Ananya is inspired by designer Ananya Malhotra’s passion for colored gemstones and their healing properties. Her family exposed her to the fashion industry early on, encouraging her then-burgeoning creativity. Her line of jewelry launched three years ago, and she quickly made a name for herself with her unique designs. Influenced by her Indian heritage, values, and spiritual nature, each of her creations has both deep meaning and thoughtfulness behind it. In this interview, she talks about her journey, inspirations, and what makes her line unique.
How did you launch your line and what were some of the challenges that you had to overcome to get to where you are now?
As a young brand, naturally there are always challenges to overcome, however, it is important to remember and stick to your vision. We have team members in three global locations, and typically we travel and meet numerous times during the year. When the pandemic hit, our workshop visits and interaction with the craftsmen ground to a halt and we were forced to move to a digital solution, which took some getting used to. As our brand grows and evolves, we must grow and evolve internally. This process can come with its bumps along the road, however, we always remember as a team that it is just part of the growth process and we seek to learn from it.
Have you always wanted to be a jewelry designer?
I grew up in India where jewelry holds significant importance at ceremonies and in culture. For me, it is personal and carries great sentiment. I went on to discover my true passion when studying at Central Saint Martins in London and the Gemological Institute of America. I was keen to share the cultural and sentimental value jewelry has for me and seek to achieve this through my use of material and design.
Who, where, or what inspires your designs?
I have an affinity with Art Nouveau jewelry. Its feminine forms, pastel colors, enhanced by natural daylight, plique-à-jour enamel technique, and unusual inlays inspire me time and time again. A further source of my inspiration is surrealism. Having studied psychology, movement has always fascinated me and my collections and research are often driven by spirituality and mythology.
Do you have a favorite piece of jewelry you’ve ever designed?
The Panjshir — the uniqueness of the center stone and craftsmanship to create it was a brand highlight. As a designer, working with a colored gemstone and understanding how to enhance its color and structure is a wonderful process. This was evident when I worked with the 15-carat Afghan Panjshir emerald; the setting was just as important as the stone itself and was crafted with hand-carved crystal quartz and set with rose and round cut diamonds.
What makes Ananya unique in comparison to other jewelry lines?
Ananya translates into ‘unique’ in Hindi, and this is reflected in both our designs and the brand’s overarching mission: to create jewelry that has no equivalent: in beauty,
craftsmanship, and meaning. Each design is a reverent and respectful interpretation of Indian spiritual heritage and values, expressed through a contemporary design that crosses geographical borders and cultural boundaries.
You’re known for your use of colored gemstones and your love of their healing properties. Do you have a favorite gemstone and why?
The emerald. It brings me luck.
Tell us a bit about your customizable Chakra Collection.
They are wearable, stackable, colorful, and chic. Not only that, but they also help to balance your energies. What more could you want from a piece?
What does your daily jewelry consist of?
I never leave without my open-back emerald ring, which is set in yellow gold and is my lucky stone. I also wear a white opal signet ring which brings me vision, thinking, clarity, and success.
What has been your pinch-me moment since launching your jewelry line?
Ananya launched three years ago and what an amazing journey it has been. The pinch-me highlight would be coming to understand the magnitude of the community of wonderful clients around the world we created and who are the real heart of the brand.
Does Ananya have a specific message that you want to share with the world?
For me, behind every piece of jewelry is a story. I seek to remind those that wear my jewelry of this and celebrate it to the full.