Thursday, April 21, 2016

Urbanitii (Featured shop/artist)

The Memphis based jewelry design label URBANITII is one to book mark if you love handcrafted jewelry pieces that are chic, feminine, stylish, and affordable and give you that edgy look. The artist at Urbanitii, Vidhya Maghanathsunder, meticulously designs and creates these handcrafted pieces that are not only aesthetically unique but are also a symbol of beauty and the artists originality. Forging a relationship with creativity and finding her true calling, Vidhya, a self-taught jewelry designer, churns out collections for Urbanitii that covers a broad spectrum of genres, be it ethnic, contemporary, boho, modern, quirky, simple or bold. What makes Urbanitii stand out from the rest of the players in the same field is that the designs do not conform to predictability or rigidity. Every collection is dedicated to attempting new techniques and methods in crafting jewelry and is an artisanal blend of different styles, metals, textures and colors.
TECD: Hello Vidya and welcome to TECD! Let us get started by asking you, the significance of the name “Urbanitii” ?
Urbanitii: “Growing up in India I was always exposed to the beauty and fine craft that jewellery making was. So it is an influence of those sensibilities and blending it into smart n easy wear pieces for an urban life, hence 'Urbanitii' (urbanity).” 
TECD: Tell us what made you heed to your creative calling? 
Urbanitii: “I was not of those who was focused on a dream of how my future must plan out, while growing up. I was fortunate enough to have a happy childhood, and completed my undergrad and masters with no particular ambition, although I gave my best to whatever I did. I was a 'happy go lucky girl'. 
Post marriage, I moved to the US. Coming from a family of creative individuals and having inherited some artistic qualities, the resources in the US intrigued me and I got exploring. My initial tryst with being creative was when I started painting abstracts. I found myself to be very happy doing so. Soon kids came along and I was a busy stay at home mom, still unaware of what my true calling was. It was 2 yrs after my second child that I was at a crafts store and spotted some beautiful beads on sale. I bought them and rushed back home excited. A few youtube videos later and a lot of practice, I was creating my own jewelry. In no time I was back at the store buying some basic tools and more beads and voila! There began my journey with beads, strings, colors n all things beautiful. The moment Urbanitii was born.” 
TECD: Tell us more about Vidhya, the person behind the label? 
Urbanitii:"Coming from a technology background of BCA and MCA, I never had an opportunity to work with corporates. Do I miss having experienced that? Hmm…Maybe.. But I would never want to trade on the contentment and happiness I get being a self made entrepreneur and making my own statement pieces. Being an entrepreneur teaches you a million lessons that you cannot learn in any business school. 
I truly believe in living a very simple and uncomplicated life. I have a mental list of things that make me happy. I intend to keep expanding on the Happy List and focus very less on frivolous matters.”
TECD: Would love for you share a few of the million valuable lessons that you learnt along your creative journey? 
Urbanitii: “Grit and Persistence are the only 2 words. I teach them to my kids too. It will automatically lead you to success.
Running a small business and making a living out of it is no easy task. Penny pinch all your expenses. It helps in the long run. And TRUST yourself. There will be a million times you will doubt yourself. Trust your gut and plough through. You will reach the stars!”

TECD: Each of the pieces is simply exquisite. Please give us a run-through of your creative process? 
Urbanitii: “My inspiration in creating a piece of jewelry has been the raw materials itself. Often, People ask me if I sketch or have a vision in my head. The answer is, No. I carefully do an expanded research in acquiring raw materials globally. My designing is an 'on the go' process. Don't get me started on the number of stringing and unstringing of beads. But I do it till I get it right. 
Working with new materials is always a challenge. But I love it because you learn so much in the process. I get a prototype done and apply the techniques on other pieces.”

TECD: What according to you has been your most memorable experience w.r.t. Urbanitii?
Urbanitii: ”My very first sale! I was delighted by the fact that someone loved my design and creation as much as me. Moreover, it was my first salary, which was a big deal to me. I had sleepless nights for the next 2 days, purely out of joy!”
TECD: What are future plans for Urbanitii?
Urbanitii: "I’m thrilled about the fact that there has been growth every year since we opened. Our main focus right now is to make Urbanitii more accessible to people. Even though we ship globally, international shipping costs have always been a deciding factor for people in India. We are currently looking at collaborating with high end boutiques and stores in India.” 
Thank you Vidhya for taking the time to connect with my readers and sharing your inspiring creative journey. We wish Vidhya all the very best for all that is in store!
You could connect with Urbanitii via their FB page and also write to Vidhya at for custom orders.

(Image Credit/Courtesy: Urbanitii)