In this session, Archana Surana, Founder & Director, ARCH College of Design & Business speaks about the concept of sustainable luxury and how the jewelry market from all around the world is undergoing a change in the times of COVID 19. We will also be discussing the future of body adornments and are people still going to love wearing gemstones and other precious and semi-precious forms of jewelry like they used to before.
Katerina Perez is a world-renowned jewelry influencer, celebrity jewelry blogger and journalist based out of the UK. Katarina has worked as a manager and salesperson as various posh and sought-after jewelry boutiques in London.
A: What inspired you to educate people about jewelry?
K: Most jewelry shoppers usually only ask questions that pertain to the price and the carats of jewelry. The craftsmanship along with numerous other factors directly affects the price of the jewelry and it can not be justified only on the basis of the carats or the quality of the jewels present in a particular piece. It’s not just about the carat weight of gold or the final price, but sometimes to develop a particular idea it can take months and years. Keeping this outlook of jewelry shoppers’ in mind, I decided to venture into the journey of jewelry blogging to explain to people about what goes behind the making of jewelry.
A: In this industry, what do you think it takes to be different?
K: I believe that it is important for every jewelry brand to have its own DNA. They need to understand what is so different about them. I often thought about Tiffany’s and why every little girl wanted to have that little blue box when they got married. The reason why they do so is because of how the brand stands out. For ex. If someone wants an engagement ring, they straightaway think of Tiffany’s because everyone knows Tiffany to make the best engagement rings. If someone wants to have a lot of bangles, they go to Cartier. Every jewelry brand needs to have a signature style or a factor that makes them look different from others. It is very important to have something special about you.
A: Why does it happen that people often end up following an inspiration or something that is sellable and has a market space already, instead of understanding what truly DNA would mean?
K: I think this is because when you see someone sell a certain piece of jewelry, you often end up thinking that you can also sell the same. This is why the jewelry market is full of so many similar-looking designs, designs that are very simplistic or designs that do not show the designer’s personality. Many people try to create something that pleases the audience, instead of creating something new. If a lot of jewelers end up creating the same things, it can be very difficult to survive, but if you have something different about you then you will always have a loyal clientele.
A: For Young people who are graduating in the field of jewelry design, what are some tips that you would like to give?
K: I recommend young jewelers to explore different forms of design and offer something new to the audience instead of gravitating towards traditional designs that will always be in demand. They can try to blend different aesthetics to create something entirely new. It is also important to remember that failure is not the end of the process, it is actually a part of the process. It is important to understand your potential clients and your target market. Traveling really plays a huge role in providing inspirations to jewelers. I recommend Indian jewelers to explore other cultures as well and also look at the national costumes of other countries. I recommend all jewelry design students to also read the book “The Cartiers” as it is a wonderful case study about this industry.
A: To sum it up, your techniques need to be local but your aesthetics need to be global. When you sit as a jury member in elite forums, what exactly do they really see in the design?
K: Since juries comprise people from different industries, it is quite interesting to see the views of a jewelry designer, a jewelry journalist and what others see. But the idea is to always find something extraordinary and something entirely different and something that will really stand out among the rest of the jewels. In current times, the main thing is to master the art of communicating with clients.
A: What would be your suggestion to young bloggers?
K: In a nutshell, it is very important to find your own voice. To find what it is about you that makes you stand out and to really understand jewelry in detail is very important for every jewelry blogger. Answers to questions like why is one ring better than the other, what exactly distinguishes the kind of gemstones, which is a great emerald and which one’s not, and what are the trends in jewelry, why do people from different parts of the world prefer what they do. Blogging is not just about photographing and content writing, but you need to have the vision of an entrepreneur. In my journey, I learned a lot about how to be inventive and how to develop the skills of running a business or have a team. I had to learn how to delegate well, how to manage my time, and similar skills. I also had to learn to manage the operational part of things. Aspiring bloggers must understand that blogging takes time and there is no quick way for it.