Breaking The Mold - Sipika Khandelwal

Capturing organic forms with a surreal touch, Sipika Khandelwal – founder of Sipika Khandelwal Collective jewellery – is among a rare breed of jewellery connoisseur whose collections feel like wearable works of art. The 30-something connoisseur surely knows the pulse of the market and has mastered the art of blending classic and modern aesthetics for today’s consumers. In keeping with the times, Sipika recently launched her new brand with the collection ‘Polki Jewel box.’ Writhing, rippling and blooming, Sipika’s jewels are often painted with vibrant colour rhodium finish for a richly ornate yet futuristic look. In a conversation with You & I, Sipika shares her philosophy, chats about trends in jewellery and design, and much more.

When did you discover your love for jewellery?
My love for jewellery goes back to my trousseau shopping days with mom. While I was clearly excited to buy my wedding jewellery, I was also deeply fascinated and awe of Indian jewellery and its fine craftsmanship. We started in Bombay, the diamonds of which captured my heart; our next stop Jaipur surprised me with exceptional handcrafted JADAU Jewellery. That’s how I discovered my passion for jewellery.

Your jewellery sits on the cusp of fine jewellery and high fashion. Tell us how you have managed to create a signature label such as this? How much influence does fashion have in conceiving the collections?
Every statement piece curated at Sipika Khandelwal Collective jewellery has a tale to tell. Our collections are specially curated with a lot of thought, attention to detail and fervour. They are tailor-designed keeping the latest trends in mind, while also not losing out on the old world charm of Indian jewellery. 

Which are some of the artisanal clusters you work with in India? What are their specialities and traditional skill sets?
We employ some of the finest Karigars in Jaipur whose core competency is their expertise in Meenakari work that dates back to the MUGHAL ERA. Our Meenakari is on 18kt gold that exudes royalty through and through. The thoroughly skilled artisans of Jaipur help bring out the POLKI LEGACY and heritage that transpires into the jewellery we create at SKCJ.

Breaking The Mold - Sipika Khandelwal

The industry is constantly evolving and one sees trends change in the blink of an eye. How can a brand stand out in such a scenario and how does your eponymous label rise to the competition?

Back in the day, jewellery was perceived more as an investment than anything else. Today it’s also about an intricate art that is very dear to every girl’s heart. The last decade has seen an evolutionary change in jewellery trends. This change in perception has lead me to offer a wide variety of jewellery, ranging from Gold, to Diamonds to now even Polki. 

From a sartorial point of view, what makes bespoke jewellery so important to you?

Every piece at Sipika Khandelwal Jewellery instantaneously sparks a conversation for the wearer. We make sure to first really discover our clientele’s style and what their desired outcome is. Based on that, we move on to customising and creating what they truly want, be it flamboyant or subtle.

What all crafts/techniques do you mostly work with? How do you translate them over your pieces?
We use a number of techniques, ranging from geometrical to floral designs. Choosing the colour palette and making each piece into a statement one is something we ensure to fulfil as per the client’s wishes. Each collection is designed with utmost thought and parameters to create timeless and iconic pieces.

What kind of skills can aspiring and upcoming designers hone to excel in the field of jewellery design in today’s competitive landscape?
Jewellery designing is one such career choice which is rapidly easing its demand and thus, the number of aspiring designers each year continues to grow. To make yourself stand out among the crowd, one of the best things you can possibly do is make a breathtaking portfolio and continue to follow through with the passion, love and ambition you have for the art.

With an overwhelming abundance of choices in the jewellery market, how do you differentiate yourself from your competitors?
We directly link skilful artisans to the last consumer, with no middlemen, added expenditure and/or superfluous charges. Our aim is to bring you the finest modern contemporary jewellery with sublime craftsmanship.

Tell us more about the latest lines that you have come up with.
“POLKI JEWELBOX” are the quintessential pieces a Maharani would have in her jewellery box. This elaborate jewellery collection will make you feel like a princess with royal feels, making you look no less than a Maharani in any piece you adorn. Pastel tones that are currently trending this season, with palettes of pink sapphires, violet fluorites and Russian emeralds, are what encompasses our latest collection. 

What do you envision for the future of your brand?
To set a global platform for Indian jewellery and its craftsmanship and be a name known worldwide, while showcasing Indian pride the world over.           – as told to Anisha