Gem of A Designer: Neha Aroraa

An easy going, fun-loving Bangalorean girl, jeweller designer and owner of The Mauve Unitx, an exclusive boutique for handcrafted jewellery, Neha Aroraa has quite a prolific resume for a 23-year old – she’s a Raffles Millennium International graduate in Product Design, after which she moved to Mumbai to study the business. “Coming from a family who’s been in the line of fine jewellery for over 20 years now, I wanted to actually learn everything there is to know, from manufacturing to marketing. In Mumbai I visited manufacturing units where I saw the creation of jewellery before my eyes – different textures and finishes. I also learnt about gemstones – and that’s a whole other ballgame! I’m also a Diamond Graduate from the Gemological Institute of America – yes, I can tell you exactly what quality of diamond is in that ring you’re wearing,” she smiles.

After a year of hectic study an experimenting, Neha returned home to work with her parents and start designing independently. “My parents have always been there to guide me with whatever I wanted to do in life – they’re my biggest support system. While working with them I realized I was drawn toward fashion jewellery and statement pieces. I wanted to design stuff that’s fun and wearable for women of all ages, something that’s both bold and feminine. So at 20, I was confident enough to design my own pieces which I exhibited in the city, and people really appreciated and loved them,” she says.

Her boutique with the interesting name soon followed. “I launched The Mauve Unitx last year, and it’s a place where I express my love and passion for jewellery. Mauve is a colour that has always intrigued me – it's unique, feminine and symbolises dreams and imagination. I believe every woman I know is strong in her own unique way and she should never stop dreaming; my designs reflect that.”

A minimalist herself, Neha likes creating statement pieces that add a touch of class to any outfit. “You can never go wrong with a chunky gold cuff or a classic pair of vintage inspired gold earrings,” she says. So where does the inspiration for all these beautiful pieces come from? “I love history; I’m inspired by jewellery from the 19th and 20th centuries – Victorian, Art Deco and Edwardian. I'm also excited by anything antique; I love that anything from the past can be revived. In fact, my latest collection is inspired by Egyptian mythology and the deities.”

If you’re wondering how this young entrepreneur’s personal style is like, it’s mostly simple with no frills. “I love to do comfy chic. I could walk out of the house in my boyfriend jeans and a white tee paired with simple hoop earrings and still feel my best. On weekends, I like to keep it classy and feminine. Of course, accessorizing is important to me! A look is never complete without it.”

Being part of a huge industry, we wonder what her biggest challenge as a jewellery designer is. “It’s when creativity takes the front row and business takes the back seat. It's very important to create designs that are realistic. You have to be proud of what you’re selling. And only when you’re passionate about something are you satisfied with it," she says. And the best part about her job? "Well, there's nothing like being your own boss!,” she says readily with a grin.

Budding jewellery designers, take note of her best piece of advice - it’s a good one: “Keep an open mind and dream big because nothing is impossible.”

The excitement is evident when we ask what she thinks of Zapyle, "I'm so excited about Zapyle! I think it's a great way to discover trends and i can't wait to get on it!"

Quick 5 with Neha Aroraa:

* Your go-to accessory?

“A chunky gold ring.”

* One outfit you could live in forever?

“Boyfriend jeans.”

* Your style idol?

“Audrey Hepburn.”

* Most prized possession in your closet?

“Currently, a pair of Michael Kors platform heels.”

* A fashion faux pas you’ve made?

“I once wore a maxi dress that was a bit too long. Besides tripping the whole time, it also made me look shorter, so definitely don’t do that!”

Naaila Khan