Introducing the clever artisans who make your jewellery at our factory in Jaipur, India. There are so many people and so much time involved from start to finish.
Each piece is individually hand crafted by multiple people. It takes months to develop the designs, sketching, deciding on details then finally sending the designs to India for sampling. They're then either converted into CAD (computer animated design) digitally or hand crafted from scratch. Following this is weeks of making that involves ordering custom cut gemstones, creating wax molds, casting, polishing and stone setting. This is just to create a couple of sample pieces that are sent to me in NZ or are ready for me to look at when I arrive in India. Once they are approved or changed (this can add months to the process), its then followed bywork on marketing (products and model shoots, selling to costumers ie retailers), then finally released!
Here are just a few of the people involved in this process.
But the really fun and fascinating part of my business is visiting the clever makers and craftspeople in Jaipur who bring my designs to life. Our factory in Jaipur employs about 60 craftspeople who support large families across many different religions. Our workers are paid 10% above the average wage of other factories and even when they leave to try out working at other factories, Sushil assures me they almost always return. There are many reasons for this but as an observer of many different jewellery factory conditions, I now know the difference between good and bad workplaces. Ours is great.
Before the pandemic there were 110 people working in our factory but many still haven't returned from their rural villages and for many there still isn't enough work to sustain them. They are slowly returning as the business is rebuilding and as the world is opening up. They hope to get back to full capacity soon.
In March when I returned to India it was such a joy to be back in the factory. These humble and shy men who usually have their heads down and quietly smile at me, this time had beaming smiles and were so pleased to see a customer after almost three years. And so was I! There was an instant understanding of what we had all just experienced, and I felt a huge rush of gratitude to see familiar faces especially after the hardships they had endured.
Our workers in Jaipur receive free transport, clean water, laundered uniforms, safe work conditions, health insurance (that covers their entire families), and most importantly supportive, kind and inclusive management who care about their workers. These values mean everything to me and are part of why I’m so hands on in India and can say this with hand on heart. It’s a beautiful journey…