Jewelry shopping, the one most enjoyable pastime for a woman. If wishes could come true, then ladies would have preferred an itinerary with Jewelry shopping listed from 1 to 10. However Jewelry shopping is equally a tricky affair. For some it might take even months to select and purchase the right jewelry. This is more often seen when its for one’s big day. Husky Khan spoke to Jewelry designer Shehzad Zaveri who takes us through his journey as designer and entrepreneur. Meet Shehzad Zaveri, the top name in jewelry designing, based out of primarily Mumbai, creative director and founder of the exquisitive jewelry brand – Minawala.
N4M Media: How did you come to realize your talent? Infact who inspired you to pursue your dream of becoming a Jewellery Designer.
Shehzad Zaveri: “It all began with my mother… It was my mother, a visionary, a single parent and a daring dreamer, who, departing from traditional gold and enamel jewelry, pushed me towards diamonds in which she had seen a bright future, twenty years before Incredible India happened.
N4M Media: Tell us about your beginning and your journey upto where you stand now.
Shehzad Zaveri: Design and Quality- two strong signatures imbibing from my mother and starting with a small makeshift shop in 1982, I created a collection ‘Flowers in Fire’ inspired by my thoughts at the time. Working intricately with a team of two artisans, I tried to bring out the charisma of colors inherent in precious, semi-precious stones and fiery diamonds. It instantly captured the imagination of my clients and it is their kind and continued patronage that led to opening of our first boutique at Heera Panna in Mumbai.
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Shehzad Zaveri: This was the first page in my book of life, which gave me a deeper understanding of design; it showed me how I had to evolve to ensure patronage of my discerning customers. I was just 17 when I got this initiation, thus started my trajectory with a princely sum of 1200.00 US$. To date my journey continues; it has taken me from palatial homes of Napean Sea Road, Mumbai to palaces of Sheikh’s of UAE and into Castles of Monte Carlo. Each experience has given me joy and shown me learning curves; this has been a satisfying and successful journey on all counts. Lending me a helping hand was my octogénaire friend Sabadini whom I met in Italy. He taught me the nuances of design, marketing and retailing. With every collection I have kept these features in mind to convey it all. Launching my ‘Queen’s Jewels’ made me realize that it wasn’t the wealth of resources but the wealth of vision, commitment and quality that makes the mark.
N4M Media: With such an inspiring progress story, how do you actually feel today, when you win awards and laurels for yourself and your company. The latest being the “Best Jewelry Designer of the Year Award 2016”
Shehzad Zaveri: Today, when I win design awards, read or hear from my clients that we are premier jewelers, trendsetters; it strives me to push the envelope to create even better designs and ensure quality. It is my amazing customers who have made Minawala into a multi-million dollar company; today we service our clients through over four stores in Mumbai & Bengaluru. We also sell in store-in-store formats through other stores globally.
N4M Media: What is the secret of your success and what has helped in getting your client’s patronage consistently?
Shehzad Zaveri: I believe it starts from our profound understanding of customers and trends, a commitment to quality and my team’s expertise in creating artistic statement jewels. For me creating jewels for a woman is about communicating her innermost expression in visual form; it reflects and communicates her personality, first to herself and then unto others. For us at Minawala we create with the firm belief “Jewelry is truly an extension of a woman’s subtle inner-self in an outward manner using the visual language of design. The magic of jewelry gives a preciousness to form that transforms a woman into her true, beautiful self.” It is different for men; when a man buys jewelry for his woman, he sees it as the reflection of the woman’s outer personality. So we at Minawala try to sync the yin with the yang.
N4M Media: What was the first piece of jewelry you ever made?
Shehzad Zaveri: I made a diamond pendant for a client of mine.
Did you ever imagine that celebrities like Freida Pinto and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan would be wearing your jewelry?
Shehzad Zaveri: They have already worn our jewelry!
N4M Media: In today’s times when men spend more on grooming, do you design for menfolk too?
Shehzad Zaveri: Grooming is one thing and jewelry is something else. Men will rather spend on their cars and mobile phones.
N4M Media: What is your career highlight so far?
Shehzad Zaveri: It is yet to come.
N4M Media: What is the most important lesson you’ve learned as an entrepreneur?
Shehzad Zaveri: It is easy to be an entrepreneur and tough to be a manager. Managing people is a tough task.
N4M Media: What advice would you give to the new generation of jewellery designers who want to follow your footsteps?
Shehzad Zaveri: Be bold, be strong and create with what you already understand. Mix it with a new angle or combine it with a fresh source. The vital word is ‘combine’.
Here are some exquisite designs from Minawala that Shehzad Zaveri proudly showcases