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

Solitaire - - CONTENTS - By Shanoo Bi­jlani

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,

Poonam Jo­hari

(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.”

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