MODERN ADORNMENTS WITH A MASALA TWIST
Indian jewelry has so many styles and variations, but Saeyri’s small batch gold-plated pieces are unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. Elaichi, pepper, clove and coriander-staples you would find in any South Asian kitchen were the inspiration behind friends Manasvi and Rujuta’s Masala Collection. And just like your stomach may start growling at the though of a soothing cup of masala chai or a fragrant bowl of steaming daal, your eyes will covet these Indian artisan made pieces too.
Q & A WITH SAEYRI
Why do you love Indian jewelry? I was born and raised in India, leading a nomadic life travelling and living in Shanghai, Munich and Sydney before moving to California in 2015. But the onne thing that was always in my carry-on no matter where I went was was my khazana box of jewels. Since I’ve been a little girl, I’ve been collecting these pieces.
When did you start making accessories? I started in 2017 and a few years later met Rujuta who also shares the same passion. She studied lifestyle and accessory design at the prestigious National Institute of Design, aiding small handicraft industries. Rujuta has worked with grassroot artisans in Bihar bringing their work to global brands like IKEA.
Tell us about the artisans you work with: Our jewelry is handmade by artisans in Jaipur who have an understanding of materials and mastery over the craft. They’ve been passing their skills on for generations. Our artisans breathe life into each Saeyri piece with their own expression. We encourage them to do this.
What’s the design process for this Indian jewelry like? The real ingenuity lies in prototyping new designs. We go through multiple iterations carefully considering each fold, turn, texture and joint. Prototypes can take four to five months.
What is your first memory of masala? While growing up in India, just about every home in our neighbourhood had a distinct aroma of spices wafting from the kitchen shelves and added to meals. Every family concocted a signature blend that brought them comfort and nourishment. Those aromas always have a place in our hearts and offer the familiarity and a feeling of home.
So it was easy to transition the idea of masalas to jewelry: Masalas are a big part of who we are, what we eat, how we celebrate and how we recover from sickness. This collection is our expression of the warmth, nostalgia and connection that spices bring and a yearning for those familiar experiences.
How would you describe your pieces? Minimal, yet bold. Our jewelry is designed with a lot of love.
Describe the woman who would wear Saeyri: We are proud to have an adventurous, uninhibited and bold customer base. We love being a medium of artistic expression for these powerful women, who often given their South Asian descent, didn’t grow up in a culture that empowered women.