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An entrepreneur can traverse his journey with constant innovations by rightly executing his academic and professional learnings, persistently following natural hobby, culminating his life inspirations and likings and endeavoring in balancing passion of designing and stress of entrepreneurship.
Pallavi Foley, the Indian international jewellery designer and the founder of Pallavi Foley Boutique Jewels is the right example of amalgamation of these qualities. On the way to mark her footprints across leading fashion capitals of the world with her boutique stores, Pallavi Foley spoke to Entrepreneur Media on the occasion of her nomination in the jewelery Designer of Innovations Creativity category in the India Leadership Conclave 2016.
Kindly tell us about your entrepreneurial journey.
Overall it’s been easy and tough journey. There are a lot of challenges like paucity of finance and all other aspects comes together in the entrepreneurial journey. In the jewellery space, designing every piece yourself and heading to the right direction is a big challenge. I have had many celebrities who endorsed my pieces while wearing them at different events. I have won many international and national design awards. There are many innovations that I have done in the jewellery designing while working with craftsmen. I would say the biggest achievement is the passion that lies in me. Constant innovation and the intent to take the brand to each and every person is my biggest achievement.
What has been your biggest learning from NIFT and Tanishq?
I use my learnings with NIFT and Tanishq in connecting with your personal self and design differently. With my learning I developed the understanding of the designing, manufacturing of jewellery, in depth understanding of material, what is possible and what is not and my success is clubbing together of this understanding. I completed my graduation from NIFT New Delhi in 2000 and worked with Tanishq for around 10 years and always it was my dream to launch my own designer boutique. I had those entrepreneurial instincts to convert my skill into a venture and now I have been utilising my learnings and passion to design and put it together with the entrepreneurial skills.
Entrepreneurship is a constant learning of things one after the other. Making mistakes is not wrong it's a core of the design. Nothing can beat an entrepreneur if he is following his dream, passion, knowing his brilliant and his subject very well. You turn a piece of gold, you twist it around and you have to create. If you are scared of making mistakes then you can never move one.
What is your constant source of motivation?
Designing is one of my life fossils and it’s something that keeps me going. Like everybody has their own expressions of life similarly designing jewellery for me is expression about what I am feeling and what I am doing. My every inspiration and every travel culminate into designing the piece of jewellery. I wouldn’t say the designers or brands are my source of inspiration it’s my set vision that I want take my brand to the international level motivates me. I love to take a craftsmen like approach.
You are a good sketcher. So how is it adding to your creativity?
Sketching is a passion which came to me naturally. I use to sketch when I was 3-4 years old and I take my inspiration from nature and the natural forms. Like we see the forms of a butterfly we see how it flies there is a lot of science in art and I like to blend it. I think nature is a big teacher that teaches us a lot, the passion just remains with you. In my case a lot of credit goes to my parents for encouraging me as a child to follow my dream, my passion and I still do what I believe in. I think an entrepreneur should be honest about his or her passion pursuit and this honesty carries him through its own.
What sets you apart from the spectrum of leading jewllery designers?
The one thing that keeps me apart from the others is the constant innovation. We are very much about Indian art and craft but yet modern and global in appeal. My jewellery designs are inherently Indian but it looks international flavoured, the styling is very global. We have customers from Paris, New York and across the globe.
How do you balance your work life?
It’s a very challenging and it’s always a very hard thing to straddle with. Designing jewellery is about innovation and hardship. If it’s a good piece you need to take the customer one or two steps ahead your entrepreneurial skills.
Balancing passion with stressful entrepreneurial journey is a skill that you learn. I think the brain that holds the design capability also holds very well the entrepreneurship capability because both are about taking the calculative risk. In design, you are always turning things otherway around and that is very helpful in business as well. When you face problems and if you address it with the different perspective you will see it in a different light. I face challenges with a different point of view and different approach. An entrepreneur can’t be risk averse.
How did you manage to create your brand image as elite yet affordable?
I believe in a democratization of designed jewelleries. It's not that only the rich and the famous can buy the jewellery. My pieces for events or wedding wear are designed at Rs 5000 to up to a crore rupees but it caters everyone. Whether it’s a small or big, more expensive or less expensive the same amount of design detail goes into every piece of jewellery.
Any tips for the budding entrepreneurs
Do what you love. If you do what you love then you will definitely never die out of the passion. Follow your own instinct what you are actually good at because over the year that only can sustain. If a particular is not you subject then its better you move out. The sooner you get into what you are doing then better it is going to be and you can only excel at things you are brilliant at.
What are your future plans?
We are currently in India and slowly expanding and the whole idea is to move forward very quickly. I want to have Pallavi Foley Boutique Jewels stores in all the fashion capitals of the world like Paris, New York and Dubai in the next five years. I feel with lots of focus on a design there is enough scope for us to make it internationally big. Also the great advantage is the best craftsmen and techniques are available with us.