Women have always loved to keep themselves well groomed, right from the primitive age. They have used flowers, leaves, gold and silver jewellery to adorn themselves. Jewellery has mostly been related to traditional wear. However with changing times, trends in jewellery have also seen a change. These days, you see not just traditional jewellery but also jewellery that sport a touch of the contemporary. To delve into the world of new age jewellery, I had a tete-a tete with jewellery Designer Chinanshu Sharma.
Chinanshu was once a boring banker who then turned designer. During her banking days, she hardly found time yet was not happy with what she was doing. When things got too bad, she made the hard decision of leaving the job. With her new found freedom, she took a deep dive into herself to find a creative person in her. So she took up a Jewellery designing course and discovered that she could ace at it. And more importantly, she was happy. “From being a boring banker to doing something with your own hands was in itself a beautiful journey”, Chinanshu smiles.
Chinanshu went on to take up a course at IIGJ, Indian Institute of Gems and Jewellery, Jaipur. It was a challenging period of life for her as she was nursing her one-year-old baby too. So she completed the course in parts rather in one stretch.
She followed the designing course with another one in fabrication. The fabrication course taught her about metals, basics of designing and rendering. But she tells me that most of her creations are from inspirations that she found during her journey and many of them contrast with ideas that she learnt at the institute.
Chinanshu always wanted to create a different space for her jewellery. She wanted to carve a niche with her own unique style. She finds yarns very attractive; one of the collections was the combination of yarns with metals and stones. “I do different collections once a while just to break the monotony but I have my own style”, she added. Open to collaborate with other designers as well, she has worked on fused glass pieces. She informed me that the creation of Glass Jewellery requires a different training altogether.
Projects worked on:
1) Recycled Project: Chinanshu worked on the recycled project, Kalacar. This Kalacar project was about the creation of jewellery made out of spare car parts. The project involved the unique experience of rummaging through Bangalore garages to scout for old motor parts and even cleaning the grease from motor parts. During this project, she created a bracelet out of the filter which she says is one of our favourites.
2) Recycled Denim project: This project was very special as Chinanshu along with a few other women supported by a neighbourhood church helped in making jewellery out of denim. Since the women were unskilled and hence had to be given a basic training. And with that, they created amazing products out of Denims.
She also mentioned about the Graphia project (with the grass) and other media like Lenin, silk, glass, rough stones and wire work, out of which she created beautiful pieces.
The Initial Inspiration:
Chinanshu has always been a very dedicated student and an explorer herself. During her Jewellery course, she learnt more about metal Jewellery. She has been inspired by Amrapalli, Jaipur and her unique designs intrigued her so much that she went on to do a project with them. The quirky Indian designs with a contemporary touch inspired her in a great way. However, till then, she didn’t know what her style was.
Chinanshu always wanted to work on her own and not a firm. She was very sure that she will work for herself, either as a professional or an artist. According to her, “when you work for someone, your creativity gets restricted.” She added, “If I would be working with a brand then I wouldn’t have worked with different media I have worked so far.”
An Ideal Student:
Chinanshu was happy pursuing her dream. Her teachers were quite impressed by this sagacious student. She was very curious to know every intricate part of design. She was always the one with numerous questions to her teacher, on which her teacher used to say, “What you are going to eat tomorrow, you can’t eat today. Tomorrow, again you will be hungry”. It was so truly said as one needs to go through a process to reach tomorrow.
Apart from her usual class submissions, Chinanshu used to create her own creations. Teachers found her very motivated. They kept on saying her, “Do whatever you like”. The industry expects the designers to create designs on stones; diamonds with appropriate carats; but Chinanshu’s heart and mind was revolving around the unimaginable as a fresh bud all set to bloom.
Journey to the Real World:
Bidding adieu to Delhi, Chinanshu stepped onto the start-up capital of India, Bengaluru. She was ready to fly with her first collection. Launching her first collection seemed challenging due to the constraints of the new city, lack of contacts and business registration process. It was no different than starting from scratch. Chinanshu, in her conversation, revealed her love for Bangalore. Bangalore was the place that allowed her to meet like-minded people who were also trying to ignite their inner fire. Bangalore, she says, gave her an inspiring environment.
Challenges and Paarisha:
The brand is now four years old. It gives you a wide range of collection; each unique in their own way. According to her, for a creator, every day is a challenge. A creator wants everything new. Prediction can’t be done. The process includes trying, failing, getting up, trying again and then trying again differently.
Travel, an inspiration:
Chinanshu’s designs reflect that they are creations of a great inspiration. Travel has always inspired her to think. Meeting new people, endless conversations have instigated various thoughts that are always ready to take shape.
Mumbai touched her very deeply too. She calls it the “City of contrast and co-existence”. Big buildings and slums next to each other. Both rich and poor seem to live together and help each other at times. The combination of the rich and the poor, the existence of tall buildings and slums inspired her into the Mumbai Collection. The collection was a combination of metal (very hard) and silk (very soft). They blend and create a thing which complements each other.
Word to our young entrepreneurs:
Chinanshu strongly advises young entrepreneurs to recognise their inner self, basically what they really want. Most of the young crowd think of starting up a business because they get bored of what they are currently doing. Business happens only when one has a motive for doing something. From a distance, the entrepreneurial road seems like a bed of roses with you as your own boss. But the bitter truth is you won’t have your salary by the end of the month. For this, one has to be very confident of what one wants to do. “Do a spot analysis of yourself. Spending time with yourself and knowing what you really want before you really start”, Chinanshu advised.
Paarisha has a core team of four members. By the next five years, Paarisha would like to have a hundred hands; it would like to touch most of the women’s life by altering their lives and making them financially independent.
Chinanshu’s story has given us a wonderful experience to love yourself, your passion, keeping a check to your responsibilities and then planning for a better future. Unwind-Allaboutyou, wishes all the success to this gorgeous lady.