Merica Shrestha’s exposure to jewellery started early in life. Growing up in her father’s jewellery store Gahana Griha which has a history of more than three decades, gave her an early start on understanding jewellery design. As a young girl, she would mix and match different aspects of jewellery to create her own unique piece. This interest led her to get an education as a Gemologist from the United States and thereafter return to Kathmandu to take the business legacy forward.
She is the Managing Director of Zuleika by Gahana Griha where her signature is boldly represented in a blend of traditional designs for the modern woman. All her designs carry a romantic appeal. Merica affirms that designing jewellery makes her happy. Excerpts from an interview from the talented entrepreneur:
When did you start designing jewellery?
I love my job, I love the industry. I feel fortunate to be able to spend my days around beautiful, fine jewellery. That being said, it isn’t all beautiful diamonds all day, every day. Like any business, there are multiple challenges on a regular basis that we try to overcome. I started designing jewellery before I realised I was actually designing jewellery. Growing up in my dad’s jewellery store, Gahana Griha gave me an early start to jewellery design. As a young girl, I would mix and match different aspects of jewellery and create my own unique piece.
With global influences at a peak, do you think the revival of traditional designs hold strong?
Trendy jewellery and fashion will come and go but our brand has never really paid attention to that. We like to make jewellery that are timeless, that can be passed down generations and will last a lifetime and more. Our jewellery designs are heavily influenced by our rich culture and history with a modern eclectic twist. I don’t really have to make a conscious effort to “revive tradition” because I end up doing that naturally.
Please take us through your design philosophy and creative mood board?
I try to make my designs versatile. For example, I want my client to be able to wear my jewellery in a boardroom or to a dinner party without feeling overdressed or underdressed. Also, if I am designing bridal jewellery, I will design it in a way that the earrings from that set can be worn separately as statement jewellery on its own or a maang tika can also be worn as brooch. Majorly I look into the functional value of the jewellery.
How do you manage to make traditional designs appealing to the modern woman?
I had once read that designs are good when they are part of culture, not just commerce. And that stuck and somehow has become a part of my design process.
Coming from a family of jewellers, what are the major learnings over the years?
Trust is the key. And no matter how long you have been in business, you need to constantly evolve.
Where do you seek inspiration for your craft?
It really depends, sometimes, it’s nature, and sometimes it’s a book I’m reading.
How are your designs different from what’s available?
I feel like our designs add a regal touch to your outfit. They have a sophisticated feel to it and are designed to be timeless. We have designs for any and every age group.
What is the most treasured item in your personal collection?
What is your advice for the new age bride?
Let your jewellery speak for you. When choosing your bridal jewellery, don’t buy whatever is trending at the moment, but buy something that truly resonates with your personal style. That way you will probably end up wearing it more than once.
What are the few tips one should consider while buying jewellery?
Try to buy jewellery that is versatile and timeless. Pay attention to quality. Sometimes, if a price is too good to be true, question why it is that way.