“Freedom is something we design from the heart,” says Aradhana who calls herself an accidental jewelry designer. In a life that has become anything but predictable, Aradhana has spent the last twenty-one years traveling the globe and experiencing the richness of living in different countries.
Although Aradhana was born and raised in a small town in India where men usually dominate business ventures, her parents instilled a sense of independence and a forward-thinking work ethic that encouraged her to believe anything was possible in life.
“My mom was a dress designer in the early 80’s when it was unheard of for women to travel overseas. She established herself within the Indian community and abroad in the UK, USA and Canada.”
It therefore seemed natural for Aradhana, who married in 1996, to move with her husband to Indonesia to start a new business. For seven years, she helped manage the administrative and accounting details of the business before moving to Shanghai in 2003. Once again, Aradhana embraced the cultural challenges and opportunities of a foreign country. She enjoyed life as a tai-tai (the Chinese word for housewife) and juggled motherhood, while helping with her husband’s new restaurant.
But something unexpected happened. Aradhana was ready for a new challenge. After adding yet another new language to her repertoire – Aradhana speaks Hindi, Punjabi, English, Mandarin, and Bhasa (Indonesian), she decided it was time to start a business of her own.
“Shanghai is where I came into my own and became truly free in every sense of the word.”
In 2006, VEDIC LIFE was born. Her new curated boutique showcased Aradhana’s eye for jewelry and art. As the business grew, she successfully launched her first jewelry collection in 2014 in Jakarta. Aradhana’s initial goal was to show how life was reflected in design but she also wanted to explore her inner artist. By creating a line based on colors and textures, she appealed to her own sensibilities and the interests of prospective clients in her circle of relationships.
At its roots, Aradhana’s line was a playful, fun and filled with unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. Each was as special as the joy and energy realized in her friendships and cultural experiences. Her sense of adventure is manifest in every aspect of her business and passionate approach to jewelry design.
“I love gemstones. Each has a healing property on the design level, which is very spiritual for me. My jewelry is all about being you, expressing yourself, and making a statement that pays tribute to feeling confident.”
Great attention is given to the quality of the stones, the design and the workmanship. They are imbued with the emotions and sentiments of both her clients and the artisans who help her create her best work.
Recently, Aradhana relocated back to India but admits not much has changed, except the launch of a new brand name for her creations. Welcome ARRA, a short form for her name, Aradhana. Passion drives Aradhana’s work and her mantra – designing with her heart. It leads her creative approach and response to new challenges and any socio-cultural changes that affect her business decisions and her industry customers.
Aradhana also says curiosity and being sensitive to all the nuances of the business are important. They are critical to her success which explains why she is always careful to make people feel comfortable when deciding whether or not to purchase her jewelry.
“I want women to feel good when they wear my pieces and to feel they express their own personality. I design jewelry for women who love to wear fashionable yet affordable jewelry.”
She adds, “every woman who wears ARRA should feel beautiful inside out, connected to herself and confident.”
Seeing herself as a global Indian who found her freedom and balance through the relentless pursuit of her passion, Aradhana embraces her personal and professional happiness.
In 2020, she expects to launch two collections but has no steadfast rules that adhere to industry norms or trends. One-of-a-kind pieces happen for Aradhana whether she’s in Jaipur hunting for gemstones or sitting in her office scribbling on notepads or playing with gemstone colors or patterns.
ARRA is available online and through a few stores in Goa and Pune in India, and Jakarta, Indonesia. Trunk shows abroad also help Aradhana to scale her business on a global platform.
You can see more of ARRA’s inspiring designs on Instagram @arra_by_aradhana
Always a dreamer, Aradhana’s ARRA is a beautiful ode to dreaming and her sense of freedom. This inspiring intersection of art and work is yet another way Aradhana hopes to share her love of culture and a more globally connected platform for women entrepreneurs.