Neelayadakshi means "one with the blue eyes". Just like the name, the range of jewellery under the brand is adorable, incredible and of course, desirable. We spoke to the founder and owner, Ms. Roshini Mohan of Neelayadakshi on the unique jewellery brand.
Where did you get the idea for safety pin jewellery from? How did your journey begin?
My mother’s friend gifted me a simple chain with a safety pin as a pendant. I was amazed to see such cute jewellery. Then the thought came! Why not convert this idea into traditional jewellery even the youngsters of today can wear? I surfed the internet and found that safety pin jewellery is quite common in the West but not very popular in India.
I come from a very traditional background, and never miss any event. Being a dancer as well, my association with jewellery started very early. When I was young, I always adorned myself with different dresses and accessories. I was always projected as unique by my mother, who is a person full of creativity. I always take special care of the jewellery I wear, be it simple or traditional. I have always been particular about my jewellery.
As a college-goer, I am in close contact with the most fashion-conscious market segment of all - my peers. If you wear different pieces of jewellery every day, you’ll always have people asking you where you got it from, and wanting to place orders. This encouraged me to take up this creative challenge.
When did you first start doing DIY projects? How does it make you feel when you create something with your hands?
I did my first DIY project, a jewellery project when I was in the 9th grade. It was made out of a satin ribbon and I still have it with me. Is there anything as fulfilling as creating something on our own? The pleasure of seeing something that we have created is inexplicable, as it has been molded with love and locked with passion.
The main component in making your jewellery is a safety pin. How safe is it to wear?
As is expected, the first question that I get from customers is: ‘Is it safe, can one of the pins open up and poke me?’ Not to worry – each pin is locked with a plier, which is why it is time consuming and it takes 5-6 hours to make an ordinary piece.
How can you incorporate this unique form of jewellery into your daily wardrobe? On what occasions can it be worn?
People often think safety pin jewellery is staple of grunge and punk fashionistas the world over; this is not so. The beauty of safety pins jewellery, is that it leaves you with no confusion, on whether to wear them with your off shoulder jersey tube or with khadi dresse or the most elegant and traditional outfit, the Indian sari. The choice of colours and the designs maintain the delicate balance between modern day square and old day paisley. They suit all occasions as the jewellery types range from royal chokers to spicy tribal spikes or simplistic linear patterns. There is a broad array of designs to choose from.
For a person who's buying non-precious or costume jewellery, do you think it's important that the prices are reasonable, or do you think that the hard work and imagination of the creator deserves a high price?
The imagination of the creator definitely deserves a high price. The artistic talent separates beautiful jewellery from ordinary craft or mass produced jewellery - that’s what you should pay for!
Since all your jewellery is made with the same starting component – safety pins – how do you keep the pieces from looking too similar? What are the tricks you use to add variety?
I create patterns with different size safety pins, coloured pins, and pins with multicoloured beads. Beads are also varied in texture and size, for example, crystal, paper, seed beads etc.. I also make different coloured combinations using different types of chords and chains. I design custom jewellery - casual, formal and avant garde styles to suit all - be it for a casual jewellery wearer or an artsy customer or a trendy business woman.
Are you experimenting with making jewellery out of other household objects too, or are you planning to stick to safety pins? Do you see this as a niche thing or do you think it will gain more popularity and become mainstream?
I prefer to stick to safety pins for now, as I want my brand name ‘Neelayadakshi’ to be pinned in the market as a safety pin jewellery brand.I am sure it will gain popularity, but I see this as a niche - something that you may not have seen anyone make before, or something that's not made in the usual way.
What is that one piece of jewellery that you think can make heads turn in a crowd?
'DNA’ - a neck piece for party wear. I am yet to launch it in the market.
Follow Neelayadakshi here.