Welcome to a new week of posts on OUATT! I want to start off Monday with excerpts from an interview with Aparna Das Sadhukhan of the popular jewelry brand, Nine By Thirty. The Singapore-based brand recently opened an online store and acquiring their stylish pieces just became a whole lot easier. This interview first appeared in the OUATT magazine and makes for a great read. It’s can-do attitude is the perfect start to the week!
If you think Nine by Thirty sounds like the beginning of an address, you would be right in that assumption. It was the address of the home in Sydney, Australia that owner and designer, Aparna Das Sadhukhan lived in when she decided to start her jewelry company. As with so many of the people that we feature, we know her via the internet. But considering we only know her virtually, we know quite a lot about her. For instance we know that she is an extremely talented jewelry designer and creator whose passion for her craft travels through the inter-webs, so that someone sitting, continents away, in front of a computer screen can feel her joy in the process of designing, nurturing and bringing to life another exquisite piece of jewelry. We have followed her journey and years ago, Once Upon A Tea Time was the first blog that featured her jewelry. It’s been a thrill to see Nine by Thirty (NBT) grow to enjoy a passionate fan base from around the world and to see Aparna herself come into her own. Her designs have gotten bolder, more complex and more joyful. She currently works primarily with silver though she hopes to explore other mediums. We asked Aparna to tell us her story.
OUATT: Have you always been a jewelry designer/creative? If not, what drove you to it? Serendipity? And what appeals to you about it?
ADS: I have never been a designer in any capacity. I still hesitate to confidently give myself that title. However, as a child I was encouraged to be creative. I was given the freedom to do as I liked and that usually inspires children to create. In that sense I have been creative – art came easily to me and I have been fond of writing. Much later, in Sydney I took up photography as a hobby. Broadly speaking, creativity came to me in these forms and when I finally started NBT, they were immensely useful skills to have. NBT, indeed, had a serendipitous start. While aimlessly surfing the Internet I chanced upon, for the fourth time, an ad from Sydney Art School to learn silversmithing. My husband booked a class for me as a gift and that was the beginning of many things to come.
OUATT: Tell us the story of how you came to be who you are today: a bold, confident and extremely talented woman.
ADS: Those are beautiful compliments, thank you! A lot of what I am today is a result of what I learned along the way. I was raised in a middle-class family, very modestly. I never had anything easy– from negotiating with my family to buy me a pair of jeans (the bargaining ended with me getting my first pair as a hand me down from my brother) to choosing to study outside Hyderabad (I had to get a scholarship)– everything came to me after proving my worth. I started earning very early in life. And that perhaps, gave me the insight and experience I needed to be what I am today. As far as talent is concerned- I think everyone is talented in his or her own way. It’s not exactly a special quality that a few are born with. We ALL have something special in us. Only the ones who actually delve deep and bother to find out, eventually know their special talent. I have always been bold and a rebel in many ways since my teenage years. But to be confident and have high self-esteem, took me a while. To be confident and be sure of one’s self, I had to believe in what I was doing. The more I did the things I loved, the more confidence I gathered. I think it’s the singular most important trait a woman must possess – self-esteem. I’m still a work-in-progress. To be what you dream to be, you must have a burning desire to achieve and be fearless about it. The words- ‘what would you do if you weren’t afraid’– are words to remember always.”
As I mentioned earlier, Nine By Thirty has a new website and you can visit them here. Prepare to be tempted!
Images credit/ copyright: Nine By Thirty. Aparna’s photographs by Jaya Naomi.