We’re currently coveting all things shiny and sparkling and one Dubai-based brand has been capturing all our attention – ARAYA Fine Jewelry. Built on a family legacy dating back to over 110 years, ARAYA‘s design philosophy combines modern aesthetics and techniques to create functional and versatile pieces. The brand has recently taken part at the Jewelry Arabia Show in Bahrain, as well as Jewelry & Watch Show Abu Dhabi, and is making its presence felt in the Middle East (and with our team, as well). Intrigued by the brand’s journey and exquisite pieces, we sat down with co-founder, Sidhant Kothari, to learn more.
The Journey Thus Far
Sidhant: Having grown up in a family of diamantaires and jewelers, the fascination and passion for jewelry started when I was about fourteen years old. Frequent office visits to sit with my dad and watch him examine diamonds and emeralds, further fueled this interest and since then I’ve always known that I wanted to be in the gem and jewelry industry.
ARAYA was born out of my love for gemstones and Ashni’s, my wife and co-founder of ARAYA, fascination with the world of art. Our vision has been to bring those two worlds together, and create art driven unique jewelry creations.
The Many Sources of Inspiration
Sidhant: We tend to use a few unique approaches of inspiration when designing a new collection. One approach we use is to constantly experiment with different manufacturing techniques and materials to break the barrier of possibilities and craft such out of the norm pieces. Another technique we use for larger gemstones, is to allow the gemstone to speak to us, and design around it, so the design perfectly complements its features. Lastly, we do often find inspirations in the world around us, such as architecture, nature and even abstract art.
The Impact of Digital Media
Sidhant: Absolutely! This medium is becoming extremely important, especially due to the current pandemic. Fifteen years ago, if you wanted to show someone a piece of jewelry properly, they had to come in to your store or office and see it in person. Today’s digital innovations such as websites, WhatsApp, Instagram and even zoom have transformed the possibilities. This has allowed us to build a lot of trust with our clients even before ever meeting them. We’ve even had clients order high jewelry pieces without coming into office and seeing the creation. The possibilities are endless, and we see holograms and other AR technology driving this transformation even further!
A Usual Day with Team ARAYA
Sidhant: Each day does tend to be quite different, but mornings usually start with jotting down the agenda for the day, and then a run through of updates for the pieces in production. This is followed by a team call, in which we go over our client orders and status for each. Our commitments to our clients is most important to us, and we always ensure the piece is made on or prior to committed date. Afternoons tend to be spent on client meetings or calls, which tends to be our favorite part of the day! Most days post lunch we are in factory to check up on the production pieces, and ensure they are coming out how we visualized and planned them. Evenings are a mix of strategic marketing initiatives and conversations with other brand owners to gain and share thoughts, which proves to be extremely important!
The Brand 5 Years From Now
Sidhant: We hope to see ARAYA as a leading high jewelry brand in the GCC region. Known for our one of a kind high jewelry creations and expectational service. We aim for our jewelry to be compared with the likes of Graff, Bvlgari, and Bhagat, and found in Sotheby’s and Christies’ auctions.
The Insider Tip for Aspiring Designers
Sidhant: Follow your passion and interests, and carve out your own niche product offering. You’ll be doing something you love for work, and the niche will provide a strong product offering!
Follow ARAYA Fine Jewelry: @araya_fine_jewelry