Award-winning designer Pavit Gujral’s jewellery can be described in two words – adventurous and daring. Her creative flourishes are a direct reflection of her hobbies – the Dubai-based designer is a certified scuba diver and a die-hard traveller.
A winner of two prestigious Saul Bell Design Award 2020, Pavit has a fertile imagination and is a self-confessed perfectionist. All her pieces are curated with utmost attention to detail. Her goal? To design one-of-a-kind, trendsetting jewellery, and educate clients about gemstones, including the lesser-known ones. Read more about this jewellery world’s pop star in the making in Solitaire International.
You were born in Kolkata and raised in Chandigarh. How did the two cities with starkly different cultures influence you? What was the turning point for you to choose jewellery designing?
Kolkata has a rich history and is regarded as an artistic city with a rich aesthetic sense, and Chandigarh is a picturesque, modern, and well-planned city that was designed by a French architect. Both the cities illuminate everything they touch just like they ignited the fire in me to create statement jewellery that is playful and unique. Having spent significant time in both cities has given me a comprehensive understanding of their cultures and styles.
Because of my unwavering passion for design, it was an instinctual choice for me. I have always been aware that I want to create jewellery styles that are both eclectic and fascinating at the same time. Moreover, travelling around the world provides inspiration in some form, whether it’s the spine-tingling beauty of Italy or, more often than not, the raw beauty of Mumbai.
When did you start your brand and where?
I established my brand in 2016 in Chandigarh, after completing my education at the Gemological Institute of America, New York. Over the last couple of years, I have created my own collection of bold, unique pieces, and have achieved many awards both in India and internationally.
The by-appointment only design studio is located in the Dubai Design District. Now that my brand has been established in Dubai, I intend to penetrate further into international markets in the coming years.
With two prestigious Saul Bell Awards under your belt in 2020, how does it feel to become the cynosure of everyone’s eyes?
It feels great when my designs are appreciated and get the exposure they deserve. A lot of hard work goes into conceptualising an idea and manufacturing a piece! It is really challenging yet fulfilling to express yourself through art.
You aim to be the Pop Star of the jewellery industry! And it is evident in your usage of gemstones. Your comment.
Yes, I aim to be the Pop Star of the jewellery industry— bold and trendsetting. Being a gemmologist, I love the playfulness of coloured stones, and all my pieces emphasise them. Some of my favourites are Paraiba tourmaline, spessartine garnet, tsavourite garnet, Alexandrite, because of its colour-changing properties, and tanzanites.
I don’t follow the stereotypical colour combinations. For instance, in my Twilight collection I combined blue and orange. I’m always experimenting and would like to work with titanium in the near future.
How do you go about educating your clients about not-so-known gemstones that you use? Is today’s consumer more evolved in terms of overriding the intrinsic value of a jewellery piece and more concerned about the design? Your views.
Whenever a client comes to me for designing a piece, I try to work on the concept of resonance. Therefore, I ask them about their colour preferences and suggest various gemstones, especially the lesser known but stunningly beautiful ones. For example, the leafy green tsavorite garnet is a beautiful alternative to emeralds. In fact, most people aren’t even aware of the various colours available in garnets. They are only aware of the maroon-red garnet. Recently, I designed a beautiful tanzanite engagement ring, instead of a standard diamond ring, for a very close friend and she adores it!
I am targeting niche consumers who don’t just look at jewellery as an investment. Instead, they appreciate it as an artistic piece and for its design concept.
Your lines are based on diverse inspirations like architecture, nature, art, etc. Do you get inspired by a particular gemstone, or do you work around an idea, and then start sourcing the relevant gemstone?
Honestly, both. In most cases, though, it’s the latter, since all the pieces are inspired. So, I begin to make a rough sketch, conceptualise it, and then find the gemstones.
I believe that inspiration stems from a spectrum of intriguing experiences. Sometimes while travelling, I pick up gemstones from all over the world and come up with designs around them. My latest La Fleur collection was conceptualised this way.
How long does it take for each piece to come to life?
Once I have finalised the design, it takes anywhere between 8-12 weeks for a piece to come to life. It requires unbelievable attention to detail. Pieces that are inspired by animals, for example, the squirrel ring, crab earrings or Al Maha brooch, take longer because they require more time to get the anatomy right.
From the time you began till now, how have you evolved as an artist?
To put it simply, I have acquired creative freedom with the passage of time. Being a creative person, ideas and designs keep popping into my mind. Evolving as an artist involves knowing which of those ideas should be realised and that has been one of my key learnings over the years. I aim to remain ahead of the game while maintaining the essence of my style. Simultaneously, manufacturing techniques are also evolving, making the pieces more dynamic that accentuate its uniqueness.
How would you define your creations?
Bespoke, bold, inspired and trendsetting.
Where does one buy your jewellery? Do you have a hybrid retail format? Do you also retail in India?
We work only on bespoke pieces that are designed on order. The design studio is located in the Dubai Design District and can be visited by appointment. We are not into retail sales.
In India, my design studio is located in Chandigarh, that works on the same concept.
What is a day in the life of Pavit Gujral?
My day begins by making a to-do list to ensure that I don’t miss out any important tasks. I oversee all areas of my brand – be it social media, partnerships, photoshoots, etc. My evenings are reserved for workouts and unwinding. I get to designing at night so that I can work with complete devotion as creating jewellery is sacred to me.
Apart from designing, what is the next best thing you enjoy doing the most?
I love travelling, which has served as the guiding light for almost all of my creations. Travelling helps me bring direction to my thoughts and experiences. The Voyage collection is inspired from my travels.
Scuba diving is another. I have an entire collection inspired from the marine world! The award-winning Dancing Fish collection is one, Crab earrings, Octopus ring and many more. It’s a surreal experience when one is underwater.
If you were not a jewellery designer, what would you be?
A shoe designer. But a designer for sure, as there is nothing more meaningful to me than creating something that sets a trend and keeps my clients connected to me.