Communication expert-turned-jewellery designer Archana Avinash says that her designs have been inspired by all that she has seen and experienced

Archana Avinash’s jewellery is inspired from the places that she has lived in and visited. “My work is inspired by the ethnic cultures of the world including India, Africa and the Middle East,” she says adding that she has loved jewellery as long as she can remember.

“Jewellery has always fascinated me. I come from a creative family where everyone is creatively inclined — my mother, grandmother and sister. I learnt the nuances of jewellery design from the internet. I started by breaking old jewellery and putting it together differently,” says the designer whose jewellery sold under the label Strings and Beads is available online as well as at boutiques such as the Chamiers Boutique in Chennai and the Amethyst Boutique in Pondicherry.

Archana, who quit her marketing and communications job to pursue her passion, is not just a jewellery designer. She is also a tarot card reader, a crystal healer and an angel therapist.

“Just like the plant kingdom, the mineral kingdom has the ability to heal. I believe in the healing power of gemstones and work with semi-precious beads. All my jewellery is cleansed and energized. I want to empower people with my jewellery,” she says.

She does that through a collection of healing bracelets that can bring prosperity, strength and good luck to its wearers. The bracelets, made out of semi-precious stones with a beautifully carved silver charm come in a variety of stones, all with a healing purpose.

“I think people who get these bracelets do see results,” she says pointing out some of the healing properties of the stones she works with, “Rose-quartz attracts love, moonstone welcomes new life, black onyx dispels the evil eye, citrine and cinnabar attracts money and lapis lazuli is the crystal of truth.”

Besides the healing bracelets is a collection of neckpieces, bracelets, rings and earring made of silver and semi-precious stones that are designed around various themes.

“My last collection released last February is inspired by the Chetttinad,” she says displaying some beautiful pieces inspired from myriad aspects of the culture including a typical Chettinad meal, Athangudi tiles, temples and deities of the region. This latest collection titled Divine Raaga includes a small Prêt collection of miniature painted jewellery along with some jhumkas & finger rings,” she says.

Archana who works with craftspeople all over the country says that she loves bright colours, asymmetric patterns and unusual motifs and her jewellery has a lot of that. However it isn’t limited to only that — she stresses that she wants every woman to find something they like so the pieces she create range from simple and minimalistic to bold and edgy. All her jewellery is one-of-a-kind, “You will not have two women wearing the same thing,” she says. “Also, I do a lot of customization. The best thing about my jewellery is that it is contemporary in design but very traditional in process. So it can be worn with almost anything — I have people who wear it with a cocktail dress and there are others who wear it with a sari.”