My name is Sharat Jyotsna and more commonly known as Jo. If you told me a few years back that I would be having my own design/make jewellery venture called Adorjo! I would have laughed especially since I come from finance background. I have always loved jewellery though! Which girl doesn’t? I never knew till I actually started to make jewellery, how much I enjoyed it and more importantly was good at it.
I love being surrounded by various shades, colors, metals and findings and all this gives me a huge high. It is this high which gets me out of bed really early, make the most awesome filter coffee and head to my beading table with my phone and playlist meant for my mornings. I start with gazing at my creative clutter for several minutes, as I reorganise and de-clutter is usually when an idea strikes me, it could be a earring, necklace or just bend wires in all directions to try new techniques. Adorjo is two years old and completely online at present I work from home with a small team of 2 karigars and a shipping partner.
Before marriage I worked in the finance field. I am married to a Naval officer and like most naval wives, I too missed a few opportunities of working full time due to our various posting once in almost every 18 months or so. So my first sabbatical was for 3 years after marriage until I finally joined an MNC to work full time for the next 3 years till the time my daughter was born. After she was born I took another sabbatical for 4 years, and I joined back work full time when she was ready for school.
To call my break a sabbatical is actually a very fancy term when infact it was a complete uncertainty of whether I will be able to return to work or not. With every ‘break’ in my resume, the probability of me able to prove myself at an interview that I can be hired and a resource that they shouldn’t let go was getting tougher; not to forget the age factor as well. Every time I took up a job, I had to start at the beginner’s level. I have hardly seen any promotion and very few appraisals as I had to be on the move all the time. I finally quit my full time job to care for my daughter as I did not find an encouraging influence on her in my absence. Now here is a compromise most mothers would not want to make.
The silver lining was I got more time to pursue a budding interest…jewellery making, which developed into a passion and gave rise to Adorjo. I remember making jewellery for myself over the weekends and in small pockets of time. I would click pictures of it in my balcony, made a Facebook page and post it there. I can still remember the happiness of my first sale. I was lucky to be influenced, inspired and criticised by good friends and family, who followed my work and told me what went well and not so well.
I read up a lot about photography and it really helped as what I do is mostly sell jewellery online. It’s all about visual selling, where people tend to buy what they see and like. Hence the picture had to be close to reality. I did a lot of market survey and picked up several types of findings and beads and tried several combinations. I only made what truly made me happy and what made me smile.
Next roadblock I hit was with packaging and shipping. My husband helped me understand that the whole experience of a customer opening the package has to be memorable and should bring forth the essence of Adorjo. Hence, we worked on some hassle free packaging material.
In this whole process from sourcing material to making it reach the customer, I really enjoyed the interaction with the customer a lot. To understand exactly what they want customised and sharing the first draft with them is an experience in itself. Now I have quite a few clients who are regular at Adorjo, who do not even have to explain what they are looking for. They completely trust my choice and creation when they share a picture of the dress or saree with which they need Jewellery. This complete trust inspires me to exceed their expectation. Feedback, reviews, suggestions from customers, broken pieces received by them and loss in transit, I look forward to a learning in each and every happening.
Every time, a teaser to an event or release goes out, I have a instant responses from followers who religiously log on at the said time and watch out for my creations. This feels nothing less than a film release for me 🙂
Each and every single move to a new place and break in career and job has taught me something. I would be lying if I said that I was upbeat and always positive through these years. Yes, I have learnt, through a lot of mistakes, be it single parenting with my new born when my husband was away at sea or joining work after so many years, managing; work, home, and other issues, or start a venture as Adorjo amongst all this and now run this business full time.
I love spending time and doing things for my husband and child and also still want some ME time. I am a real woman, who has seen her super lows, career highs, good days at work, bad days at home, great mentors, terrible colleagues, cried, laughed, let go and learnt. My family know and now have accepted my insanity. That’s exactly what we all are. Perfectly imperfect or should I say, imperfectly perfect.