Making Her Mark
Designer jeweller – that’s what POONAM JOHARI likes to call herself. An architect by qualification, this third- generation entrepreneur belongs to a family of traditional jewellers, and is committed to taking the 80- year- old legacy forward— but on her o
Designer jeweller – that’s what POONAM JOHARI likes to call herself. An architect by qualification, this thirdgeneration entrepreneur belongs to a family of traditional jewellers, and is committed to taking the 80-year-old legacy forward— but on her own terms.
O ne would have thought that opting to work in the jewellery business would have been a natural choice for Poonam Johari. But that was not the case. As a child, Poonam’s pet subject was maths and she also leaned towards the fine arts. This combination led her to study architecture. But five years of curriculum and a few months of internship was not motivation enough for her to continue in her chosen field. “Although the exercise laid a very strong foundation of design basics in me, I decided to change course and began helping my father in his jewellery business,” she recalls. “I was fortunate enough to get hands-on training from my father and worked under his guidance for almost three years.” To further strengthen her expertise, Poonam pursued a course in gemmology from Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and since then her journey has been peppered with creative moments almost on a daily basis.
Had the option of her father’s jewellery business not been there, Poonam reflects she may have done her Master’s in Structural Engineering. But that is another story.
She branched out on her own by launching Poonam Jewels almost a decade ago. “Aspiring to be more than just a family jeweller and carve a niche for myself as a designer jeweller, I started my brand Johari Poonam, which is just five years old.”
For a person who has always had a multidisciplinary education, her brand has always thrived on providing personalised and custommade designs – from designing affordable
bespoke to heirloom pieces, her portfolio includes it all. Poonam is known for her one-off handcrafted pieces.
How easy or challenging is it to design for each individual client? She explains, “I am never short of designs and concepts and I believe in a unique expression for each of my clients. For me it’s all about how my concept is executed to reflect utmost finesse in crafting and workmanship. I have not restricted myself to only creating new pieces, but the expertise of my brand also lies in recreating old pieces with a modern touch. While re-designing the old,
(Top) A striking long necklace patterned with multi-coloured gemstones from the Rangrez collection. (Below) The statement rhodium-plated gold necklace from the Shades of Grey collection is set with white and dark brown diamonds. (Facing page) A delicate pendant necklace set with a melange of white round diamonds fringed with pear-shaped rose-cuts with complementary C-hoops. (Facing page inset) Rhodium-plated gold floral ear studs set with white and dark brown diamonds. As for diamonds, I am partial towards rose cuts. The less brilliant rose cuts when combined with full cut diamonds create a mesmerising play of brilliance.”