Archana Parasrampuria: The Accidental Designer
ARCHANA PARASRAMPURIA is well known in the world of jewellery designing as she regularly delights her clients by presenting her classic- meets- modern collections. But the road to her flourishing career wasn’t pre- planned. Caroline Chorattil finds out.
Mumbai-based Archana Parasrampuria had always loved sports since the age of five, and table tennis was her first childhood passion. However, her conventional background did not allow her to pursue it and instead she had to focus on her studies.
When she got married and moved from Bareilly to Mumbai, it was her mother-in-law who discovered Archana’s penchant for design and encouraged her to enrol into a professional design course to further sharpen her skills and embark on this journey of creative fulfilment. Archana says, “I was extremely fortunate to have a woman like her who supported my desire and passion to learn designing.”
Shifting base to Mumbai was also an eye-opener for her. She notes, “It broadened my mindset and inspired me to try my hand at a couple of different things.”
A jewellery design course at St. Xavier’s college encouraged the designer to be more articulate, and put down her ideas on paper in an efficient manner. Soon after, she was repairing and repurposing vintage jewellery for friends and family. All that changed when a friend requested her to design a pair of earrings. Archana adds, “The friend was so impressed with the sketch that she asked me to manufacture them for her.” The encouragement boosted the designer’s morale and encouraged her to take on more orders. “My single-minded focus on providing great design and great quality got me customer after customer. This led to the birth of the label, Archana Parasrampuria.”
A mother of two, Archana found juggling work, home and bringing up her sons a challenging task. She reveals, “I was unable to prioritise and focus on designing. That’s when my mother-in-law stepped in and helped me take care of my
children while I was at work. But the second most problem was that I was a woman in a completely male-dominated industry and no one took me seriously. At first, it was disheartening, but I decided to take the challenge in my stride, and here I am – still around and thriving 25 years later.”
For Archana, designing brings about a feeling of empowerment. “Penning down my ideas and bringing about fluidity, style and balance in my jewellery is extremely satisfying. I also take pride in the trust that my customers display in me and my work,” she states, adding, “It is this very faith in the label, Archana Parasrampuria that constantly pushes me to innovate and create statement pieces.”
The passionate designer, who believes in quality over quantity, creates around 150 unique pieces every year. Her chief sources of inspiration are her love for flowers, her travels and heirloom jewellery. She says, “As a designer, I believe originality is the key aspect of my work, and I will never stop innovating. Another important aspect is to understand the client and her requirements. Once we do that, we are able to marry our design sensibility along with her vision to create something spectacular.” For Archana, creativity and style go hand in hand with comfort.
“Penning down my ideas and bringing about fluidity, style and balance in my jewellery is extremely satisfying.”
“Each piece that we design must be comfortable to wear.”
This very dedication and focus in her career has led Archana to where she is today. For instance, about twelve years ago, a client asked her to design jewellery for her daughter’s wedding. Although Archana had designed bridal jewellery earlier, being the official jewellery designer for the entire family was a mammoth task. She discloses, “I remember being excited and apprehensive at the same time. The acclaim that I received because of that assignment made me realise that I was destined for even bigger things.”
That said, Archana’s jewellery starts from as low as R10,000 for the lighter pieces and gifting range. “With jewellery, there is no upper limit, but for our exclusive sets, we have worked up to prices of 9 digit figures.”
As for trends, Archana observes that there is a new wave of preference for larger diamonds over jadau and polki as it is a better investment. “I’m talking about one carat and above sizes; also the use of 10, 20 and 30 pointers along with emeralds have been doing extremely well. Clients do opt for jadau and polki, but in the form of maang tikas, earrings and rings,” she concludes.
Baguette diamonds and baby South Sea pearl earrings
Rubies and South Sea pearl uncut diamond bracelet. Diamond and emerald earrings with South Sea pearls. Spinel diamond earrings with South Sea pearls. Diamond and ruby bracelet with South Sea pearls.
Coral sherwani buttons.
Diamond, ruby and South Sea pearl necklace. Burmese ruby and uncut diamond choker. Diamond and emerald bracelet.
Needle bracelet cum choker set with VVS diamonds.