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In a saturated jewelry market like India, which is home to some of the most celebrated names in the business like Amrapali, Ganjam and The Gem Place, it can be nearly impossible for a new jeweler to break through and stand out in the crowd. But designer Neety Singh has done exactly that. In the short time since she launched her eponymous line, Neety Singh Jewellery, she has carved out a niche which blends the richness of Indian craft with a modern elegance that has quickly won her a legion of fans. I caught up with Neety as she was preparing to head to London and New York for a series of trunk shows to learn more about the designer and her brand.
What drew you to jewelry design and specifically wanting to start your own brand?
Design comes naturally to me and I inherited a strong aesthetic sense from both of my parents. Interior design, fashion and jewelry in equal measure are my passions. But of the three, jewelry came most naturally to me. I started putting together a small collection for a trunk show in Singapore and it was a sellout. Before I knew it, I was taking orders and had to set up a workshop. I also took a course in diamond grading at Antwerp which has been especially helpful. Slowly, I studied and learned more about the technicalities of the business. Design, however, has always been the easiest part of the business for me.
Tell us about your design philosophy. What makes your collections unique in the industry?
My travel and global perspective blended with strong craftsmanship is my USP (unique selling proposition.) Also, I bridge the gap between the family jeweler and the designer who is accessible to a privileged few. I am conscious of style but I am equally conscious about price and value.
As a designer, where do you draw your inspiration?
Inspiration can come from books, my travels, tapestries, temples, etc. You name it, I find inspiration in it. I see a texture on a wall and want to give it a bejeweled avatar!
You’ve done private trunk shows in the New York and cities around the world for a number of years. Why are those events important and what do you learn from your customers?
International shows are extremely important because although my jewelry is Indian inspired, I visualize it worn in an international setting. It’s high on craft and color but it represents the urban Indian woman today who is a global citizen. I personally wear my uncut diamonds and jadau with a dress and not necessarily Indian clothes. It is considered traditional jewelry but I experiment with different colors and stones which are not commonly used with fine jewelry in India such as yellow sapphires and uncut diamonds, lapis and polki. My international shows help me reach an audience who perhaps can’t reach me as I don’t sell online. It helps me understand international styles and most importantly the price points that work. Also, I try and customize pieces for my clients and I can do that only when I meet the person and see her personality and understand her lifestyle.
What advice would you give to someone interested in getting into the jewelry design business?
I can’t really give any advice except to stick to your own style and statement. I do not believe in trends and a-one-style-suits-all philosophy. There is room for all because creativity is personal and dynamic. I have tread slowly but surely. My only competition is me – and to better myself.
What’s next? What’s your vision for the future of your brand?
I would like to take my collections to as many destinations as possible. I want to reach a wider audience in India and across the world and hope to continue improving my work.
Neety Singh will be hosting a trunk show to preview her latest collection in New York City next week! Please see the details below:
When: Wednesday, May 20th from 10am – 7pm
Where: 122 E. 70th Street, between Park and Lexington
For more information: email [email protected] or call 302-753-1309 (USA) or +91 9891376999 (India)