When you step into the flagship outlet of global jewellery brand Sangeeta Boochra – Silver Centrre, located off Commercial Street in Bengaluru, it takes a few minutes to orient yourself in the compact space. White showcases with overhead spotlights are filled with silver jewellery by Sangeeta Boochra so intricately designed, you want to pick each one up, gaze at their detailed craftsmanship, and try them on.
This is exactly what I did, looking at necklaces, bracelets, anklets, rings, earrings and more that embody a variety of handcrafted designs by master artisans from across Assam, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Kashmir, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan among other regions. There’s a choker that is inspired from the tribes of Jammu and Kashmir, created with hand-cut glass sourced from the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan, set in silver. A pair of earrings with a peacock motif created with enamel meenakari from Nathdwara in Rajasthan is another statement piece. Then there is a necklace with silver frames around mother-of-pearl that glitter like the million colours of a rainbow.
Silver Centrre in Jaipur has a legacy that goes back 130 years and enjoys an immense loyalty among Bollywood stars – Deepika Padukone, Kangana Ranaut, Neha Dhupia, Vidya Balan, Malaika Arora, Shraddha Kapoor, Shilpa Shetty Kundra, and Raveena Tandon are just a few who wear Sangeeta Boochra pieces. Its clientele also includes royal families around world, Hollywood celebrities, bureaucrats, politicians, and industrialists. “Our longstanding history and our focus on artisan-based pieces depicting Indian culture and heritage, is perhaps why we are loved,” says Sangeeta, who joined the family business as a designer in 1994 and who creates over 10,000 styles each month.
While the base for all designs is 925 sterling silver, there are varying finishes like gold polish and oxidised versions of silver, and the use of precious and semi-precious stones. “The jewellery at the Bengaluru store has been curated exclusively for the South Indian market, which prefers the oxidised look, temple jewellery, pieces with gemstones, and light-weight classics too,” adds Sangeeta.
Label Sangeeta Boochra’s parent brand, Silver Centrre, goes back over a century – it was established by Seth Kistoor Chand Boochra in 1897, and taken over by his son Lalit Kumar Boochra, who opened the brand’s first store in 1961 in Jaipur. In 1994, Sangeeta joined her father-in-law in the business, and in 2011, a separate, eponymous label was established under her.
One of the pillars of Sangeeta’s work is the artisans they work with, who have been in the business for generations. With ever dwindling numbers, the organisation ensures that these craftsmen are never in shadows. Interactive sessions with the public are hosted regularly at their centres as well as during exhibitions held across the country and internationally.
Silver Centre also has an association with the Indo-Afghan Trade Commission that sees them sourcing authentic pieces of jewellery. Many are over a century old and are refurbished, but small chinks are retained as tribute to the legacy of the piece. These are authenticated by the company’s in-house experts and a guarantee on their age and quality is given to buyers.
The brand currently has design studios and three factories in Jaipur where all the pieces are made. The aim with each new piece is the upliftment of art, culture and kaarigari (craftsmanship) of rural India and placing Indian jewellery on the world map.
For more information, log on to www.silvercentrre.com