Life is made up of infinite ordinary moments; however a few extraordinary moments can create opportunities to reveal the hidden dreams. The disclosure of dreams can sometimes be a commitment to oneself to achieve them. The journey to achieve the seemingly impossible dreams becomes memorable when these dreams are outlined with shades of passion. In my case, MOHA has been the dream, I have been passionate about.
Only a year and half back, MOHA, my silver jewelry brand was born. As with my own child, the birth of MOHA gave a totally new direction to my life. The brand MOHA was conceptualized and initiated in Goa, where I had moved in. After shifting to Goa leaving my Hyderabad job, I was not able to cope-up with change of suddenly being empty, not having any work in hand. This feeling unfortunately had put me in severe depression, for 4 to 5 months I was in same depressed state crying, keeping mum, broke contact with world, became aloof, later with help of friends and family members I took anti depression treatment, kept reading books of Albert Ellis, Anand Nadkarni who are renowned psychologist, kept reading biographies of great doers, all this lead me start work-life again. Now I wanted to do something that I was passionate about, silver jewelry. Whenever I wanted to buy jewelry for myself, I would tirelessly roam around for finding the perfect piece of silver jewelry and then think about how I would have made a more beautiful design out of it.
It was precisely in the year exploring almost all the large shops and even the local markets for about days, I was finally disappointed to have not found a beautiful design. At this moment, I thought to myself, to start making own designs. I discussed this with my husband, who was already aware of my passion and supported me whole-heartedly. But then I wasn’t aware as to what exactly needed to be done to do that. At that point, I had no answers to even simple questions such as to how to make the jewelry? How to procure the raw material? How to find the buyers for the products.
But with little research, my path slowly started becoming clearer. At this juncture, I also realized that my determined pursuit for answers led me to several people, who helped me to set up MOHA. One of them was, a family friend and a jeweler from Malegaon, who upon hearing about MOHA, decided to enthusiastically support me in my endeavor. He introduced me to the basics of the jewelry industry in India and guided me ways to get work done from these skillful artisans. He was also kind enough to invest in my idea. With his support, my designs started taking shape in Malegaon and it definitely was an exhilarating experience. During the same period, an opportunity presented itself in Panaji. An exhibition was being organized and I decided to set up a stall to sell my jewelry. I did not know even the basics of selling or interacting with my clients, but I took this opportunity and it worked! MOHA had actually started rolling.
I continued to coordinate with the artisans and travelled frequently to different rural artisans to get my designs done exactly as per my ideas and specifications. While doing this, I also had to take care of my family, which was at times juggle. Nevertheless, I continued to do it. After the first successful exhibition, I set up a stall at the Saturday Night Market in Goa. As the name suggests, the market would open in late evenings and go on till the midnight. The market was extremely popular with foreigners and my clientele increased. At times, my husband would join me at the stall after his office hours. Whenever he couldn’t make it, I would manage things on my own. Sometimes, I would travel alone at midnights for about 30 km. But these risks were worth it and MOHA continued to grow. During this period, I decided to shift to Mumbai as my husband took up a new job. I correctly understood that Mumbai was a bigger marketplace than Goa and getting the right people to work for me and procuring raw material would be much easier. It was perhaps for the good of MOHA that I had shifted to Mumbai. In Mumbai, I set up my small studio and started working from new place.
Major focus always is increasing my research about designs and making techniques. This was also a period of great learning, where I made mistakes, entrusted work to the wrong people and even blindly trusted some people, however this was all a part of the learning curve for me. It was very clear from the response that MOHA was being received very well by my clients. As recognition to MOHA, people making the Zee Talkies Calendar requested to use my jewelry designs for their upcoming 2015 calendar.
My love for nature and tribal communities, and wondering in nature is major of source of inspiration. MOHA designs are mainly influenced by Nature and tribal communities, their jewelry, their attitude, their accessories and their way of living life.
Here MOHA to be apt name. MOHA is multipurpose tree, the tree is considered a boon by the tribal’s who are forest dwellers and keenly conserve, The Moha flower is edible and is a food item for tribal’s. They are used to make syrup for medicinal purposes. They are also fermented to produce the alcoholic drink called mahuwa, a country liquor which is part of cultural heritage of many tribes. I saw the flowers of MOHA for the first time in the Narmada basin. At that time, this name stayed in some corner of my heart. At the same time MOHA is Desire, and jewellery is desire.
Overall MOHA has given a new meaning to my life. Although women mainly use MOHA designs, the fact that the men control this business cannot be ignored. At every stage, men have to be dealt with. Communication is the biggest barrier; men in sector aren’t too familiar with a woman leading jewelry making business.
Now, it is one and half year of MOHA. A lot of people have contributed for the growth. It was impossible to achieve this growth without tremendous support of friends and family, everyone around contributing in own way to this journey. Most of my experiences about MOHA’s growth have been memorable, barring a few bitter ones too. However MOHA’s journey continues unabated.