ARRA was founded by passionate designer, mother and entrepreneur, Aradhana in Jakarta, 2014. Aradhana was inspired to start a jewellery brand after running a boutique in Shanghai for over 7 years and travelling to curate pieces for her store. She found her love for jewellery in Bali, where she was surrounded by incredible silversmiths.
Since then, Aradhana has dedicated herself to designing and creating high quality, semi-precious jewellery for women everywhere. Aradhana specialises in conversation and character pieces that show off the beauty of gemstones. She is passionate about delivering timeless jewellery to women, and giving them the ability to artistically express themselves. We chat to Aradhana about sustainability, her biggest inspiration and how there has never been a low point in her career.
How did your brand begin?
A mother, entrepreneur and dreamer, I have always followed my heart. My brand was born in 2014 in Jakarta, after having run a curated boutique in Shanghai for 7 years. It was during those days when I used to travel to curate for my store, that my love affair began with jewellery.
When did you first fall in love with jewellery and knew you wanted to become a designer?
It was on one of my trips to Bali to source some handicrafts. I ended up in a sleepy village where every second house was a silversmith. I saw the beautiful jewellery and the rest is history!
Is there anyone in particular who has heavily influenced/guided you as a designer?
It was my late mum. She was a clothes designer. She influenced me a lot to follow my passions.
Values are really important to us at JewelStreet. What are your core brand values?
My core brand value is empathy and attitude of gratitude. I firmly believe one cannot be a successful or happy entrepreneur without those two.
Where do you get inspiration for your designs?
I get my inspiration when I travel - from things I see and people I meet.
How is your jewellery made?
Most of my jewellery is handmade by my team of artisans.
How do you ensure your jewellery is ethical and sustainable?
I ensure that the supply chain of the materials I use is from established reliable sources. I work with like-minded vendors to ensure that it’s fair trade.
Tell us about some of your most inspiring clients, or bespoke commissions.
For me, every client is inspiring and valuable. Each piece I have commissioned has been bespoke and a fun journey. One interesting commission was converting an old traditional family heirloom carved onyx piece into a modern day fun necklace which could go with a saree.
Can you recall a particular moment with a client that will stay with you forever?
It was back in the day when I had my store in Shanghai that a Chinese client came and described my store as a treasure trove, like a small grain of painted rice in a tiny bottle.
How do you want someone to feel when they wear your jewellery?
I want them to feel special, happy and important.
What has been the highest and lowest point of your career so far?
Highest has been when people from non-jewellery fields compliment my work and ethics. There is never a low as every moment is a happy challenge.
If you could only wear one piece from your collection, what would it be and why?
It would be my simple long pearl earrings which can be worn with anything at any time. They add drama to the entire ensemble.
Do you work with any charities?
I don’t work with any one particular charity. A percentage of my revenue goes towards charities for people across borders, including my workers and artisans.
Do you have any exciting future plans and where do you see your brand in 5 years?
I want to scale my brand to a height where I see my brand being worn by women across all spheres of life. I want to open stores in major cities in India to start with.
What's the best piece of advice you've been given? (And have you actually used it?)
Love yourself and only then can you love your work and people around you. And yes, I follow it very consciously.
If you could travel to one place in the world right now, where would it be and why?
Machu Picchu. Why? Because there is so much history there and it’s a source of inspiration for all creative people.
What's the biggest style mistake you've ever made?
When I tried to incorporate what others expected out of my collection and not what I wanted. This was when I started my journey as a jewellery designer.
Where is your go-to meeting spot?
My go-to meeting spot is a small cafe very close to my home.
How do you ensure you’ve got a good work/life balance?
A creative mind never stops, so I balance my life by doing things I like. One of them being travel.
What's your favourite quote?
I read this and it kind of stuck with me. “A master artist is a beginner who kept beginning.”
Which 3 current or historic figures would you have over for a dinner party and why?
Lady Diana, for her style. Maya Angelou, for her work. Mother Teresa, for her compassion.
Which 3 books would you love to have on a desert island?
The monk who sold his Ferrari, Who took my cheese and Wild swans.
Favourite series to binge-watch on Netflix?