Spicing it up
Swaabhi is known for crafting beautiful ornaments inspired by everyday life items. Its founder Swaroopa Utgi tells us more about the designs
Now here’s a jewellery collection you can’t resist, especially if you enjoy cooking Indian food with all its indigenous spices. You may not have come across a curry leaf or cinnamon inspired pendant or earrings but such intricate and delicate designs, which form Swaabhi’s latest Tadka collection, will make you smile and get one.
Telling us how Swaroopa Utgi, a Bharatanatyam dancer, came up with her startup, she says, “I would always look for the prefect jewellery that would go with my costume. I am a very choosy person and also give great importance to aesthetics when it comes to what I wear.” This essentially motivated her to start her own jewellery line.
“Swaabhi is known for crafting beautiful ornaments,” she says adding that each and every piece is made with love and passion. Jadau, vilandi, kundan — unique traditional designs from Jaipur, Kolkata, Gujarat, South India — Swaabhi has it all.
Utgi says that they also make finely designed pieces engraved with imported stones like cubic zirconia, onyx, jade and other semi-precious natural stones in gold polish, brass and copper. She further says that she sources the best quality and choicest raw material from all over Asia.
Sharing more about the designs, Utgi says that her jewellery pieces are a union of traditional and contemporary styles, and do not fall short of giving a ‘feel of a real ornament’. “Keeping the purity of the style, we encourage creativity in every jewellery piece we design,” she says adding, “We want to create pieces that make a statement and are affordable.”
Swaabhi’s earlier collection — Parna — was inspired from leaves like tulsi, neem, betel leaf, aptyache paan, mango leaves, Ashoka leaf, kevada etc which have a religious significance, especially during Shraavan, Ganesh Chaturthi and Navratri festivals, and also have medical importance in ayurveda. There are two sizes available in this collection. One can wear the smaller size on Western clothes and the bigger size can be paired with traditional attire.
Swaabhi recently introduced its Tadka collection, which is inspired by spices. “Women in particular spend a lot of their time in the kitchen and we wanted to create something which would be near and dear to them, so we recreated the fire and passion and sweetness of Indian spices in our jewellery,” Utgi says.
She points out that she spent over six months finalising the designs and after the wait of almost a year the jewellery was ready. The pieces look elegant and women of all age groups can flaunt them.
But designing and sketching them takes up a lot of time. As Utgi says, “I find inspiration in almost everything I see but incorporating them in my collection is the tricky part.” After the design is finalised she sends them to the artisans who then make the jewellery.
That said, there were times when she wanted to give up and shut down her startup but her husband and family stood by her and helped her believe in her dream. Initially, it was difficult because she had to juggle between home and work. “Being a startup it is indeed difficult to earn customers’ trust but with hard work and passion everything works out,” she adds.
Apart from making unique jewellery, Utgi points out that through Swaabhi, she hopes to build a bridge between the artisans and her customers. This endeavour also means that the artisans are now rewarded handsomely for their hard work and craftsmanship. Through Swaabhi, she also intends to give back to the artisans by providing education and medical benefits to their families.
Swaabhi is currently located in a small studio at Law College Road, Pune, however, Utgi is planning to set up shop in the near future to expand the business.
Apart from the studio, the collection can be bought from their social media accounts and website. Prices start from around Rs 300 for basic jewellery and goes up to Rs 25,000 for jewellery sets based on the intricacy of the designs.