Radhika and Gauri Tandon-Team Tandon!

Isharya – founded by Radhika and Gauri Tandon – is a jewellery brand that presents fresh designs and interprets India’s aesthetics in a contemporary way. This dedication is what keeps them ahead in the sphere of India’s costume jewellery. Gauri, based in Mumbai, oversees the design team in Bandra, Mumbai, while Radhika, based in Silicon Valley, California, manages global branding, sales and marketing. “Our collective brand vision and the fact that we are family make it easy to defer to each other’s judgment and rely on each other completely,” say the sisters-in-law.

Earlier, they each custom-created their own designs for family and friends. After noticing a void in Indian-inspired, luxury, statement jewellery in the market, they created the concept Isharya in December 2004. What started as a hobby quickly grew into a successful business that has grabbed the eyes of celebrities and retailers alike.

What inspires your designs?
Radhika: Most of our designs are inspired by nature, architecture, global travel, and India’s rich heritage. We also love to take age-old jewellery-making techniques and apply them in new and interesting ways. For example, we frequently use mirror glass to mimic Indian Polki, also known as rose-cut diamonds. We use Indian style enamel to infuse colour into our pieces and take inspiration from exotic gemstones and their natural beauty. Women who appreciate beauty cannot help but be attracted to India’s diverse and colourful heritage.

Who do you envision wearing your work? Do you consider this aspect while working on the design?
Radhika: An Isharya woman is confident, boldly feminine and chic. She has verve and passion for her life and the people in it. The Isharya aesthetic is designed to fit into her lifestyle, and allow her to express her confident style with bold pieces that are effortless. We are excited to accessorise the leading ladies of Bollywood; it is very difficult to choose our favourite, though. They are all so fabulous and look amazing in Isharya!

What are your favourite pieces from your designs?
Radhika: I cannot leave the house without an Isharya cocktail ring on my right hand.  My current favourites are the statement modern resin rings from our Renaissance Rani collection.
Gauri: I’m always seen in my Isharya Bedouin fringe earrings; they define the Isharya aesthetic completely, as this is an old Indian design that translates to a contemporary piece.

Designing and retailing go hand in hand for the success of a jewellery brand. Do you find retailing a challenge?
Gauri: In the time we have been retailing in India we have noticed a marked change in the approach and mindset when it comes to buying jewellery. Today, people are not necessarily concerned about the resale value, as there is an appreciation for aesthetic and details, quality, and finishing.

What are your upcoming collections/projects?
We opened our first retail store in Mumbai last August, and have mapped a retail expansion plan that includes new store openings in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bengaluru in the next year. So that is exciting. Our latest collections – Renaissance Rani made with gold-plated resin in bright and colourful hues, and statement-making Pasha 2.0–were be showcased at ABsalut Style in Hyderabad last month.

Any advice to aspiring designers?
Think about who your audience is and design with those women in mind. It sounds like basic and simple advice. But many mistakes can be avoided when there is clarity in design language and sensibility, which stem from a well-defined audience.     - as told to Sumana