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Life & Work with Diya Sen

Today we’d like to introduce you to Diya Sen.

Hi Diya, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
It was pure serendipity that I got into this business. It was 16 plus years back when I relocated to the US post my marriage. After coming here and having held a senior position as the head of marketing and communications, I set out looking for a job hoping it would be rather easy. It was not.

It was the year when the recession hit the country and try as hard as I did, but I could not get one. Either I was overqualified, or I did not have enough US experience on my resume. I used to be very depressed. At around the same time, I was pregnant. I wanted to do something that would add to my blessing of being a mom.

Then one day, I happened to walk into a bead store. It was almost like some divine intervention. I got so enamored by the colors, textures, and natural beauty of the beads that I wanted to start creating something on my own. My husband gave me a check for $1000 to start my business which was my birthday gift. I set out with that and bought some beads and started stringing them. In no time they sold, very appreciated and I took baby steps to launch my own.

An artist by nature, I slowly felt the need to work on my designs. I started sketching and started working on casting my designs. The road wasn’t easy. Perhaps too difficult for someone who was completely self-taught. I did not want to go on just stringing and consolidating.  Over time and with hard work I launched my jewelry line even though there were several failures along the way and needed proper learning. I did not give up.  I discovered my passion and have not looked back since.

Jewelry by RuHH has a special kind of uniqueness we aspire to – Minimalism with an edge and Timelessness. Our jewelry is envisioned and handcrafted at our U.S studio.

We’re passionate about creating timeless sustainable designs. Jewelry that is a manifestation of my sketches and thoughts showcases the magnetism of designs of the bygone era rooted in Asian tradition on one hand, and on the other, clean lines and geometric construction with the occasional surprise of asymmetry. We bring forth the best of both our Asian pasts and our American present – the result being that of elegance, classic with a hint of modern and edgy elements.

One led to the other when I would customize designs for the Asian diaspora, with my idea of ever-present asymmetry, nonconforming patterns, and mixing various forms of media to create my organic designs, I was pushed into also curating weaves that represent art and craft forms handed down through generations from the country where I was born – India.

So, a through struck me. I started positioning my brand RuHH as about everything Artware. Playing on the words Art and wearability we wanted to be a One-Stop-Shop dealing with everything created with deft fingers – completely handcrafted and unique, whether it’s jewelry or woven wonders, or even for that matter home and lifestyle products.

My association with different corners of the globe deeply influenced my design sensibility – my travels, India where I grew up, and the U.S., my home where I now live. We believe that keeping our collections unique helps you with needing fewer pieces – having treasured items that you can wear season after season, year after year.

We focus on creating designs that set sustainable trends rather than following them. Our timeless aesthetic allows our collections to stay alive and relevant beyond several months. RuHH Artware stands as a proud, sustainable alternative to “disposable” or “fast” fashion – both in terms of design philosophy and production/curating approach.

As we say, RuHH is timeless, and forever.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle-free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
The road has been far from being smooth. Each day has been and still is a learning process.

Last two years, we had numerous casting failures. There have been occasions where we have been completely taken for a ride by different manufacturing setups internationally. For someone who is self-taught and without a formal education in the art of jewelry making it has not been an easy process.

However, I do not believe in giving up. Regard to the weaves and curating them from the other side of the globe has its challenges as well. Quality control is a huge issue. Credibility is the other. Working with the grassroots level, and the challenge being the geographical boundary it’s so easy to be duped.

In addition to that while social media has its benefits, it has a lot of unhealthy competition that you have to deal with. For small businesses, it is difficult to be able to market well and the reach gets limited.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
The fact that I started from nothing and have completely taught myself along the journey is what amazes me. From designing to manufacturing, from quality control to marketing, from building an online presence to customer relations… is all that I have taught myself single-handedly. Yes, and every day I learn more.

I am most proud of my jewelry line. My own copyrighted designs. Designs that are a manifestation of my sketches and thoughts that showcase the magnetism of designs of the bygone era rooted in Asian tradition on one hand, and on the other, clean lines and geometric construction with the occasional surprise of asymmetry. We bring forth the best of both our Asian pasts and our American present – the result being that of elegance, classic with a hint of modern and edgy elements.

I am also proud of being able to showcase the beautiful craft of India through its weaves and bring it internationally in spite of the challenges. To have built and worked at a brand that honestly excels in customer service and incredible quality.

Is there a quality that you most attribute to your success?
I believe in being brutally honest with my client base. I have had clients who have been with me right from the day I started my business. Those who trust me completely.

I cannot say that I am very successful, but I hope to be there someday soon.

The craving to teach me more each day, the thirst and the tireless effort to learn new craft forms like silk painting, and block printing, and to marry them into my jewelry as well as weaves have resulted in new product lines and constant reinventing ourselves every day.

Keep the thirst going and keep giving more.

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