Like any other college student at the time, Harmini Asokumar wanted to attend a concert, but she did not have the money to buy a ticket.
“My parents didn’t want to give me money for a concert [and] I had to figure out ways to make money on my own, while I was in college.
“A friend suggested I sell the jewellery that I was making for fun by starting a blog shop, and it just took off from there,” said Harmini.
Little did she realise, this would be a turning point in her life.
Her modest business soon developed into the online jewellery brand Deeper than Fashion (@deeperthanfashion) with over 30,000 followers on Instagram. The 31-year-old former marketing executive eventually decided to quit her job and get into the jewellery business full time.
Her one-of-a-kind earrings are simply beautiful, unique, intricate and colourful.
“It is wearable art with an ethnic twist,” said Harmini. “I incorporate a lot of my (Indian) culture into creating more modernised playful designs, while keeping some of the traditional structures and ideas.
“I love looking at my jewellery as pieces of art, because each piece is uniquely made, and I do not repeat the designs.
“I enjoy the creative aspect of constantly forcing myself to come up with new designs. It’s challenging and fun for me to explore different styles.”
Jewellery-making had always been on her mind, ever since she was a child. During school, Harmini used to make friendship bracelets and present them as gifts to friends.
She said: “I have always been very crafty. At times, I walked into a retail store to buy jewellery but they (the pieces) never spoke to me.
“The thought of hundreds of people wearing the same piece didn’t appeal to me, and even just the thought of the same designs didn’t really hit the mark for me in terms of aesthetics or the colour palettes chosen. I would end up walking out after being unable to find something I [wanted to] wear. Then, I decided I would just make my own.
“My first jewellery-making [experience] was making wire earrings. It all kind of evolved from there.”
While Harmini makes a variety of earrings, it was the dreamcatcher style which initially caught the eyes of customers.
“My brand really took off when I started making dreamcatchers, and I still make them, until now,” said Harmini.
“Currently, my favourite thing to make is earrings. I love how a pair of earrings is all that you need to make or break an outfit.
“I have a wide range of jewellery and designs, therefore I mix-and-match materials as well. I don’t have specific ‘go-to’ materials, it’s more of a creative flow which I just kind of follow.
“I think what makes my jewellery different is how my designs come to life. There is no sketching and designing beforehand, it’s just how I assemble them together, in that moment, and that [makes them] one-of-a kind earrings.”
Challenges are inevitable for a jewellery designer. “The biggest challenge that I face is having my work replicated, and sold for a cheaper price.
“Handmade products are very much under appreciated as it is. It does, however, [constantly] challenges me to up my game and explore different creative ideas,” said Harmini.
Painting is another artform that she enjoys. She began painting as a child, but only seriously got into acrylics and watercolours just four years ago. The ocean and tropical plants are her inspiration.
In fact, her art translates to her earrings. “I have painted my jewellery before and created a range based on painting and mixed mediums,” said Harmini.
Apart from her jewellery, Harmini also writes in her blog Deeperthanfashionmy.com, in which she shares her various travel experiences.
“I love travelling and I am one of those people who enjoy visiting new places and trying everything.”
An animal lover as well, Harmini cares about the adoption of stray animals, and even volunteers for the NGO Voice For Paws every weekend in Bangsar, during their adoption drives.
Harmini lives by these words: “Always be the best person you can be.”
Originally Published Here Entertainment & Lifestyle