How do you describe to people what you do and your design style?
I am a jewellery entrepreneur seeking to introduce exotic South Asian designs to the Western market. Our emphasis is on using high quality materials like lapis lazuli, onyx, marcasite, quartz, Jade and cubic zircon in conjunction with sterling silver to achieve a superior level of presentation and offer the customer affordable luxury in the truest sense.
Zevar’s brand ethos is based around creating exotic yet affordable designs. I see a gap in the market for exotic silver jewellery that is affordable and can directly challenge the costume jewellery market.
What sort of comments do you get about your designs?
“Unique” and “exotic” is what I hear the most when I present my products. My audience in the UK is more familiar with minimalist and/or contemporary designs are excited to see the colours, materials and intricate metal-work that are core to my jewellery.
What is your background?
I started my career in the UK as a recruiter in the fashion industry and more recently I took a career break to bring up my young baby. When the time was right to re-engage professionally, I chose to pursue a childhood dream to start my own venture, but in a field I would thoroughly enjoy, rather than easier, more conventional option of a regular job.
Theo Fennell and Stephen Webster because their jewellery pieces are original, beautifully crafted and designed, with immaculate attention to detail.
Tell us about your design process from concept, production and to the shelves…
Zevar produces all its products in India. Each piece is designed and hand made by the artisans from different communities based in different cities. They are highly skilled in mixing alloys, moulding, drawing fine wires, setting stones, inlay work, relief, drawing silver into thin wires, plating and gilding. And each piece is hallmarked.
My first collection is inspired by the colours and traditions of Indian desert state of Rajasthan. The silver pieces are unique, timeless, elegant, and unlike costume jewellery, will rarely go out of fashion.
I often get questions on why we have a peacock as our symbol and why most of my jewelry pieces have peacock motifs. It’s origins are very much linked to India and the historical and cultural association the bird has with Indian crafts and mythology. Peacocks are a popular subject for Indian artisans for paintings, sculpture and jewellery due to their graceful figure and colourful plumage.
In addition, peacocks are natives of the region of India I hail from - Rajasthan. A desert state with fairy tale castles and palaces, peacocks are even prettier and colourful when set against the backdrop of sandy dunes and palatial buildings that dot the landscape of Rajasthan.
The peacock, for me, is a symbol of grace, poise and colour - attributes that are central to Zevar's designs. I was also clear from that start that Zevar's branding should honestly and proudly reflect the origins of the product and the peacock is a tribute to country and culture that inspires my jewellery.
How do you think your brand has developed?
My brand is still relatively young, but it has a clear identity and niche. Its important to find that ground as it anchors the brand’s story, it’s values and it’s design philosophy.
Entrepreneurship truly tests you patience. Everything from getting your product accepted by retailers and customers to perfecting various aspects of your business – marketing, technology, financial planning – requires a great deal of patience.
What are your main achievements and what do you aim to achieve now? Past present and future
Getting the hard yards of organising the supply chain, the initial marketing effort and some success with retailers appreciating my product have been my main achievements thus fair. I hope to build on this by broadening the appeal of my brand and designs.
What advice would you have for anyone starting out in (your field)?
Take lots of advice from your friends and family and seek out their strengths to help you in your early stages when resources are limited.
Why do you think British design stands out on the global stage?
They stand out because of their exquisite and cutting edge designs captivated by interpreting modern imagery while celebrating traditional craftsmanship.