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Bangalore based jewellery brand Quirksmith founders Divya & Pragya Batra created a handcrafted jewellery brand that is much more than what meets the eye!
For the longest time, jewellery has been a source of exhibiting beauty and expressing themselves as Indian women. Today, globally, women are fascinated by quirky and distinctive jewellery that they can wear to accessorize their outfits, personality and uniqueness. Quirksmith founders Pragya Batra and her sister Divya Batra created their design company which manufactures handcrafted jewellery and accessories, with the same philosophy in mind.
The sister-duo and founders of Quirksmith, Divya, and Pragya Batra hail from Agra. Divya, the older sister, is a trained jewellery designer who has worked in the field for over a decade.
She graduated from NIFT in 2004 and immediately began working at Amrapali as a designer. She has also made jewellery for Manish Arora, a fashion designer, during London Fashion Week in 2007.
She was the lead designer of Fab Jewels Pvt Ltd, a high-end diamond jewellery manufacturer, in 2008.
Pragya Batra graduated from IIT Delhi with a degree in engineering and an MBA from INSEAD in 2012.
She then went to work as a consultant at Bain & Co in India before joining InMobi. She worked as a strategy lead at InMobi till 2016.
Apart from their sisterly bond and understanding, their complementary skill set can be credited for the success of their business. Pragya is in charge of marketing, while Divya is in charge of the creative side of Quirksmith.
Divya and Pragya started Quirksmith intending to create a ‘cult’ brand of jewellery. QuirkSmith, as the name suggests, is one of those brands that appear to combine women’s quirkiness and uniqueness with just the right touch of artistry.
They wanted to make elegant and simple jewellery- while still making a statement and allowing women to express themselves freely.
A majority of their designs are worn daily and developed to represent the individual’s personality who wears them.
As we all know, the fashion industry changes with the passing of time and trends. Divya and Pragya noticed this error in the evolution of jewellery designs.
The styles and motifs have majorly remained the same over the years, except for a few new labels creating innovative jewellery.
Moreover, despite the industry catering to women- men run it. It didn’t sit right with them. And they were ready to change this.
In 2015, Divya and Pragya invested Rs 40,000 from their savings to create their first jewellery design. At the time, the sisters already had good jobs, and leaving all of it to start the business would have been a risk. So they started small.
They tested the market for the first year of their business by setting up small pop-up stores at flea markets and exhibitions on weekends.
They received a lot of positive feedback, and women began to recognise and refer the brand to their friends in their social circles.
This positive response encouraged them to go online & make their presence big on social media.
They kept reinvesting the money they made from sales into generating new and more designs.
By the end of 2016, they already had a few thousand social media followers when they launched the Quirksmith website.
The people who had shopped from them before not only became their biggest customers but enhanced their marketing, as well.
Apart from that, they made great use of internet marketing. They mainly advertised to Facebook and Instagram users. Because both of these social networking platforms are visual, it helped that their designs were iconic and unique, catching people’s attention.
They’ve come a long way from weekend pop-up stores- and selling on Facebook and Instagram to owning their website with over 100k monthly visits.
After 18 months of running Quirksmith as a side business, they decided to make it their full-time job. They began as a two-person shop and have grown to a team of more than 50 artisans!
Divya and Pragya hope to start shipping globally in the future. In terms of their products, they just released a home decor series featuring poetry wall art- the majority of which are Divya’s poems.
Neither Divya nor Pragya had any prior business experience. Their two complementary personalities, one with creative expertise and the other with years of marketing and business strategy experience, and their passion for their skills.
Together, they created Quirksmith, where they aim to create jewellery that has meaning for the wearer. Jewellery isn’t just attractive to look at but also represents the wearer’s personality and emotions.
Divya and Pragya Batra are great inspirations to all the young women entrepreneurs who want to make their mark. They prove that if you have the will to make your dream too, and of course, great support, you can achieve great heights.
Note: The information about the brand has been compiled from various sources online
Image credits: Quirksmith
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