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Updated: October 5, 2010 18:39 IST

Jewel in the crowd

BINDU TOBBY
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Vidya Gopal.
Vidya Gopal.

Economics Major turned jewellery designer Vidya Gopal says her venture Adya started as a fun activity.

“I strongly feel that we no longer need to have careers defined by one aspect of our education or strengths; we have the ability to develop multiple interests and work in areas that speak to us in diverse ways,” says Vidya Gopal, quite simply.

With a bachelor's degree in Marketing and a Masters degree in Economics (from The Ohio State University, USA) becoming a jewellery designer was not really a natural extension of her educational background.

Her venture ‘Adya' started out as a simple interest after she was introduced to the techniques of making necklaces and earrings by her mother-in-law who used to have a jewellery business herself. “It was always a fun activity for me to work with her collection of beads whenever I visited. Given my love for travelling and shopping, I started developing a collection of beads during my trips. I was able to create designs that incorporated the different cultural influences, arts, and crafts of the places that I had visited,” says Vidya.

Her pieces try to mirror her global experiences and each of them, which is one of a kind, is further customised to the specifications that her clients have.

She says, “One my favourite beads is the ‘Shiva's Eye' from Dharamsala. It is a beautiful shell bead with a natural swirl and while the swirl has many connotations across different cultures, (Tibetan symbol for the origins or seed of the universe) this symbolism resonated with me deeply as I started my new venture.” She adds, smiling, “As I combine these beads in my designs I hope that it carries that feeling of new beginnings and potential energy for those who wear the jewellery, apart from looking stunning!”

Her first local exhibition in Bangalore was at the 2009 Christmas Bazaar at the Spastics Society of Karnataka, followed by a small showing at the ‘Things' boutique in Domlur earlier this year.

Her online store is based at Etsy (a global community of buyers and sellers of handicrafts ranging from jewellery to furniture) and designs (mainly necklaces) are available online at adyadesigns.etsy.com.

A peek at the online store is a treat with each piece captivating you with its brilliant colours, combinations and subtle elegance.

Since Adya does not have a retail presence in India, the prices currently listed against each of her pieces are US dollar prices but she is happy to work with any clients locally and discuss materials, pricing and specifications of the jewellery.

She adds, “The next steps for Adya Designs in terms of evolving the product further is to source beads and materials from local women's co-operative societies, communities and artists at fair trade prices — sourcing papier-mâché beads from women co-operatives in Ghana or Tibetan beads from the refugee community for example would not only address the global perspective that is part of the design of the product, but also allow me to play a small part in helping promote and sustain local arts and handicrafts around the globe”

Vidya can be contacted on adyadesigns1@gmail.com or through the online store website at adyadesigns.etsy.com

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