Raw Appeal

Moha by Geetanjali is a high-end silver jewellery brand dedicated to honouring folksy crafts that are unique to India’s tribal culture. Geetanjali Gondhale’s thematic creations evoke the old-world charm in her appealing silver collections, while keeping contemporariness intact.

Switching careers can be daunting, unless, of course, the pull to pursue your passion is strong. Jewellery making was a calling for Goa-based Geetanjali Gondhale, a petite advertising and digital communication design professional. After a decade in corporate life, she decided to give it all up and design jewellery.  Her intense fascination for tribal arts and crafts and love for creativity gave birth to a unique brand Moha by Geetanjali. The first-generation jewellery designer chose to learn metalsmithing and production techniques with silver as her medium. Today, the online silver brand caters to consumers across the world.  

Geetanjali speaks about her latest collection Sanchi, inspired by the famous Buddhist stupa in Madhya Pradesh, India, which will be launched soon.

Geetanjali Gondhale

When did you establish your brand and what does Moha mean?

I had nurtured a dream to design jewellery and work on a craft that I was passionate about. I chose silver metalsmithing. Moha, my brand, is the result of that passion. I personally love silver jewellery and I wanted to create pieces that were not found in the market.  As a designer, I had a deep desire to create exceptional pieces.

I am a heritage lover and am greatly influenced by nature and the tribes of India. The name Moha is inspired by the Mahua tree that is considered as the Kalpavriksha (a tree that grants wishes) by one of the tribes in Madhya Pradesh, India.

Moha was established in Goa in 2014, but a year later, I had to shift to the outskirts of Mumbai, as Goa had its own limitations in terms of manufacturing. Today, we have a studio and workshop in Thane, near Mumbai.

Harappa Mermaid Whorl silver earrings set with carnelian. Courtesy, Moha By Geetanjali

You are known to make thematic collections based on historical sites and nature. It must involve a good amount of research and time …

India is a country with centuries’ old rich and diverse heritage. I am fascinated by the intriguing subjects, and the longing to know more is the reason I keep digging into history and create collections based on such themes.

It takes a long time to research and come up with collections that justify the theme. For the Goa with Love collection I studied pre-Portuguese Era Goan aesthetics, mainly from the 11th century to 17th century.

Shuk-Sarika earrings depict parrots, an integral element of Goa’s ecological fauna. The earrings are  from the Goa With Love collection.Courtesy, Moha By Geetanjali
Bhava Silver earrings from the Maheshwar collection are inspired by Lord Shiva’s Trishul. Courtesy, Moha By Geetanjali

During my visit to the National Museum of India in Delhi, the excavations of the Harappan civilization caught my eye. The bold aesthetics of the artefacts had a design language and style of their own. That became my next theme for the collection.

My collection, Kosh, was dedicated to the seed pods. I am already working on the next edition based on the same subject.

Tell us more about your latest collection Sanchi.

Sanchi is inspired by the famous Buddhist monument of the same name located near Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. This historic monument is iconic in terms of story, creation, changes, and design language. Lot of stories from Gautam Buddha’s life and teachings have been carved here by unknown ancient artists. I was astonished by the detailing and decided to build it as a series.

I have been working on the collection for almost a year now. It’s a vast, in-depth subject, and I visited the site of Sanchi a couple of times before the onset of the pandemic. I started studying the aesthetic style and carvings on the monument. Due to the pandemic, we had production issues, but now, we have built a beautiful collection on the Sanchi theme, which we will be releasing soon.

Model wearing Sanchi necklace, earrings and an oversized ring. Courtesy, Moha By Geetanjali
The yet unreleased Sanchi rings and bracelets. Courtesy: Moha By Geetanjali

Is the popularity of silver jewellery among millennials growing?

I believe so. Millennials are fond of silver jewellery. Look at the brands at the national and international levels, who are also offering stunning collections … it’s amazing!  

Did the pandemic affect your business?

Yes, it did affect our production, as many artisans, who had returned to their hometowns during the pandemic, are not back to work.

In terms of sales, we faced more difficulties during the first lockdown. Now, we are doing well. By July-August 2020 sales went up, which, I believe, happened as we put in a lot of effort in creating unique designs and marketing through social media aggressively. Our theme-based collections are very popular, and we got good results last year.

Bhramara silver earrings enhanced with rubellite and enamel from the Goojan collection. Courtesy: Moha By Geetanjali

Where does one buy Moha jewellery? Do you have an offline store?

No, we do not have any offline stores as of now. We have an e-commerce website https://mohabygeetanjali.com and we sell and ship our jewellery worldwide.

We are selling and shipping probably to every city and town in India. Our main markets abroad are the USA, the UK and some other countries. If we get some relaxations in exporting silver jewellery, it would be a great opportunity for India to grow exponentially in this segment. 

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