Interview With Priyanka Thakur | Founder & Creative Head Of Nirwaana: Online Store For Premium Jewellery
Priyanka Thakur is the founder & creative head of Nirwaana, the online store for modern & premium jewellery. At Nirwaana, she believes in providing a delightful e-commerce experience of art, culture, design & trend-based pure silver / semi-precious stones costume jewellery. She is a businesswoman, mother, housewife & many more. Overall we can say she is a multitasking woman. Today we got a chance to interview her, let’s know more about her & business.
We hope this can inspire you to become a successful person too! It is worth listening to successful entrepreneurs or to people who share their success stories? We can significantly learn many things from their experiences of them, by listening to their story.
Excerpts from our exclusive interview with her:
Q1) Tell us a little bit about your start-up and your journey, please
Nirwaana, primarily an eCommerce label (founded – end of 2016), that ‘designed to deliver authentic pieces of finely crafted jewellery, available for shipping PAN India and various other parts of the world. We sell through our own website & selected online marketplace platforms + occasionally through offline exhibitions.
Our designs are living, breathing memoirs of inspired craft, hand-made using age-old techniques, beliefs & unique raw material. While we take inspiration from timeless techniques, the designs created are contemporary, perfect for an urban woman.
Our craftsmen are dedicated to composing intricate creations reflecting the love and passion with which they are designed, that mass-produced machine-made jewellery cannot match. The jewellery is majorly made out of sterling silver, using only authentic gemstone (precious as well as semi-precious). We do offer customization services to our patrons, currently restricted to only upgrading the base metal from silver to gold.
Q2) How did the idea for your business/startup come about?
Jewelry in our country is either something that is possessed because it holds a good resale value, therefore limited to precious stones/metal and or consumed as a cheap fashion ‘one-time use’ article, which is easy on the pocket.
With economic growth and an increasing number of powerful women & mindful shoppers, an important, as well as a growing segment of customers looking for high-quality meaningful jewelry, in semi-precious or silver categories, has remained very little or unexplored. There remains a void between the expectations on experimentation & freshness of styles together with the use of the most unique and quality raw material.
The celebration of Nirwaana was inspired by this vacuum, combined with the untapped opportunities when it comes to traditional techniques. On one hand, India has the best craftsmen & so many traditional skills with enriching and beautiful history. A lot of this is dying or in some cases restricted to only a certain form of translation, which has over the years become so commercial that it has made a comfort zone for our craftsmen.
This eventually has stagnated their creativity and zeal to extend their limits as fine craftsmen. Most of their skills are used to turn around the jewelry, which is mostly traditional in outlook & hence restricted to be worn for certain occasions. Nirwaana is here to fill this gap through the jewelry that reveals modern sensibility while appreciating tradition.
Q3) What was your key driving force to become an entrepreneur?
Prior to Nirwaana, I have been a part of the fashion exports industry for 18 years with a rich experience as sourcing & marketing head in India for renowned European brands. The opportunities and challenges of setting up and operating independent profit centers for various organizations, actually kept my passion to work like an entrepreneur and fulfill my creative needs alive.
I, fortunately, was traveling extensively during these years, to the most beautiful & craft-rich places across the globe. The idea of Nirwaana which had taken birth in some small corner of my mind kept growing strong and steady with pieces of rich craftsmanship creating an impeccable mosaic in the head… that finally lead to the foundation of the brand.
Q4) How did you come up with the name for your business/startup?
We wanted a name that resonates with brand ideology.
Word ‘Nirwaana’ has several meanings/interpretations one of which is the state of ultimate happiness, which is what we intend as an ultimate goal through our product & services. Chose deliberately a Sanskrit word one of the oldest origins of most languages hence a homegrown name, strong ‘desi’ roots but instantly connects with anyone globally.
inline with the brand, ideology combine conventional, old, historic, natural, something that always existed, to what would connect with the present, for utmost joy hence an amalgamation of traditional & contemporary.
Q5) What service(s) or product(s) do you offer/manufacture?
