Esther: Once I moved to Trivandrum, I had to give up the Marine Law practice I had in Mumbai. To keep myself occupied I took up a bunch of hobbies like Art, miniatures and sculpture. Eventually I turned to beadwork. Amélie has worked as a cultural manager and director of key institutions in several countries before being the director of Alliance française de Trivandrum for four years. Once Amélie gave up her directorship, she was looking for something to do. We decided to do jewelry together. I’ve been doing jewelry as a hobby for about 11 years so I taught her the basics, and she took it from there and developed her own style. Smitha, who has a head for marketing is a great addition to the team.
How do you cross cultural barriers?
We are all friends first, partners later and yes we each have our unique styles, but that is what sets our line of jewelry apart from the rest. Esther brings in the extravagance through her selection of colors, baroque influences and sensual styling while Amelie brings in elegance and harmony. Oh la la jewelry, is intended to be the perfect foil for the fashion conscious woman with eclectic tastes so it works very well.
Wow, then your design process would be quite interesting I suppose, do tell us a little about your process
We’ve done work using materials like shrink plastic and Washi paper to Swarovski crystals, beads and 14 carat gold fill/sterling silver metals. We like coming up with limited edition pieces as the complexity of our work will not allow mass production.
We really want to ensure that the end buyer gets an heirloom, so we do not compromise quality and hence make the designs completely by ourselves. We will in time outsource to a team we will train to match our exacting standards of quality and who will be able to duplicate our work under our strict supervision. We’ve begun training the process of training few people already and hope to grow our team soon.
All three being moms of little girls, we wanted to create a special line for children as we felt that girls deserve to be introduced to beautiful things at an early age. We have a range of jewelry for little girls and are in the process of launching more unique designs. These new designs will comprise of little plastic paper dolls that are costumed using the finest silks and the thinnest cotton lace and strung on beaded or cotton thread chains.
I loved your initial kid line and am looking forward to the new one. On the business side, how do you deal with the practical issues in running a design business?
Being a relatively new entrant, building the brand is the number one challenge in ourview. Pricing is challenging and we need to wean prospective buyers away from a value-for-money mindset often found in India. Oh la la regularly conducts exhibitions and puts up stalls at various malls and designer boutiques. We also increase the exposure by keeping our creations in trendy boutique stores and use celebrities to promote our brand.
|Amelie, Esther & Smitha|
We are aiming for a large online presence so we can target buyers overseas as well. We also plan to add thematic collections based on seasons or occasion like a wedding collection.
I had a hard time picking out designs to showcase here as I was drooling over all of them. So Please do visit their facebook page and their etsy store to see more of their beautiful creations and pick up some shiny baubles for yourselves.
If you are an Indian/India based jewelry designer with fabulous collections or if you happen to know a designer/brand who does, please write to me to be featured here in this segment.
I hope you it interesting