Striving And Shining Bright! - Renu Choudhary

Renu Choudhary is a Mumbai-based fourth generation diamond and jewellery enthusiast, who is strongly influenced by her ancestral city Jaipur’s rich heritage of exceptional gems and exquisite craftsmanship. To promote the gem and jewellery industry on a digital platform, Renu launched her blog, “The Diamond Talk”. She has been a judge at prestigious jewellery design events and visited numerous trade shows. A strong supporter of natural diamonds, Renu believes that jewellery and diamonds have a lot of sentimental value and are symbols of strength. We caught up with the jewellery enthusiast in a recent chat.

Coming from four generations of jewellers, why did you venture into launching your own channel, The Diamond Talk? Did you feel something was lacking in the industry?
I have always been associated with the gems and jewellery industry. As a child I saw my father and grandparents work on jewellery. I have spent a lot of time at the family office and store. And I have experience working with two of the leading diamond companies. In 2018, I decided I wanted to create a wider awareness about gems and jewellery on a social media platform. It started just as a passion, without knowing which direction I wanted to take it.

The idea behind starting my blog was to promote the industry. In today’s digital world, social media has become the epitome of marketing. Influencers have not only been recognised and trusted, but have become a critical way for brands to connect with their audience. I had a passion of spreading awareness. It turned into a business and it’s been two and a half years of a wonderful ride. I believe in curating informative, valuable and educational content for my global digital family, because if someone is investing even 20 seconds of time on my platform, it should be worthwhile. I want to show the audience the journey of diamond-making.

Do you remember the first time you were mesmerised by the beauty of gems and jewellery?
Coming from a Marwari household from Jaipur, I have been inspired by the rich culture and heritage, witnessed colourful vibrant jewellery and a lot of meenakari work. I have always seen my cousins wear jewellery, and have seen karigars coming in and out at the office. Even as a child, I loved adorning myself with my mother’s and grandmother’s jewellery. I remember wearing a small set of necklaces or earrings from their collection.

How did you make your way in the industry?
The Indian gem and jewellery industry is completely male-dominated. There are very few women mainly in the design sector or administration jobs. I wanted to pave the way for other women who wish to pursue their career in the industry, especially in the loose diamond sector. I remember when I was working with one of the leading companies, I was the only girl walking through the doors while there were 100 men working at the office.

I was often complimented, especially by international clients who were happy to see a woman selling diamonds. Throughout this journey, the whole industry has been very supportive. There were no challenges in particular as I was focused and determined to be a strong woman and walk shoulder-to-shoulder with men.

We live in a society that believes “Diamonds are a woman’s best friend”. However, with the times changing, we have seen jewellery being normalised for men as well. What do you think?
I believe diamonds are everyone’s best friend. Infact, many companies now make unisex jewellery which can be worn by both men and women; it’s a trend!

If you had to give your expert take on what diamonds to wear to work, parties, and weddings, respectively, what would you suggest?
I am a great admirer of solitaires; I feel it’s always classy, elegant and transmits a lot of grace and persona to the wearer. So a solitaire pendant would be a great pick for work. For parties, it depends on the occasion; maybe some cocktail earrings, a diamond brooch, chunky cuffs or diamond bracelets could be good conversation starters. And for a wedding, a layered diamond necklace, bangles, and rings would go great.

Transformable jewellery is really in vogue. You can wear one to work and then transform it for a party night. You can break them or add different parts and work it accordingly.

How has the industry evolved over the years?
Through the years more women have paved their way in the industry. Also, people now don’t just believe in buying big chunky jewellery and keeping it in lockers. Designers and jewellers too are making everyday wear jewellery and not just bridal pieces. A lot of focus is now given to what people want to wear. The industry is now open to more creative ideas and innovations.

We often learn lessons from what we do; have you learnt anything from diamonds?
I have always been inspired by diamonds. They are resilient, natural, and unique. They are a symbol of love. Diamonds grow deep under the earth and always rise up. Similarly, we too should strive to rise above our challenges. We need to be strong and keep shining like a diamond. When a diamond is formed, it’s carbon, but when it comes under heat and pressure, we see it sparkle. It inspired me that no matter how daunting the situation is, one must keep their eyes on the goal and work hard to shine bright.   --- as told to Srivalli