October 31, 2014

FamousFridays | Manaswi Jhala

Manaswi talks about her Jewelry line as we meet over a lunch date on a crisp day of fall in New York!

The passion for Jewelry comes from?
I fell in love with jewelry as a little girl playing with the jewelry my aunt inherited from the Maharani of Udaipur. Soon, I started designing pieces for the trousseau that my mum, like all Indian mums, started collecting the day I was born.

My designs are inspired by a childhood spent among the forts and palaces in Rajasthan and by the sophisticated vibrant women all around me in New York. Each piece is informed by the unusual stones I source from around the world- lavender quartz and morganitas on visits to my parents in Brazil, tourmalines from Thailand, conflict-free diamonds from Africa.

Your shopping destinations?
NYC- Barneys for the great mix of cool new designers and established ones and Bergdorf’s shoe department. Jaipur for all things Indian! With a 2-year old at home, I am now a voracious online shopper too.

Tell us about your favorite cuisine and a restaurant you love to dine at? 

Mum’s chicken stew is top of the list. While dining out, I love small plates of flavorful food. ABC Cocina, Ilili and Locanda Verde are favorites right now. I also love high tea at the Mandarin Oriental and Alice’s Teacup.

What compelled you to make that switch between a corporate job to Jewelry Designing?
I was an Investment Banker for close to a decade with a break in between for an MBA. I loved advising companies on their IPOs. Seeing entrepreneurs realize their dreams was inspiring. I was itching to turn my passion for fine jewelry into a career but it was tough to walk away from a promising career track. My mum’s breast cancer diagnosis was the impetus. While in India for her treatment, I began to put together a team of stone cutters and karigars, which quickly led to a small collection.

Owning a business is the ultimate challenge- there’s never enough hours in the day. I am everything from the face of the product to the janitor- and I am loving it!

Favorite Indian actress?
Deepika Padukone. She embodies the modern Indian woman. 

One thing you love about New York?

Everything! It’s been home for 12 years now. I love the energy and the interesting people one unexpectedly meets. Where else can you witness acapella in the subway and La Boheme at the Met, spend a summer afternoon slurping popsicles in Sheep’s Meadow and a winter afternoon at the Natural History Museum.

One thing you miss about being in India?

The happy chaos and crazy myriad colors and characters everywhere. The pav bhaji and vada pav on street corners and late night pizza at Trattoria in Bombay. My friends and extended family. So glad work takes me back regularly.

Reach her at Manaswi.jhala@gmail.com 


  1. The jewellery is fabulous! Lobe the earrings.


  2. Wow those are very beautiful pieces.Thanks for visiting my blog.