Are you looking for unique, signature pieces to incorporate in your wedding look? What about bridesmaids gifts? Something special for your loved ones to remember your big day by? Look no further than 3CharmsGalleria!
Meet Kaja Ben – the lady behind 3CharmsGalleria. Her pieces are all designed and handmade. Kaja spends a lot of her time working with clients to customize accessories to their tastes and likings. Supported by suppliers in India and brand ambassadors (@rochellewick and @sthmrthy) around the world, whether it be jhumkas, necklaces, statement earrings, bangles.. you name it – Kaja is your girl.
I have always enjoyed crafting, especially with my lovely children. We have always loved arts as a family and I’ve always been curious about how thing are made.
The team at Tie • The • Thali got a chance to sit down with Kaja herself and discuss with her the details of her business.
1. Who is the face behind 3Charms Galleria? Tell us about you as a person, behind 3Charms. What are your interests? Hobbies?
The face behind 3Charms is a mother of 3 active loving children. When one of my kids was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, I needed to stay up until 3am every night in order to check my child’s glucose levels. This is what made me start 3CharmsGalleria. It was one of my kids’ ideas to make jewelry while I stayed up. I have an humble creative team who loves to put smiles on others faces. We are grateful to our family & friends who have been supportive of this whole endeavor. I have always enjoyed crafting, especially with my lovely children. We have always loved arts a family and I’ve always been curious about how thing are made. I observe a lot of details when I look at something, which has helped me with my jewelry business. My hobbies are gardening, cooking and, drawing.
2. Can you tell us about the name of your business? What’s the story behind it?
The name 3Charms is a representation of my three wonderful children. My oldest daughter chose the name 3Charms – and I loved it.
3. What made you decide to get into the jewelry business? How did you start this business? Do you have a storefront or are you based purely online?
I was introduced to jewelry making by my twin sister @Kala_Selva. She was the one that taught me the basics. This progressed to me making custom jewelry as an experiment (entirely as a hobby with my eldest daughter). I was encouraged to post images of our creations on Instagram by her as well. I always wanted to customize my own jewelry to my liking because sometimes it is hard to match your accessories with your outfits, especially according to occasion. I have always wanted to give others the opportunity to pick and customize their accessories based on their outfit and liking. For now our orders are entirely based off word of mouth and social media. We don’t have a storefront as of yet, but that’s something we are looking into for the near future.
4. What are some of the difficulties you faced with the startup of your business? How far across the globe are your customers?
All businesses have their challenges when they are first starting up. We had the ideas and the creativity, but finding the quality of materials was a bit of a challenging process. Since our business was based off making everything by hand, we had to do intensive research to find the right suppliers. When making the jewelry itself, we have to make sure that the durability is to our liking. We have clients from all over the world from countries including Norway, Germany, Switzerland, London, USA, India, Sri Lanka, Australia, Netherlands, New Zealand and counting.
5. Your instagram description says “Custom, handmade jewelries” Do you only sell your own designs?
Yes, we only sell our own designs and every thing is hand made by me. Our jewelleries are handmade and customized to our clients’ needs from scratch. This way, whatever color co-ordination that clients’ need – we cater to them. We have also added bridal sets and sarees to our collections recently for very competitive prices.
6. Is there a specific type of jewellery that you specialize in? (Pearl/stonework/etc)?
Our specialty at 3Charms are hand made paper and silk thread earrings, necklaces, bangles, hair accessories and tikkas.
7. Where do you draw inspiration for your designs? What kind of trends to you look for when making your pieces?
We let the clients and their attire inspire us, since we have to make sure what we customize for them suits their outfits. We also make sure the styles are unique and up to par when designing the jewelries and we try not to be repetitive with our designs. My eldest daughter is also my biggest inspiration. Most of the time she draws or sketches a design for me, which I have made into finished products. 3Charms is a combination of old school and modern day designs.
8. How long does it typically take you to make a piece (from a design, to figuring out materials to use, to finally putting it together)?
Once we have the design, it typically takes 2-5 days to fulfill customized needs for a client.
9. Can you discuss a current trend now that is very popular, especially among brides?
Our current most requested style of jewellery is silk jhumkas and silk thread bangles. Another one would be the diamoned/detailed jhumkas (we like to call bridal jhumkas).
10. Who’s the person you trust to tell you their honest opinion on a design? Is this the person you show your brand new creations to first?
I have a wonderful family, who supports me in everything I do. They are my worst critics and my cheerleaders at the same time. My oldest daughter, husband and my twin sister never hold back when they have to give their honest feedback.
11. What are some upcoming trends you foresee with jewellery for brides? Do you see anything making a comeback?
The current trend is always going with your own style and instinct of what will suit you. Arm jewelry and araku sets are definitely coming back in style.
12. Do you offer rental jewellery or only jewellery for purchase?
3Charms, being a custom handmade jewellery brand, are able to customize jewelry for everyone, including brides and bridesmaids. We also customize jewelry for pre-made bridal sets. Our rental packages are one of the best out there because we offer 3 days for the price of 1.
13. We know you offer free shipping worldwide. Is there a minimum amount that needs to be purchased to qualify for free shipping?
We currently offer free worldwide shipping – no minimum purchase required.
