Thursday, July 18 2019


Seizing the Moment

Shehzad Zaveri
Venturing into the business of diamonds and gems while still a teen, Shehzad Zaveri designed jewellery instead of following his childhood dream of genetic engineering. A well-known name in the jewellery design business today, he talks to Vandana Rana about his brand and other treasures.
He wanted to become a genetic engineer but in 1979 after the death of his father, his family wanted him to join the family jewellery business. To ease the burden off his mother, he accepted, since she was single-handedly taking care of the family as well as the business after her husband’s demise. “My family pushed me into the business of jewellery making. And being the eldest in the family, I had to do it to support my mother,” shares the owner of Minawala, Shehzad Zaveri. As a kid he witnessed and faced many hardships; during his teenage years, he even tried selling jewellery from door to door. However, he dreamt big and eventually developed the family jewellery business into an elegant and unique enterprise named Minawala.
Since a young age, Zaveri was involved in the processes of conceptualising, designing and making jewellery. His sketches were appreciated by clients and people around him. This helped him in learning the fi ne nuances of jewellery creation and sharpened his skills to a high level. Diligent and passionate about his work, he took upon himself to fabricate the designs and then he would sit with craftsmen to develop them – each a bespoke item of carefully crafted luxury.
Zaveri nurtured the brand just like his own baby – he has seen it growing, rising and developing, and today, it gives joy to heart when he recalls the past. The label Minawala stands for creating timeless pieces with utmost craftsmanship. Zaveri explains, “Our brand is unique and exceptional as it is straight from the heart. Our work speaks about our values and this makes us different from others.”
The creative director designed his fi rst trinket 33 years ago – a simple contemporary pendant. It was his love that pushed him to buy the pendant back from his customer later in life. To get the precious piece back again, Zaveri was even ready to pay three times the original price! “That pendant held a special meaning for me, so I wanted it back. I offered three times the amount but he is our loyal client and understood my feelings attached with the jewel. He resold the pendant to me at the same price for which he had purchased it,” recalls Zaveri. Likewise, he is fascinated with each piece he creates.
Out of all his creations, a special few are close to his heart. One of these is brand’s iconic turquoise rose ring – an elaborate piece of creativity made in 18-karat white gold. The intricate design is adorned with 2.04 carats of beautiful diamonds. The ring complements the turquoise droplet earrings represented in a fl oral silhouette and brings together exquisitely crafted fl owers and precious diamonds. The earrings are designed in 18-karat white gold and 2.83 carats of diamonds. “We have sold many turquoise pieces and I can see them in other stores as well. Almost every jeweller is reselling a modifi ed version of this,” says Shehzad.
Another design that enthralls Zaveri is the ultimate Eiffel Tower ring – one of the artistic masterpieces from the house of Minawala that adorns the emblem of France on the top of it. The 18.52 grams of gold bearing diamonds give it a touch of luxury. Other designs, like the beautiful emerald bracelet creation, streamlined in the middle and heavily curved at the fi nish adorned with chunks of emeralds and rubies, and the pearl bracelet, which is a design with collective fl owers designed in 18-karat gold and highlighted with 1.27 carat of diamonds, showcase the creative prowess of Minawala most eloquently.
For Zaveri, jewellery is putting together precious metals, diamonds, stones and other materials to create timeless heirlooms. He has never used jewellery as a medium of communication. He believes that this makes jewellery a glamour business. Jewellery became a popular accessory post nineties and people started using it as an extension of fashion. But he explains, “Jewellery is not fashion and that’s why it never loses its charm.” According to him, jewellery has no age hence it is not a trend and cannot be categorised so.
He himself does not wear any ornaments but he left no desire curtailed to carve precious jewels for his daughter’s wedding. Not only did he design the jewellery, but they came across as representations of emotions through their designs and motifs.
And after his daughter, the owner of Minawala would love to design jewellery for eminent Hollywood personalities – Olivia Newton John and John Travolta.
The warm and competent creative director says that his experience in the industry has been pleasant and he has learnt a lot from the people around him. But he deems that there are only ‘resellers’ of jewellery in the industry and not makers.
Zaveri believes that every man who is riding a horse is not a jockey and every person who is selling jewellery is not a designer. Hence, he especially works on the exclusivity of the brand – this led him to achieve a number of triumphs.
Since the fi rst Minawala store opened its doors at Mumbai in 1993, the brand has branches across India and has even received The Best Jewellery of the year in 2007 by Retail Jewellers. Maintaining the same glory, pride and legacy of the brand, Zaveri’s son and daughter are now also working with him.
Beginning humble, Shehzad Zaveri carries on a legacy, creating the most exquisite possessions a woman will crave and covet. As he rightfully puts it, “Jewellery is timeless and is close to both the creator’s and wearer’s heart”.
The Eiffel Tower ring created by Zaveri using 18.25 karats of luxurious gold.
An emerald bracelet.

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