Hello Sweet readers , Hope you are well and I am back again . I am introducing a new series called Meet the Maker . A series close to my heart . In this column , I will talk a bit more about face behind the brand , products that speak to me . Many a time , an amazing pictorial is what we see on their website , Facebook or Instagram page, but the hard work and the diligence that is put into giving their brand a soul , is often unknown . I met Suchitra by chance on one of those days when I was trolling Facebook , Her Kaumidi Necklaces stole my heart and I wrote to her about owning one and thus our communication began. I feel truly privileged to know such a talented person. The multi talented lady is not only makes stunning , unique silver jewelery , but is also a talented writer and painter . I had asked her if she would be interested in answering a few questions and here she is .. I will let her words and work shine here rather than write a lengthy post . Be ready to be blown away !!!
It is scandalous, like getting into a whirlwind,
I am enraptured, enthralled,
For this love is dark, seductive, impulsive,
But I can’t help it at all.
Your glory, your history, your grace,
This fever, this rage,
Makes me want you more.
I have never been so mesmerised,
So Captivated before.
Can you tell me a bit about yourself?
Hi, I am Suchitra Hattangadi Gulvady, and I was born and brought up in Mumbai, India. I have been living in the U.K. for the past 9 years with my family. I have trained in Applied Arts and worked as a graphic designer with a couple of e – learning companies, and then as an illustrator with a couple of tee brands in Mumbai and Pune where I lived for about a year and a half after getting married.
How did you come about starting your jewelry brand Soumeiran ? Please include launch year.
Soumeiran was sheer serendipity. Last 10 years of my life have been a haze -, getting married, moving abroad, having children, making the choice of staying at home to be with the little ones and quitting work. As exciting it has been, it also has been very intense and tested me as a person at various levels, though a truly gratifying process nonetheless. A personal tragedy nurtured a desperate need for an creative outlet purely to stay afloat. I have always thoroughly enjoyed painting, it has been the most fulfilling process and brought about a zen like state of mind for me, but due to time constraints I never was able to get back to it. I have though always loved silver jewellery from my college days, when I used to see my classmates hailing from South of Mumbai wearing silver jewellery and coming to college. Handloom Expo used to be a ‘not to be missed’ event for my family, when we used to visit the then once in a year event and buy khadi and handloom sarees. That ingrained in me an undying love for handloom and handicrafts, which in turn harnessed the love for silver as handloom and silver are a marriage made in heaven. I had a fair share of my jewellery bought right from the sellers in local trains, to Hill Road in Bandra and Colaba Causeway which were more of use and throw types and affordable for a college goer and then a new earner that I was. Eventually I got to a stage where I yearned for and fell in love more and more in what they call as ‘slow fashion’ and for the ‘real stuff’. A couple of purchases online for myself came from Thailand and that’s all was what was required to take me madly researching for more sources from where I could buy silver jewellery. That again went hand in hand with the colours that I would use to compliment the silver and hence gemstones came into the picture. Before I knew it I was trying my hand at making jewellery, hence the much needed creative outlet came into form on November 2nd, 2013.
What does Soumeiran mean?
Soumeiran simply implies prayer beads strung together, in Sanskrit.
What is your design process and what kind of metals do you work with?
Design process for me is an ‘on the go’ process. My typical day demands a lot of my time around the two young ones and I am literally scheming layouts and color schemes in my head while I am making their breakfasts, preparing their school lunches, getting them ready, dropping them off to school, etc. Its a hell of multitasking but that’s how I work and by the time I get to the design board, I know what I am making
The metals I work with is only sterling silver, and I would kindly like to draw your attention to especially the designs in silver I mainly work with. It belongs to the temple jewelry genre and with that I do feel I have found my forte, and I thoroughly enjoy working with these elements, teamed with semi precious gemstones in all shapes and sizes. I am simply amazed at the quality of craftsmanship and skill gone into making these designs, and I am only honored to have been able to identify and source these designs. The gemstones come from all over the world, one of the suppliers being based here in the UK who take immense pride in their quality and authenticity they provide with each strand of gemstones.
The end product is something that’s made of genuine, authentic material to the smallest component used, no corners cut, simply a heirloom piece of jewelry ready for its patron.
How long does it take for a collection to come to life typically?
The collections have been a bit sporadic over the period of time, as I get to make pieces only during any time that is spared after the daily tasks are fulfilled. I don’t really time or plan a collection, though I do make a point to make something to mark upcoming festivals, so to speak, or as and when I source something completely fresh out of the craftsmen’s makery and they are waiting to be showcased to the world.
Can you share the names of your collections and the story behind each one?
I have a penchant for Sanskrit names and I have jotted many along the way sub consciously in my mind that now come flashing by whenever I am working on a collection. I go with the name that rushes to my mind first.
The sky is full of sparkly stars,
And I see the warm glow of oil lamps scattered,
For rejoice lies in the simplicity of hers,
And her beauty lies in her calm fire.
...Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
It’s in the click of my heels,
The bend of my hair,
the palm of my hand,
The need for my care.
’Cause I’m a woman
The above piece encompasses the spirit of good over evil, with Maa Kaali flanked by Ashtamaatrika on either sides.
To you, who could want to run away from the storm,
but would rather walk right in the face of it.
To you, who could be urged to blend in,
but would rather walk alone with your identity alongside.
To you, who could turn a blind eye to apathy,
but would rather take it head on.
An ode to the very many Goddesses who are
unleashed at different walks of life, in every one of us, in you, in me.
The universe and the light of the stars come through me.”
“The cold, grey English skies are graced by the slow, unfurling petals of the Magnolia and Cherry Blossoms, and every street is graced by their presence ushering the promise of Spring.
As the first of Spring sun rays touch the Earth, color the sky Blue and mark their presence, and the Magnolia and Cherry Blossoms age gracefully and beautifully, here’s Vasantaa – an attempt to capture the beauty of these two enchantresses.”
I also see the descriptions are very poetic suchitra .. do you write them yourself ?
It especially started with the collection – Sharanya, when I just wanted to pen something for a teaser of the collection and the words just flowed, simply out of the desire of expressing something from personal experiences and self affirmation. I have tried to follow the pattern with each collection hence forth, and yes, I do write everything myself unless credits are duly given to the respective writer.
Of course I have to share with you my own piece of Soumeiran .. Here is what I own and my little one are negotiating who will own it Truly honored to own such exquisiteness !
Suchitra’s repertoire is extensive and can be viewed on her Facebook Page and her Instagram handle is Soumeiran . I hope you enjoyed knowing her as much as I did .