The Multi talented Ann Benjamin is the mastermind behind the online brand, ‘Sanchi’
Jewellery has always been an inseparable part of fashion, history, culture and civilization. It has evolved over centuries and adorned men and women across all ages. Today, with the increasing affinity towards chic fusion ensembles, it is the elegant enamels and muted Metallica that seem to be ruling this segment! RITZ traces out the coolest trends in jewellery this season with Ann Benjamin – model, actress, author, TV anchor, chocolatier and the mastermind behind the online brand, ‘Sanchi’.
Text: Riya Sonny Datson
“When you are into modelling, you automatically tune into trends in fashion and accessories. During my modelling and acting assignments, I began to enjoy styling and started to explore options in accessories and jewellery. As I got more involved, I realised that there was a demand for affordable ornaments that were not just trendy but had quality. That’s when I decided to start an online store. Sanchi offers a handpicked collection that can literally adorn you from head to toe. There are toe rings, anklets, waist bands, finger rings, bangles, bracelets, necklaces, lockets, nose pins, jhumkas, head pieces and even jewellery for men. We also customise jewellery for our clients based on the occasion or the colour of their attire,” says Ann.
A Metallic Twist
Oxidised silver jewellery has a big fan following this season as these can be teamed with Indian ethnic wear as well as chic western wear. They make stunning statement pieces and adds panache to any getup. The added bonus being that if you prefer to have them in gold, there is always the option of gold plating them. “The Jhumkas and Nosepins are my hot sellers and there is a continuous demand for them throughout the year. My clientele includes women across all ages and it’s not limited to the young college crowd. I have even had a 65 year old coming and picking up stuff saying she loves them all!” grins Ann. Aluminium jewellery and light weight Enamels are also very popular now, as their hues can be matched to the shade of your attire. Apart from casual trinkets, charming chokers and striking statement pieces like the Afghan pendants, Sanchi also offers strings of semi-precious stones like emerald, ruby and agate that can be customised to suit your taste and budget.
“From the time I started Sanchi, affordability was always a priority. Jewellery is something that people like to change to match their costumes. So when it’s affordable and has quality, you don’t mind making repeat purchases,” says Ann. Is there competition? “Yes there is!” but she goes on to explain that she dodges competition by providing quality products backed with personalised customer service and customisation.
Keeping The Pace
Tinsel town is most definitely the trend setter when it comes to the fashion and jewellery segment. “If I post a picture of an actress or a celebrity wearing one of my collections, there is an instant spurt in online traffic and there are umpteen requests for the same piece!” she says. Currently she displays her collection via her Facebook page and couriers products throughout India and abroad. She also has customers visiting home to check out her collection. Juggling home, shooting assignments and Sanchi? “Smart phones are a boon,” she smiles. “Thanks to them I can manage my page anywhere anytime – even when I am traveling to pick up stock. I update my page thrice a week to ensure there is fresh stock always!”
Ann highly recommends metallic jewellery to be wrapped in soft cloth or a pouch that she provides along with her products. “Even if the product gets wet, it can be wiped dry and stored away. When exposed to the air for long periods, the jewellery tends to darken especially silver. Though it can be re-polished, if careful, it can be used for a long time,” she explains.
While Sanchi has a beautiful line of jewellery, it also offers an interesting line of sarees and accessories like organic cotton bags and hand crafted hair embellishments. “Sanchi was started on an idea that it would be a platform to help women who are creatively inclined but don’t have the support to display their products. So I haven’t limited myself to jewellery alone but have also extended the brand to other products and brands like ‘Manifest’ that specialises in gold plated brass and silver chains and ‘We are Kora’ of Puducherry that manufactures organic cotton bags,” she says.
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