Jewellery-making is the in-thing among women techies
Custom jewellery is all the rage, with every one vying for that unique piece to make a style statement. And that’s perhaps why many women techies are taking their fascination for beads and baubles to the next level, designing and selling imitation jewellery to a clientele of mostly fellow techies. In fact, there are quite a number of these enterprising women in Technopark who have found a way to turn their hobby into an extra income. While some of them are involved in custom jewellery-making on a rather large scale, complete with brand names and/or a thriving online business, others sell their handmade wares in their offices or in Technopark itself.
“Actually, the demand for custom-made jewellery at Technopark is much greater than the supply,” says Suman Prince who works for a business process outsourcing firm at Technopark. She’s been making and selling jewellery for her friends and colleagues for around three years. “I’ve always had a passion for jewellery and loved tinkering with beads and stones. Whenever I wear my own creations, I get much appreciation from my colleagues and I get plenty of requests to make similar stuff for them. Recently, as part of a major event at Technopark we had put up a stall selling jewellery. It literally flew off the shelves,” adds Suman. Her colleague Anu Bhagavathy R., whose ‘Suruma’ brand jewellery also flew off the shelves at an International Women’s Day sale adds: “I too am very passionate about jewellery-making. It really is the biggest stress-buster. It helps that it’s an easy way to make money too.”
All the women have similar stories to tell about how they got started making necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Says Smitha Indira, who works at a multinational corporation in Technopark, and is one of the more popular part-time jewellery-makers there: “At first I used to make only for those in my friends’ circle. Once I set up my Facebook page, gradually it increased to customers from Technopark. Now I get orders from across the country and some even from abroad. Most of them are now repeat orders too.” Smitha retails her jewellery under the brand ‘Smingryjewels’ on Facebook. Indu Nair who sells her jewellery under the brand ‘Hamsini Creations’, also on Facebook, adds: “Jewellery-making is a very organic process, where you can let your imagination flow while you mix and match the beads and stones. It’s much like cooking, where the more you play around with the basic ingredients the more interesting it gets!”
All of them seem to have learnt the art of crafting jewellery through online tutorials. “It’s actually very easy to do,” explains Anu.
Most of the women source the raw material (beads, crystals, semi-precious stones, and the like) from speciality shops in Chalai market, from Broadway in Kochi, Avenue Road in Bangalore, and from places in Coimbatore, Mumbai, Chennai, Jaipur and even from abroad. “Sourcing beads is nowadays much easier than before, with many suppliers being available online. But most of them only cater to bulk orders. One of the best things about it is the actual process of searching for the right combination of beads. The more distinctive the beads are, the easier it sells,” say Indu and Smitha.
However, the women differ on what sells among the techies. Smitha says that Meenakari jhumkis and jewellery with antique finish are hot-sellers. “It changes according to season. During Onam I get a lot of requests for traditional Palakka jewellery and during Christmas there are a lot of orders for pearl and crystal jewellery,” says Anu. Indu adds: “Jewellery with the right mix of tradition and modernity are always the best sellers.”