Meet the Maker: Palak Kalra and Divya Kalra – Paya

Synchronizing the classic and the contemporary, Paya creates unique handcrafted jewelry. We chatted with Palak Kalra about Paya. Discover.

Synchronizing the classic and the contemporary, Paya creates uniquely handcrafted jewelry. Paya is located in Delhi, India. It comprises Palak Kalra (27), her sister Divya Kalra (24), and the silent member, their dad (S.N. Kalra). We chatted with Palak about Paya. It made for a fascinating conversation. You are cordially invited to it. Welcome.

What were you doing before you started doing this?

I worked as a Quality Analyst for a publication house for about three years, then switched my field to work as a Fashion Merchandiser with an export house for about an year and a half. My sister, who is a graduate in design, has nearly 4 years of experience in designing fashion and fine jewelry for popular brands. Coming from a business family, starting something of our own was inevitable and always there in the back of our minds.

Why did you choose to do what you do?

I have always been fascinated by colours and drawn towards all the things creative. As for my sister, she holds a bachelor’s degree in Accessory Designing from NIFT. There’s this mutual and never ending love for art that we both share. So we decided to quit our respective jobs and venture onto this journey to find ourselves and start something, wherein we could single-mindedly work towards the things we’re most passionate about. It’s actually in the blood, our father is the creative genius of the family.

We are fascinated by names. What’s the story behind your brand name?

As this brand was started by me and my sister, we decided to use the portmanteau of our names – (PA)LAK and DIV(YA) – PAYA. It also reflects in our tagline, find yourself, wherein we want women to find themselves by finding their true style and not be derived by fashion fads. This in hindi translates to, “khud ko paya.” Thus, the name, which also explains our brand ideology in one word.

Which are your best selling products?

Kundan and pearl necklace, Kundan and pearl big round studs, Semi-precious stone and kundan stud earrings, Green resin stone and pearl choker necklace, and Pearl and kundan hoop earrings.

What kind of people do you create your products for?

Our target audience is women from all age groups. From teens to women in their sixties, we have products for every one of them. Apart from this, we love to create new products for our customers when they come up with their own designs and also customize the already existing ones according to their requirements.

What are the challenges you face in connection with achieving your goals?

Getting two creative minds to think alike is the biggest challenge that we face. The problem with creative people is that they are creative and when you are creative, you trust your idea and getting the other creative person to think the same sometimes becomes a task. There are times when we click right at the beginning of the idea but there are times that call for endless discussions and brainstorming sessions.

Where do you see your brand three years from now?

Expanding it further, increasing the output, giving back to society what we have received by creating more job opportunities, and having an ever expanding and never ending list of satisfied customers.


What would you be doing if you weren’t doing this?

Had you asked me this question a few years back, I would have answered, “may be something of my own, being at a place where I truly belong.” So, it’s actually what I have always wanted to do. But, yes, apart from this, I love to draw and paint. Another venture related to this is in the pipeline!

Visit the Paya Shop on Engrave.

Avinash Subramaniam

Avinash has been an advertising writer, fiction writer, poetry writer, freelance writer and serial wronger. Other roles he has been in include those of an editor, brand builder, and teacher. His interests include advertising, scrabble, body building, chess, cinema, making money, reading, internet culture, cricket, photography. To hear him air his thoughts, follow him on Twitter @armchairexpert.


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