Indian jewellery industry has found its sparkle in Preeta Agarwal, a New Delhi based jewellery specialist. Backed by a creative instinct so strong, there isn’t a single aspect in the journey of a jewellery professional’s life that she hasn’t ticked off her checklist. From designing to marketing, from retail to social media along with journalism, blogging and photography… she is all things jewellery!
To fuel her creative journey, she began her story with a jewellery design course from NIFT. Today, with her blog ‘Bejewelled Finds’ she has found an outlet to educate her readers with the knowledge acquired over her experiences. Having authored ‘5 high jewellery coffee table books’ and established ‘Preeta Agarwal Workroom,’ she is often globe-trotting in hunt for some of the finest jewels just to share it with her audience or working on path-breaking projects like ‘Jewellery Intensive’ and ‘Jaipur Jewellery Deisgn Festival’.
What made you get into this field?
I always had a creative streak in me since the childhood. It was always about arts, crafts and mixing materials. Jewellery also caught my fascination quite early on in my growing up years so when the time came to choose for my specialized education, I mixed the two. As I grew up, I researched more on the field of design as a career option and channeled all my energy into jewellery design.
How did the NIFT degree help in shaping your career? Share your experience?
Post my graduation; I worked as a jewellery designer for a few years in some of the leading design houses of India like Tanishq & Ganjam. However, the inquisitive soul in me always wanted to explore other aspects of jewellery and I leaned more towards the marketing side. Creating visual and text content excited me and my design education helped me through all of it, as I understood the intricacies and hard work put into making the product much better than my counterparts.
Can you tell us a little about Preeta Agarwal Workroom?
In my journey of over 12 years, I always felt a gap for specialized services for our industry. ‘Preeta Agarwal Workroom’ is a one-stop place for all jewellers and associated services that are looking for inspiring visual, informative, creative content and guidance on jewellery. By clubbing my expertise with specialized freelancers with my knowledge and experience, I provide various exclusive services for the world of fine jewellery in brand consultation (branding, marketing and events), brand promotion, jewellery styling, content for books and magazines, collection conceptualization, PR & communications and guidance in social media, design & trends.
What aspect of being involved in jewellery do you enjoy the most? Blogging? Photography? Styling? And Why?
I would say all of them as I enjoy a variety in my work. Same work over and over again gets quite boring and that is why, from time to time, I love to work on unusual projects like The Jewellery Intensive and Jaipur Jewellery Design Festival that help me explore a whole new aspect of our industry.
What made you start ‘Bejewelled Finds’? which section of the audience are you addressing with the Blog?
While I was writing for various magazines, I wanted to have a voice of my own too. My blog is my way of communicating with everyone who is interested in jewellery and showing them the lovely pieces of jewellery that I am able to see. Bejewelled Finds– as the name suggests, is my hunt for the best of jewellery from across the globe. If I like a piece I share it with my audience. At times I even share great concepts, innovative packaging or even journey of various people. My audience is a mix of end consumer, industry as well as international media.
You have authored five coffee table books on jewellery till now with “A Jeweller’s Palette” being your latest. How has this shaped your career?
Having written jewellery stories for so many magazines, I always wanted to write a book on jewellery. Luck was on my side and I got an offer from a publisher and then there was no stopping. Putting together a book is a lot of effort and responsibility. I feel obliged that so many international brands trust my work and let me talk about their latest collections in my books. The best feeling of writing a book is when I see people read it and enjoy the lovely jewellery showcased.
Jewellery Blogging and Jewellery Styling haven’t caught on much in India. What’s your take on the Indian Jewellery scene?
Jewellery blogging and styling are two very new aspects for the Indian jewellery industry. The biggest challenge is to make the jewellers understand the importance of money spent on these.
But thanks to the sudden burst of social media, some jewellers have started seeing the value of investing into a blogger association or hiring a stylist during a photo shoot.
How important is travel for a Jewellery Designer?
In my opinion, travel is quintessential for personal and professional growth, regardless of the industry the person is in. It opens your mind and gives you a fresh perspective. There is so much happening out there in the world and it is only by seeing, meeting and experiencing that ‘newness’ that we will be able to push ourselves also to do something fresh and innovative.
In jewellery, it is even more imperative as like fashion, jewellery across the globe is worn for different occasions, reasons and varies according to taste and cultures. During travels, we get to see the glorious past of jewellery as well as bright concepts that the new age designers are churning out. Yes, social media is a clever tool that gets you access to everything in your smartphone. But, looking at an image can never be compared to feeling a piece in the palm of your hand.
What do you think of Questerra as an initiative? Why would you recommend one to go on a Questerra Intensive?
It is fabulous idea and thus even I got tempted to associate. It is a wonderful platform that gives you access to so many people, design studios, ideas and innovative platforms that is next to impossible to access as an individual. It is all about meeting and networking with some of the best talent from your industry who will guide you and inspire you. You even get to learn so much from the people who you travel with as they all come from different backgrounds yet want to establish themselves in the same industry. And if you are lucky, you might even get to work with them just like Samina Ali from my first Jewellery Intensive who got to work with her dream company Amrapali for her graduation project.
Any message you would like to give aspiring/budding jewellery professionals?
I think Questerra puts it best with their “Travel, Network and Grow” mantra!
Has this awe-inspiring account of her narrative, left you wanting to reinvigorate your own professional journey? Questerra’s got just the thing for you. The warm reception and positive aftermaths that trailed the Jewellery Intensive 2018 has led us to launch Jewellery Intensive 2019. Preeta Agarwal, along with mentor Katerina Perez, has arrayed yet another interesting line up of jewellery learning experiences in iconic places around the globe. Stay tuned the details of the upcoming Jewellery Intensive that will soon follow.