year in lockdown,” Nikita says with a smile. When the lockdown was first imposed in March 2020, Amama had 20,000 followers on their Instagram page @amama_loves. A year on, they are at 111,000 followers, signalling an astounding organic growth. The rise in Instagram followers is but one indication of how their business flourished during the pandemic.
Nikita explains, “Started from billing of Rs 2-3 lakh a month, we now bill around Rs 30 lakh a month. From five to 10 queries, we now get an average of 300 queries every day. Our initial team of three people has now expanded to 35 people and the hits on our website have increased by 459 percent!”
Perhaps the biggest indication of Amama’s popularity is the sheer number of copycat Instagram pages that rip off their designs and even their original photographs. Their Krisha handmade earrings from a collection titled Rangrez, have been copied endlessly after style maven Rhea Kapoor wore them around Diwali last year, and tagged their page. This led to a spike in followers and an increase in social media engagement, yet also led to unwanted replication of their designs. Unfazed by the plagiarism, Amama continues to produce new and fresh pieces.
Nikita Gupta, Founder, Amama
Their success story
Nikita ascribes the reason for Amama’s success to its unique concept.
“Through our website and social media, we have created a jewellery community that caters to varied individual needs and tastes. Everyone can get something of their choice, within their price range and of the best quality in its class. The reason we frequently launch new collections, as often as twice a month, is because we want our regular patrons to have something new to see every time they visit our website, and for newcomers to have loads of options to choose from,” she says.
Frequent and wide-ranging releases certainly have a role to play, but so do their lightweight and striking designs, that elevate the simplest of looks. Stylists and celebrities alike reach out to Amama’s team through Instagram DMs and emails, requesting pieces that can be styled for photoshoots, and intimate as well as lavish events.
The road ahead
Amama has garnered a loyal clientele by sticking to its original business model, and the dramatic aesthetic they have come to be known for. Reaching the 50,000-follower mark on Instagram was a big reward for Nikita, as that was where everything began. This achievement made her believe her brand had “finally arrived!”
As a virtual business, Amama retails through its website, social media handles and has also partnered with multi-brand outlets such as Nykaa, Ogaan, and Pernia’s Pop-Up Shop. However, plans for expansion to a physical chain of jewellery outlets are in the works.
“We hope to become India’s biggest jewellery marketplace where you will find jewellery for every occasion and from various cultural backgrounds. In the process, we would also like to get famous international jewellery brands from around the world to retail from our website for Indian customers. After all, every business takes time to make a name and so did ours, but we believe wholeheartedly in our products and in our concept… and this is just the beginning,” Nikita signs off with pride.