An interview with Gursakhi Lugani one of the founders of Nakhrewaali, a company that sells ethnic silver jewellery with a modern aesthetic.
Ever since I can remember, I have always been a huge fan of ethnic silver jewellery and off late I’ve had to travel into unchartered gallis to search for these gorgeous trinkets . One day while scrolling through my Instagram I stumbled across NakhreWaali and I was spellbound. Their pieces have the perfect combination of the Indian culture and a modern aesthetic. And the best part?I can get these beautiful pieces of jewellery delivered right from the comfort of my own home. I was pleasantly surprised when I learned that Gursakhi Lugani, one of my seniors from school was the founder of Nakhrewaali. Here are some excerpts from an interview with Ms.Lugani where she discusses her brand, her work ethic and the creative process behind designing her jewellery.
1. How did the conceptualisation of your brand and the name NakhreWaali come about?
I used to be a part of an online magazine which used to send me for Fashion Week events along with an intern (who is now my partner). We always made it a point to design something new for each of the events. After an overwhelming number of compliments we thought that we could just sell the designs as a part of a brand.
The name Nakhrewaali came after a lot of deliberation. We wanted something unique that defined both us and our products. One day, over a casual cup of coffee we started talking about our nakhras. We really just had a eureka moment and blurted out NakhreWali and that’s how we named our baby.
2. Do you have any formal training in jewelry design?
I actually don’t have any formal training in design. I’ve always believed that the aesthetics that you carry yourself with are more important than the design itself. That’s something that needs to be learned and can’t be taught. My co-founder Joshya on the other hand is pursuing textile design from Pearl Academy.
3. What’s your creative process like and how much effort goes into creating each piece that you put out?
We make it a point to not work like a corporate. We don’t do deadlines. We’ve always believed that we shouldn’t go looking for things but instead let things find us. We make it a point to travel and go see things around the country that give us inspiration. However, we don’t go with the intention that by the end of the day we must have two designs. If it happens, it happens and if it doesn’t, we pick ourselves up and try another day or wait for the inspiration to strike.
4. How difficult has it been to coordinate between the sourcing, manufacturing and sale/delivery of your products?
Oh lord! I think that’s the toughest part of it all. We’re doing it for the immense love that we have for our brand. We have to rely on other people a lot for its smooth functioning. But it’s always worth it in the end because when you get to see the fruits of the toil, it makes everything worth it.
5. How do you balance the business and creative side of your organization?
I did do a summer training from London College of Fashion, however my formal education was in Business from Delhi University. The business side of things is something that comes more naturally to me than fashion.
6. What have been the highs and lows of setting up NakhreWaali?
The highest point is always the next person to appreciate our ideas. The lowest point on the other hand is to see our designs being shamelessly copied and ripped off. It takes everything to come up with something new, it takes nothing to steal another person’s work. However, imitation is the highest form of flattery so, we try our best to not let it get to us.
7. What’s your team motto, what is it that keeps you/ your team going on slow days?
Our team motto is to know that if we don’t like something, we won’t sell it. If we know that a design we’ve made is something we will wear for the rest of our lives, only then will we sell it.
8. What’s the most important lesson have you learned with your business so far?
The most important one I’ve learned so far is to share your business lessons with others. That’s how we grow.
9. What advice would you like to offer aspiring young women entrepreneurs?
We don’t believe in stereotypes that tell you to quit your jobs and chase your dreams. Yes, one should chase their dreams but one also needs to be smart about it.
Never ever do something just for the sake of doing it. Don’t wake up one day and say to yourself that you want fame or you want a startup; do it cause you love it, do it because you’re passionate about it, do it because your life depends on it, do it because you won’t be able to breathe if you don’t accomplish your dreams.