Her love for jewellery and accessories was reason enough for Jaishree Khanchandani to make a career out of it.

The first thing that I noticed is Jaishree’s neckpiece. As I glanced up, I saw that she had also matched her earrings to her top. Then I realised even her hair clip matches her outfit.

Considering her family was into textiles it seemed natural that Jaishree would join the family business but a one-month course in jewellery designing changed her life. With her brand Nishtha on display at select stores in the city, Jaishree has a line that she can be proud of.

Tell us about your journey.

I always wanted to be a businesswoman. I started with the fashion industry but it was the one-month costume jewellery course that convinced me to become a jewellery designer.

The focus was on perfecting the art of making jewellery, be it selection of raw material, neatness in technique and finishing every piece. Initially I started creating new costume jewellery at home. Its popularity among my friends and family encouraged me to pursue it seriously. Thus Nishtha was born! I have done additional courses in Gem and Jewellery from SinGem Institute in Chennai and also worked for two years with Veekay Diamants. I did do a few exhibitions but now I supply to stores.

What does your collection include?

I design contemporary neckpieces and earrings, chunky bracelets, ethnic pendant sets. I make sure that my jewellery can be carried off with both traditional and western attire.

How tedious is the designing process? What are the easiest materials to work with? What’s your favourite?

It starts with an inspirational idea; then the design is laid out and worked upon. After that it’s all about technique and getting the right finish. All my jewellery is handmade. Brass is the easiest metal to work with because it’s easily mouldable and the antique gold finish complements Indian outfits beautifully.

Is your jewellery expensive?

The price depends on the concept and material used. Daily wear jewellery can be as low as Rs. 300 and the contemporary ones could go up to even Rs. 5,000.

Do you work around themes?

I see design everywhere, right from the cluster of leaves in the garden to the various monuments I visit. Nature is filled with creativity and, with the right combination of techniques and ideas, I conceptualise my designs. My upcoming collection Wedding Celebrations is inspired by the vibrant colours and celebratory mood that makes each wedding special. Prakriti wasinspired by nature and the Mughal collection by the beauty of the Taj Mahal. I also custom design depending on requests.

Where do you source your materials from?

I use different mixes of alloys for my jewellery, depending on their design. I source my raw material from different cities like Jaipur, Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and also from Bangkok, Hongkong and Korea.

Where, in Chennai, can we see Nishtha?

It’s available at Silkworm and Evoluzione on Khader Nawaz Khan Road; Fuschia, Nungambakkam High Road.

Do you have plans to diversify?

I worked with a diamond merchant for two years designing jewellery for them and learning how to work with precious metals and stones. I would definitely like to diversify into semi-precious and precious jewellery in the near future.

Facebook page: www.facebook.com/Nishtha.jk