Hyderabad-based Vasundhara Kasaraneni talks about the intergenerational value of heirloom jewellery
Twenty four years ago Vasundhara Kasaraneni walked to her neighbour’s house to take her first order: to design a pair of gold armlets for her neighbour’s granddaughter. Delivering on that order to the satisfaction of her neighbour made Vasundhara gave wings to her dreams of becoming a jewellery designer; and one of the first women designers from South India.
The 58-year-old jewellery designer has now opened her first flagship store Vasundhara on Road Number 45, Jubilee Hills in Hyderabad. Vasundhara says, “Earlier my work was on personal calls and the bulk of it was export.” She also has an outlet in Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam each.
Recollecting her decision to enter the world of business Vasundhara says, “My grandfather has been a big influence. Watching him run his business I secretly wished to become like him. He always encouraged me and would say he’d like to see me as an IAS officer. My father wanted me to become a judge. However, I never let my dreams waver. I completed my studies and designed jewellery pieces for friends and relatives,” adding she is driven by the need to reflect elegance in whatever she designs.
In 2018, she graduated from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) considered an authority in diamonds and colour stones. “After that, I started a luxury boutique and designed only for friends and a close clientele until I knew I could take bigger numbers. I first started work with my sister, Neha Anumolu. We were a two-member team, now I have more than 200 workers. My sister still works with me,” she says.
Inspired by generations
With an aim to design jewellery that can become heirloom pieces that can be passed down generations, Vasundhara draws inspiration and repurposes pieces from her clients. Which is why closed sets are her speciality. She also enjoys working with black diamonds. “Black diamond is a stone which is as precious as diamonds. Black diamonds easily make for statement jewellery without screaming for attention,” she explained. Her other forte is to add style elements to the simple black beads apart from designing wedding trousseau with a mix of modern and antique elements in it. She finds ways to make them into everyday wear.