MY BRAND STORY
The main inspiration behind Mrinmayee - Born From The Earth is 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 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 very content curating jewellery for my personal collection 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 play school 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 friends and family suggested making pieces to sell exclusively and I put off their idea as I never saw myself as a jewellery maker, but I just couldn’t resist making more and more pieces as 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!
The Creative Process
When I first started, I used to source elements as and when I saw them and then sit down to derive designs using them. That was quite challenging and fun. Of late, I have started enjoying sketching out my designs in detail and then sourcing materials as required. I sketch everything from stones and silver that’ll be used, colors and shapes to the lengths.
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 saree or a salwar-kameez), an Indo-fusion attire (like jeans with a kurta) and a completely western outfit (like a skirt/pant suit or a dress). I have been fortunate to have lovely customers who chose to wear my pieces with all these attires.
In either case I always follow the principle of not having more than 10 pieces per collection and I never make more than one piece of a single design except rarely. Each piece is one-of-a-kind. Once that is in place it’s a bit of a waiting period while the materials arrive during which time I plan my photo-shoots. I always like to finish making all the pieces before proceeding to take pictures. I find this part of the whole creative process the most stressful and most time-consuming because this is what the whole world is going to see; so it needs to be every bit perfect.
The photo-shoots are followed by lots of sorting and editing and many hours at the computer getting my collection social media and buyer ready. Once I’ve given this a satisfactory green signal, I launch the collection to my lovely audience.