For all the women readers who read my blog and send me your love through your comments or just cherish one post or maybe just the music that played with a post- I will not wish you a happy woman’s day or week. I do wish for you and myself that you respect and love yourself more than anyone else does. I wish that you follow your dreams and chase what your heart desires. I wish that you look at yourself beyond a daughter , a wife and a mother because the world needs your talents and all the education that you slogged for your entire life.
Subhadra started her line of jewelry beautifully called Mrinmayee as just a hobby , something she wanted to gift to her little one’s teachers but its amazing on how she decided to make it something bigger out of it. The brand is just a year old but there is so much variety and beauty that one would like to just about buy everything
Subhadra Mrinmayee’s founder suggested the following music .
Tell me a bit about yourself, what you do , where are you based , your hobbies and favorites
My name is Subhadra Lakshmanan and I am an Engineering major. I worked for few years in IT but after our son was born I decided to quit and become a full-time stay-at-home mom (best decision of my life). I was born and brought up in Hyderabad and am proud to be a true blue Hyderabadi! After studying, living and working in the United States for nearly 8.5 years my husband, kiddo and I moved to breathtakingly beautiful Ireland in 2011 and have been here in Dublin since then.
I have always loved the arts – music, dance, painting, pottery, sculptures, jewelry, you name it. But what really stuck with me were jewelry and painting oil colours on canvas from a very young age. I enjoy every moment of indulging in them. I also enjoy classical dance and instrumental music concerts.
Tell me something about how Mrinmayee started?
I credit my whole, sole inspiration to my paternal grandmother. She was a lady way ahead of her times. She absolutely loved and adored jewelry, particularly silver and I guess she passed on her passion to me both in the genes and in inspiration. In a country where we live and breathe gold, she always begged to differ and bought me my first pair of oxidised silver earrings when I was 8 years old. I developed immense interest in collecting one-of-a-kind earrings and bangles. I got particularly drawn to silver due to its neutral effect on any kind of attire. It just seemed to match every dress I wore, immaterial of the colour, pattern or texture. I had always noticed the brilliance of gemstones (particularly semi-precious) in gold jewellery but felt they needed a better companion to stand-out. What more, when I started collecting semi-precious gemstone jewellery that had been paired with silver I discovered the possibilities and varieties were endless!
I have been a curator for more than 25 years now. I was only happy researching and reading about various materials (being a Materials Engineer myself!) and their jewellery making techniques until I came to a situation where I needed to find some nice thank you gifts for my little one’s Montessori teachers. I decided to give it a personal touch by making earrings for them and thus embarked on my first journey towards jewellery making.
It then progressed towards making small necklace-earring-sets as birthday/wedding gifts for my husband’s colleagues and friends around here. At one time my neighbour and mother-in-law suggested making pieces to sell exclusively and I put off their idea at first but I just couldn’t resist making more as I myself love jewellery so much and nothing else made me more content and happy. So here I am, doing something I never imagined I would do but can’t stop now because I’m so passionate about it!
How do you design your jewelry, who makes it, how did you learn this?
Though there are some amazing options in alloyed metals I like to keep my love for silver to the core and mostly use either Sterling Silver (92.5% silver content) and/or Thai Karen Hill Tribe Silver (97-99% silver content) though occasionally I like to experiment with brass. On one side Sterling silver gives me the solid foundation in my pieces, Thai Karen silver on the other adds a rustic raw handmade touch to it. When I design a piece I imagine it on three attires – a traditional Indian attire (like a kanjeevaram saree or a crepe silk saree), an Indo-fusion attire (like jeans with a kalamkari kurta) and a completely western outfit. I have been fortunate to have lovely customers who chose to wear my pieces with all these attires.
I am a one-woman army. I design my pieces, source the gemstones and silver elements and put them together to create pieces all by myself. I do the photography, marketing and promotions on my own too. Every stage of this process was completely self-taught and an ongoing journey of learning.It has been a dream to learn silver-smithing at some stage because there is nothing more satisfying than being able to make your own elements for your jewelry.
- Your favorite jewelry designers /brands?
In terms of celebrity brands I love Tribe by Amrapali. The work they showcase is exquisite and it’s a lifetime ambition to be able to feature my future work there. I love the work of Gillian Corcoran of Lost-Forest. She has an amazing eye for nature’s beauty and brilliant photography and her resin-silver pieces are works of art, they just make me so happy. Another designer that has inspired me immensely is Aparna of Nine By Thirty. I love how she brings stunning colours together and her eye for detail. Another absolute favourite is the work of Suchitra’s Soumeiran. Her jewellery is so Indian at heart and each piece emanates the gentle warmth and tenderness that she as a person exudes. I follow the work of these designers very closely and find something to inspire me every day.
How do you retail?
I have a shop on the Etsy Marketplace (www.mrinmayee.etsy.com) for over a year now where you can find my collections. My products can be purchased online and I ship them to all major countries.
Patrons in India can purchase selected pieces from my work at www.avishya.com/Mrinmayee. More items will be added there as we go along.
I also do a lot of custom design work. The customers approach me directly through Facebook (www.facebook.com/MrinmayeeHandmadeByMe) , request a custom order via my Etsy shop or contact me by email with their requirements.
Any memorable story with a customer –
One of my dear cousins who I look up to and admire immensely is a completely no-jewellery person. The maximum I have seen her wear was a pair of silver earrings that she hasn’t changed in ages and gold jewellery at her wedding because an Indian bride had to! But the moment she started following my work in order to recommend to her friends and contacts, she got drawn to my semi-formal and contemporary designs and just couldn’t resist starting her own collection. Her liking and trust in my work deepened so much that she had pieces commissioned to be custom-made for one of her best friends. Since then she has sworn to wear only my pieces and it is no more than a huge triumph for me having converted a no-jewellery person to an ardent admirer.