Fashion jewelry is a trend that has caught up with the masses in India and abroad. While there are many traditional jewelry businesses as such, not many cater to fashion jewelry. In order to cater to the needs of people who wish to wear jewelry with designs that are out-of-the-box and something unique, Vidhi Chandak and her mother Babita Chandak started their jewelry business called Daamak Jewelery. We had an informal chat with the co-founder of Daamak Jewelery, Vidhi Chandak, and here is what she had to say about Daamak Jewelery.
How did Daamak Jewelery come about?
Selling jewelry was something of a hobby for my mother, Babita Chandak, until last year when we decided to get into the jewelry business properly. My mother had about 10-11 years of experience in sourcing and selling jewelry to our family and friends. On the other side, I have done a course in jewelry management from Manipal University along-side my Bachelors in Business Administration course. Also, I had worked with Reliance Jewels for a period of time which gave me quite a bit of exposure and experience. Hence, we decided to combine my mother’s practical experience of selling jewelry and my theoretical knowledge and launch a full-fledged jewelry business. That’s how Daamak Jewelery began.
How many people make up your team at Daamak Jewelery?
Basically, it is run by my mother and me. We have a team of kaarigars who create the jewelry.
How is the work divided between your mother and you?
While my mother deals with the kaarigars, the sourcing of materials, and everything related to jewelry, I handle the marketing, PR and other aspects for Daamak Jewelery.
What sort of jewelry do you sell at Daamak Jewelery?
We deal with all kinds of jewelry which doesn’t fall in the category of traditional jewelry. Through Daamak Jewelery, we want to make it affordable for everybody to buy jewelry which is not the traditional types and can be worn for different occasions and yet stand out.
Did you face any kind of difficulty while setting up Daamak Jewelery?
We did have our share of challenges but we learnt a lot in the process. Convincing my father to let me start a business on my own was probably the biggest challenge for me. Like all fathers, he wanted me to lead a sheltered, comfortable, and secure life with no difficulties. However, I wanted to start my own business. Finally he relented when my mother also encouraged me and asked me to give a shot at starting on my own and then decide if I wish to continue further; also my sister and brother-in-law live in Bangalore which was another comfort element for my father as this was where I wanted to start my business.
The other challenge was finance. Being a bootstrap business, procuring funds to sustain the procurement of the raw materials required to make the jewelry pieces for Daamak Jewelery was a huge task for us. Apart from this, we also realized that running a business is not an easy task as every small step needs to be taken in a measured manner and you should always think of an alternative plan of action for situations which do not go as planned.
How does the whole jewelry designing process work at Daamak Jewelery?
I create the designs on paper and my mother connects with the kaarigars back home (Rajasthan) who create the jewelry for Daamak Jewelery. At times, the kaarigars themselves give inputs on what material combination will work and what won’t. That helps us keep the designs and the combinations unique.
How do people buy jewelry from Daamak Jewelery?
We have a website from which people can order products on Daamak Jewelery. We have shipping facilities for locations within India and international locations as well. For locations within India, we have the option of Cash on Delivery apart from the regular payment gateway option. Customers have the option of choosing from a variety of choices, including kundan, polki, American Diamond, and beaded jewelry.
Any plans of expanding into a retail store in the future?
We do not plan to open our own retail store of Daamak Jewelery. This is largely to keep our jewelry accessible to and affordable for everybody since a retail store will incur higher expenses which will have to be offset through pricing of Daamak Jewelery jewelry. This is something we do not want to do as it would not be affordable for everyone. However other retail stores sell our jewelry under the label of Daamak Jewelery.
Do you conduct any jewelry designing classes as such?
We do not have classes as such, but back home, ladies and girls who wish to learn how to make different types of jewelry are taught by my mother. These ladies and girls come to our house and learn the art of making different types of jewelry which will help them sustain themselves. We do this mainly because we want to make a small difference in the lives of these women. These women do not really come from economically weak backgrounds, but the extra money they earn from selling the jewelry they make is for their personal expenses.
What are your plans for the future of Daamak Jewelery?
In the future, we plan to have a Design at your Doorstep system wherein you have the option of getting jewelry designed and created in the comfort of your home. A kaarigar, a designer and I will come to your house, interact with you on the kind of design you want, and then create it for you. This would be applicable only for gold and silver jewelry.
Another plan for the future is an app which would let you customize any of the pre-existing designs from our collection at Daamak Jewelery according to your preferences. This app would also give the corresponding cost estimates as well, depending on the level of customization and the kinds of material you choose.
The next time you are looking for jewelry that is trendy and unique, remember to check Daamak Jewelery and do not forget to like Daamak Jewelery on Facebook. You can even follow Damak Jewelery on Twitter. If you have any questions or thoughts you would like to share with Vidhi or us, please do leave a comment below.