We design to deliver silver & gemstone jewelry.
Q6) Why should people choose your product/services?
We believe in delighting a customer through our product & services!
- Our design handwriting is unique. The collections are based on meaningful themes & material. We don’t follow fashion fad, our collections are fresh & one of a kind. The gems we use range from most popular to rare ones, these are rich in properties & timeless, making the styles even keepsake worthy.
- We deliberately craft each design in limited numbers, making the styles almost exclusive for our buyers.
- We stand by the authenticity of all precious metals used for our styles under the lifetime buy-back guarantee, in case any deviations in the authenticity of precious metals are found.
- Our services aren’t just restricted until a purchase is complete. We offer after-sales services for any kind of repair & refurbishing required on the product after prolonged use.
Q7) How do you market your business, and which tactics have been most successful?
- Through participation in offline & online events and exhibitions
- Participation in multi-brand store pop-ups
- Social Media
- Occasionally – when we have been approached by a good fashion influencer.
Q8) Did pandemic (COVID 19) affected your business? if yes how?
Needless to say, all businesses across industries & continents have been affected by COVID 19. Ours is no exception, especially during the lock-down period when the courier services for non-essentials were completely on hold, we had faced order cancellations.
We had plans to launch our first collection of men’s accessories this year, which is being re-planned now. In general, ready dates all new collections for this year have slid, since the raw material inflow & movement itself has affected. The gemstones we use for our jewelry are brought in from various parts of the world.
Q9) Have you considered any alliance/partnership/funding?
We haven’t considered this as yet. We will continue to function on a bootstrapped model for another 2-3 years as originally planned & then decide further on.
Q10) What are your responsibilities as the business owner?
The main responsibility is to ensure that Nirwaana is always functioning in line with its core values. As a small business owner, I overlook key operations. Nirwaana has a lean but very dedicated & responsible team working on various aspects of the business. My two prime roles are product & final approval of marketing strategy.
I not only design the product, but I do also check the shipment quality after its been routine QC passed. For the designs which require the use of gemstones in their raw form, I handpick the stones for every single piece that we manufacture, to ensure the right aesthetics.
Q11) How many hours a day do you work on average & can you describe/outline your typical day?
On a usual day, when I am not working on product design, I start at 10 in the morning & go on to 6.30-7 in the evening. The weeks when am working on product ideation & design, I don’t restrict my mind to work at any specific time.. sometimes I go on to work through the night and take several small breaks during the day. Completely depends on how & when the ideas are flowing and fitting in well.
Q12) What is your greatest fear, and how do you manage fear?
Consumer behavior, the business dynamics are fast evolving today… it’s the fear of missing out on something critical to keep up the pace, that does cross my mind sometimes. Am constantly connecting with people, reading, attending webinars, etc. to update me.
Q13) What comes first for you money or emotions?
Emotions take an edge over money. Nurturing one’s passion is an emotion… that is Nirwaana for me. Money is important too which I believe an emotionally satisfied can earn, but this might not hold good the other way round.
Q14) Tell us about your early life & How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
I started working right after my post-graduation. Have always been working women, traveling extensively for work, putting a crazy number of hours at work, so frankly I don’t know what life can otherwise be.
My husband travels equally. We have a daughter who is 10 now. So the only change was, between us both, we ensured that we never overlap our travels & one of us is around for her at a given point of time.
We live in a tech-savvy world, which has its own advantages. Besides am not bad at multi-tasking. For me nothing much changed, except that from a decent enough salary & title I went on to start from scratch once again. This is however well compensated with a different level of excitement, as I am now working towards nurturing my own baby.
Q15) What piece of advice would you give to college graduates who want to become entrepreneurs??
Once you have a defined clear vision, align all your strategies to lead towards it. There will be times when you might get tempted to divert as it does take time for the results to start flowing in. Shortcuts often lead to scrambled vision, thus destroying it, even before you realize it.
|Priyanka Thakur LinkedIn Handle||https://www.linkedin.com/in/priyanka-thakur-9276105/|
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