BY RITIKA RAVI
By Neelima Agrawal
The restless, deep, dividing sea
That flows and foams from shore to shore,
Calls to its sunburned chivalry,
“Push out, set sail, explore!”– Poem by Henry Van Dyke
These lines from the poem ‘Doors of Daring’ remind me of the young and immensely talented jewelry designer Ritika Ravi, who has just launched her jewellery line IVAR in the Maldives. For one trained in London, living in Chennai and manufacturing in Jaipur, Ritika’s choices intrigued me. As the wise Sōtō Zen Monk Shunryu Suzuki, said, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.” She soon quelled the doubts, and revealed her astute business strategy that allows her to let her emotions rule. No lip service to the adage ‘follow your heart’, she is living it. Her flagship is at the St. Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort, but she also retails online across the globe.
She speaks with passion about the influence on her designs of the beautiful setting of the sun soaked island of the Maldives, which are evident in the IVAR jewellery. Stunning in their understated designs, the delicate setting of diamonds, suitable for all age groups, yet very contemporary and youthful, the IVAR’s range is set to rock.
We spoke at length and came away impressed by her strong individuality that is refreshingly from the heart.
Neelima Agrawal – What made you launch your new line in an offbeat destination, the Maldives island?
Ritika Ravi – I have visited Maldives several times with my family. I fell in love with the island, the easygoing lifestyle, and the wonderful people. My first collection was inspired by this beautiful island, and this is where I wanted to start IVAR.
What is the significance of the name of your brand, Ivar? What does it mean?
I used my father’s name, or rather my family name, Ravi, spelt in reverse, to name my venture. I am deeply committed to my family and our family values and ethics, which I bring to Ivar.
As a jewellery designer, what are the key factors that influence your design process?
Of course, as a creative person I put in a lot of thought into the design of each piece of jewellery. But most importantly, I also make sure that the jewellery is easy to wear, not too heavy or fragile.
What is your brand’s positioning?
It is a sophisticated laidback fine jewelry brand associating Indian craft and Western designs.
Who is your typical client?
Someone who travels, who is inspired by art, who appreciates beautifully handcrafted things, who enjoys life and likes discretion
What is your rollout strategy?
So far we are relying on our e-shop launched last month and on our flagship store, inaugurated this week, ideally located at the St Regis in the Maldives where we have direct access to a high concentration of our clients who resort on the island. Our objective is to follow our clients in the countries where they reside through a presence in department stores and in selective stores and e-shops, as well as reminding them from time to time about the brand when they are on holiday thanks to pop-up shops at sea and winter resorts.
Where is your jewelry manufactured?
We manufacture in India, mostly in Jaipur, at a workshop that has been supporting some of the most prestigious international jewelry brands.
You have used polki diamonds for your 10.18’ collection, but without the silver backing, technique popular in Jaipur. Please share your views on this.
The uncut diamond or Polki is an underestimated stone, mostly associated with bridal jewellery. I find it very beautiful, so raw and natural. The shape is organic and no two stones are ever the same. I think there is a lot of potential with polki and I didn’t want to use it in a traditional setting, I wanted to see how I could make it different and more contemporary.
Is sustainability important for you?
Sustainability is an essential for the brand. We make sure to purchase “no conflict zone” diamonds, and gold from suppliers that rely on “environmentally friendly extraction”. In addition, we aim to go digital and paperless.
What is next for IVAR?
I hope there will be lots coming-get a few displays and some pop up shops.
Visit website of IVAR – www.ivarjewelry.com