Jewelry Advisor Arundhati De Sheth tells Tsunami Costabir all about her passion, work, and upcoming jewelry exhibition in Mumbai, India, this September…
Your work ranges from picking opulent bridal jewelry to styling cool, statement pieces for magazines and shoots, what’s your favourite kind of project to work on?
In the last three years, I have streamlined what I do and all my time is spent working as a personal fine jewelry advisor/personal fine jewelry shopper to individuals who have reached out to me for a certain requirement. It ranges from acquiring bridal suites, to hunting for a specific gemstone or a diamond that they’ve had their eye on but couldn’t source on their own. It could be a husband reaching out to me to help him find something special for his wife/partner. It could be young women looking to break away from their family jeweler and buy themselves a pair of stylish and contemporary earrings.
And I love each of these myriad requests and diving into the mind and shoes of my clients. When I present pieces to them and see the delight on their face – I know I have managed to do my job well.
Having studied in France, and lived in India; what are your views on the differences or similarities in people’s tastes when it comes to jewelry?
Every single person has a unique sensibility and a unique preference when it comes to what they like. The world is getting closer every day and there is a beautiful coming-together of fashion and style. People are appreciating and noticing the various cross-cultural crafts. Jewelry-making is a craft and India is exploding with resources and talent in this field. Many international brands get their jewelry pieces made here. This convergence is going to be seen a lot more in the future.
What are some of your favorite brands to shop for jewelry from, and which current trend or design are you loving?
I have been working with a handpicked list of homegrown jewelry artists and jewelry vendors for the past five years. I choose my vendors very intuitively. If I am drawn to their designs and quality, then I feel like I could present them to my clients. Some of the names that come to mind are – Tallin, Studio Renn, Ananya, Sajjanté, GYAN, Hanut Singh, and Shachee… I love mixing heirloom pieces with contemporary pieces; but in a clean and non-kitschy style.
I don’t follow trends per se, but people are looking into layering their jewelry with renewed interest and attention. I think layering jewels is a wonderful art.
Internationally, I look up to many, many jewelry houses too. And I aspire to work with them and to own a piece from them somewhere in the future – Hemmerle, Boucheron, Vhernier and Glen Spiro to name just a few.
From where or whom did your love for jewelry come from; and who is a designer you love?
I grew up observing how my mum (Shobhaa De) bought and wore jewelry. She has an inimitable style and that laid an impression on my young mind. I was drawn to jewelry ever since I can remember. It was a very strong, magnetic attraction. And frankly, I am so glad I could develop my professional career in this field.
How do you style people to their individualities; what are the key elements of a person you focus on while choosing pieces for them?
The foundation of choosing jewelry for someone else is to get into their shoes and see the jewelry requirements from their perspective. I believe that one should buy jewelry that one absolutely loves. Once worn, that jewel must make them feel more special and beautiful. I do keep the physical attributes of my client in mind when I hunt for pieces for them. I also like to consider what they might already own, so that I can add something fresh and unique to their growing collection.
What does a jewelry advisor bring to the table and why would you recommend that people hire one?
I don’t think everyone needs a jewelry advisor. There are some people who have incredible taste, knowledge and resources of their own when it comes to fine jewelry.
My role is particularly helpful to someone who is starting off on the journey of buying jewelry and finding it challenging to choose a starting point. Or for people who don’t live in India but would like a secure, honest point person to help them shop here. Or someone who is tired of buying “ordinary” fine jewelry from their local vendor and wants to look at jewelry that is really well made, qualitative and stylish.
Essentially, I bring expertise, knowledge and honesty to whomever I work with. I work on the behalf of my client and not the vendor; with great service, privacy and discretion throughout the process. It is a very personalised experience.
What could a visitor expect to see at your upcoming jewelry pop-up, could you give us more details about where and when it is happening?
My annual jewelry show is a show focusing on high design, high quality, and high craftsmanship.
My endeavour with each show is to present jewelry as an art, or ‘JewelArt’ as I like to call it. I take 3 months to meticulously select each of the 200-odd pieces that are part of the sale. The best part is that one can find a spectrum of values, styles and periods all together. From super contemporary to antique to classic to Art Deco to cutting-edge modern. There is something for everyone; especially when you’re sensitive to design and details.
It also has an international appeal and showcases the best Indian brands crafting wonderful jewelry with a world-class finish.
This is my 5th year. The show is titled “Lightness of Being” and as usual I hope the curation surpasses expectations. You will find rare and difficult-to-see gemstones, estate jewelry that will be added to the curation for the first time, important and large diamonds, and jewels crafted in new-age materials like titanium and aluminum; amongst other special delights.
The venue is Pundole’s (an art gallery) at Ballard Estate, Mumbai, from September 29 – October 1, 2022.
What is your vision for yourself and your career, do you have any goals that you would like to share with us?
As a jewelry advisor operating from India which has such a bustling jewelry industry, I think my career is still unfolding. There is tremendous opportunity here and people are only just understanding what I do.
I have lots of goals! And here are my top ones…
I would love to take my show to another city in India this year (2022), and have an ephemeral pop-up shop in an international resort. I would also love to resume visiting international jewelry shows that help me broaden my horizon and keep me up-to-date with the people and the activities that influence the changing nature of the global jewelry industry. Meeting new people and exchanging ideas is a relevant aspect of my job; just as much as seeing jewelry is.
“I grew up observing how my mum bought and wore jewelry. She has an inimitable style and that laid an impression on my young mind.”