Innovation & Creativity Redefined

Updated: Nov 25, 2020

Bharathi Raviprakash is an unusual jeweller who is extremely passionate about her jewellery business, and like most women, has always loved jewellery. She used to spend her entire income buying herself treats and at times she even used her father’s and husband’s credit cards to finance her purchases.

After a point, her family suggested she should learn about the nuances of the craft of jewellery. She was already well on her entrepreneurial journey as a Money Changer and was the first woman money-changer in the country, having 8 branches all over the South of India. She soon found jewellery was her true passion. Fortunately, she was able to find a buyer for her company, who took over her business while she was able to pursue her dream and did a course in diamonds, coloured stones and CAD/CAM from the Gemological Institute of America, London.

Serendipity thus played a big role in Bharathi’s life that led her to set up her own boutique- Studio Tara in Gandhinagar, Chennai. Initially, the boutique was in her husband’s office but as business picked up, she moved to a more spacious showroom on Kasturi Rangan road, Alwarpet - a prime location that was in close proximity to the other prominent jewellers. Studio Tara did business there for over 15 years before moving to its current location at CIT colony, Mylapore.

Her design aesthetic is decidedly modern. Studio Tara jewellery is meant for fearless, independent and unconventional women as a means of self-expression and to denote individuality and freedom. Showcased here is the Mulino collection, denoting alternate energy, inspired by windmills and the process of milling.

Bharathi’s first show was held in London back in 2003 at the Merrill Lynch lobby. Although she received good response, it didn’t culminate in good sales, due to the outbreak of the Gulf war. Since then, Studio Tara has done many international shows in UK, USA (NY, Chicago, Washington) and Singapore. The consumer response was very good.

However, post 9/11 things took a different turn. It became cumbersome carrying jewellery personally as the customs rules became more stringent and she used to get red-flagged everywhere she went. She therefore decided to focus on the Asian market. Singapore, Bharathi says, is her biggest market after Chennai.

“The prestigious retail tie up gives a perfect opportunity to reach out to a diverse set of customers. We get many international customers who travel to India for business and tourism. We also hope to be present in other Oberoi stores soon”.

Bharathi caters to consumers from the age of 8 years to 80 years and she believes that the younger they are, the more discerning they become, with regard to their taste in jewellery. By the time they are in their teens, they begin to ask for specific designs such as charm bracelets or customized pendants that help them express themselves freely. Bespoke jewellery becomes a part of their lives.

Bharathi has collaborated with reputed fashion designers such as Abraham and Thakore. She loved their extreme simplicity, beauty and flow of their clothes. Studio Tara launched an entire line of jewellery with the designer duo. It took nine months to conceive, design and manufacture a collection that comprised of 35 exquisite pieces. The design inputs came by way of sketches made by Rakesh Thakore. Emeralds and other gemstones, as big as pebbles were used to create this collection. Trunk shows were organized in Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai and the collection was received very well. The jewellery was displayed in specially sourced bamboo bird cages from Bangkok.

“The quintessential Studio Tara woman is she, ‘herself’. The Studio Tara woman knows what she wants, is bold, beautiful and self-assured.”

Studio Tara’s jewellery, in addition to the Chennai boutique is also available at ‘Tijori’ stores located at The Oberoi hotels in Mumbai, Udaipur and Delhi.

Powerful, Independent women who are confident in their skin are her muses. Bharathi’s special relationship with gem stones and her interaction with her muses throws up interesting design ideas that result in stunning creations.

Post CO-VID, as life limps back to normality, social distancing is still the norm. Weddings and other occasional gatherings are less elaborate. Bharathi feels that, during these times, simple, smart, bold & sculptural jewellery would work better as people are reassessing and analyzing their situation, whilst cutting back and prioritizing expenses.

Millennials and generation Z prefer light weight jewellery and do not differentiate between occasions. Every day is a celebration for them. Experience rather than ownership is more important to them.

“Studio Tara is perhaps the first jewellery boutique to have used the unconventional Corian (Patented by Du Pont) along with rubies and sapphires in its Dali Collection. The sculpture inspired jewellery collection pays tribute to the Spanish surreal artist Salvador Dali.”

Bharathi Raviprakash is a progressive lady. She believes in being inclusive. The current polarized climate in the country has motivated The Studio Tara team to launch the Diversity Bangles. The bangles have the cross, the Aum, the crescent and the motifs of Sikhs as well as Zoroastrians. The bangles have been diverse in terms of their metals as well and contain all the three metals- copper, silver and gold.

The Om and Allah finger rings launched along with diversity bangles have received good response too. Silver is used as the base metal, with custom cut crystals on top, in the shape of a dome (which is considered auspicious), while the Aum and Allah motifs are in gold.

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