14. Have you had any unusual requests for accessories? Do you foresee this unusual request becoming a trend?
The extra large nethi pattam (tikka) among bridesmaids was an unusual request I had, and it has definitely become a trend among my customers.
15. For brides who want to buy their jewellery and still be cost efficient, what kind of pieces would you recommend? Are there things to avoid if they want to be budget friendly? For example, would a set with stones be more expensive than an antique set?
Every bride is different and their tastes will always vary. Two brides may have similar sarees (or sometimes even the same saree) but what they view as trendy and what they want in their acessories may differ from each other. This is where 3Charms comes into play. 3CharmsGalleria is there to make sure that all their accessory needs are fullfilled – hey, the big day is all about the bride after all! As far as budget goes, once again every wedding and every bride is different because brides don’t always turn to custom jewellery. Most brides sticking to a strict budget usually wont turn to custom jewellery as it is more costly for a bride than rental jewellery. At 3Charms we make it personal for every bride and bridal party whether beads or stone it’s all about personal preference at the end of the day. We have to make sure the client is happy, just like saying through thick and thin; whether our jewellery is fancy or not – it’s all about satisfying the bride and clients.
16. What do you think is an absolute must in a bridal set? What could a bride go without?
An absolute must for a bride varies based on the type of wedding and culture. A hindu wedding bride will have or must have earrings, bangles, uchipattam (Tikka), hip chain, and a necklace. Some brides do the hand chain, and accessories for their forehand through the fingers – and that is something they can do without especially when you have to put a ring on during the ceremony or take exchanging bangals. I think any jewellery that will need to be taken off and on during the wedding will be an inconvenience during the wedding and it is the last thing you want to be worried about.
17. Some people consider mixing pieces a faux pas, while others think it is cheaper to assemble your own bridal set. What is your tip for those who wish to build their own bridal/ accessory sets? What has to match? (Colours/metals, finishes etc?)
Every bride or client has their own preferences and as long as they are happy with their look, at end of the day it’s all about you and what you rock. Color coordination is a must in my opinion, (whether it is your metals that match or your stones) so that your look has some flow and avoids looking tacky. Sometimes thinking outside the box helps – as long as your top, bottom, and jewelry all are coordinated, you can rock any look and make a fashion statement while you are at it.
18. Back in our parents times, bridal jewelry meant you wore family heirlooms. What tips do you have for brides today who are required to wear all or certain pieces of their family jewelry? How can they customize their look while still making their family members happy?
Family values and traditions are important to many people but at 3Charms, we believe you can also customize your accessories to the new and latest trend without compromising the value of the jewels. That’s another service we offer at 3CharmsGalleria, where we uplift your existing jewelry. Polishing and resurfacing your existing family heirlooms can give them a face lift to the older pieces with a new twist.
19. Tell us about a piece you didn’t want to sell because you loved it so much? What made you fall in love with the piece?
The very first piece made by me (later scratched up by my oldest daughter Riyanka) has so much detail and personal value that I didn’t want to sell it. I now cherish it and it hangs up on my wall as an inspiration to all the other pieces I create.
20. Do you have any tips for our brides when selecting accessories to match their outfits? Certain pieces that go well with certain colours, stones vs. pearls, types of metals etc?
For the most part, brides now days are more knowledgeable about what is out there and most of all, what they want. My advice is that simple is sweet but you sometimes have to step out of the box and take a chance with some bold pieces. You don’t have to over do your jewelry, especially if you paid a good chunk for your saree and make up. Jewelry is worn to support the saree and make up so I would recommend that keeping a balance between those things will create a good look every time!
21. Name a celebrity who has inspired a certain piece of jewelry or jewelries you have created.
Sabyasachi Mukherjee has always been a great inperation for colours and designs. His famous floral salwar designs were our inspiration when we created our cherry bloosom jumkas. Celebrities can influence some with fashion trends, particuluarly females when it come to jewellery and sarees. At the end of the day we cater to our clients – so if they do request a style from a celebrity inspired movie or look, we make them their pieces while trying to put our own touch to the trend
22. If you only had to wear one piece of jewelry for a year (without any other) – what would you choose, and why?
I am no different from any other girl in love – my wedding ring and engagement band are my ideal favorite jewelry to wear daily.
23. As a business, what are some of your goals for the future in regards to your collection?
Our future goals as a business is to grow to meet the demands of our clients’ needs and make it easy for them to request and order online, via phone or email. We are a custom jewelry based business who has grown to now sell sarees and rental sets for bridal and non bridal clients. We would like to expand our collections with more variety to fit all of our future clients’ needs. I have had great support from clients’ and especially my family who are my strength and with this great support system, we will continue to do bigger and better things for years to come.
24. Can you tell us who has been your support system – those people who have helped you out from day, and picked you up when you’ve had a tough day?
Apart from my family and friends, I have to mention @ikonicfilm and @inchantedstudio as those 2 have been my backbone when it comes to media. Media plays such an important part to a business’ success and without them, my Instagram page would have certainly been lacking.
We would like to take this chance to thank you two lovely ladies at Tie • The • Thali for this wonderful opportunity and to let all of our supporters know how grateful we are for all their support and blessings.
To contact Kaja and to view more of her wonderful designs, checkout her Instagram @3CharmsGalleria