Jayena Shrestha, Creative Director of Jayenchy, is pushing the boundaries to modernize the Nepali jewelry scene. She strives to create timeless pieces that can be worn by modern woman while still celebrating their Nepali roots in the jewelry industry. From an early age, she had a keen interest in drawing, fashion, jewelry and with time, her interests were cemented to high value gemstones. She started Jayenchy for anyone who is interested in buying high quality but affordable jewelry.
How did you get into jewelry designing?
I am a 4th generation jewelry designer, so coming from a long line of jewelers, it is fair to say that jewelry is all I’ve seen and known. As a result of parents working in the same field, I designed jewelry for my family store since I was young. My father has been in the gold business his entire life, which influenced and inspired me to get into this. Having a family background in jewelry business, combined with an interest in drawing and designing, favored me a career in jewelry designing.
What do you specialize in? What is the main idea behind Jayenchy?
Jayenchy specializes on ‘one of one’ jewelry. Every piece of jewelry made is unique and tailored to an individual customer. We do not mass produce jewelry, and make sure that each piece is custom made so as to fit the wants of separate clients. Even the name of the jewelry varies from according piece to piece.
Further, prices of gold have risen highly and not everyone is able to afford it. So, we specialize in combining silver with diamonds and semi-precious stones in order to maintain a luxury feel, all the while making the jewelry affordable. Our main focus is in making our clients’ wishes come to life in the form of high jewelry, usually heirlooms.
What led you to starting a jewelry store? What differentiates you from anyone else in the business?
As mentioned earlier, I was always quite inspired by my father. As a result of being involved in the store, I had a yearning for starting something of my own. Initially, I started selling handmade chokers at my good friends Shivani Pradhan and Shree Gurung’s restaurant Octave (shoutout to them for the support). The positive response amplified my enthusiasm for jewelry and gave me the assurance that this was what I wanted to do.
After the initial phase, I started getting lots of work orders from high value clients. They trusted me with highly demanding work that was difficult to pursue. Successfully carrying out those orders by clients namely Binita Basnet, Naveena
You also designed a pendant for A PROMINENT MEMBER OF THE ROYAL FAMILY recently. How did you pull that off? Can you take us through the entire process?
It was an honor to design something marking a special achievement for my client. A good friend of mine, Romit Shakya from Heranik Crafts, at Kathmandu Marriott Hotel introduced me to this project (a big shoutout to Romit). It was a piece representing a pending achievement of a highly revered feat in the field of high altitude climbing.
Why do you make only one-off pieces?
I come from a Newari background where bhoj is a central element to everyday life. I have always seen relatives and friends in all sorts of jewelry. However, I noticed that these pieces are very similar to one another. Jewelry is special, and is worn to make oneself feel special, so who would not want a unique custom design, that too, conceived and designed specially in their name? Jayenchy ensures that each piece is unique to such an extent that if someone asks for the items to be replicated, we have to be approved by the original owner of the design.
Your pieces are not handcrafted. How does your decision add on to the perfection of the pieces?
Technology is advancing everywhere around us. Every industry is constantly updating and changing their medium of design and production. Jayenchy is no different. Using machines and the latest technology allows a company like Jayenchy to reduce the margin of error. Using a handcrafted medium leaves room for lots of error and does not ensure efficiency like using advanced machines does. Therefore, in order to make sure that the designs are perfect, we tend to opt for advanced machines rather than handcrafting.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
It is rather difficult to explain but when I think about my jewelry, I get images and ideas in all forms, and I further narrow them down and blend the ideas with what my customers want. And of course, there’s Pinterest to the rescue at all times.
Contemporary or traditional?
Jayenchy's expertise is more so in contemporary designs, however, we do have the required expertise for traditional designs as well, due to their earlier experience in the jewelry store. In the end, what matters is what the clients want, and the demand has been more on the traditional style, so we are happy to design them as they are desired.
What advice would you want to give to your buyers?
As a company in the jewelry business, we want our clients to be more educated about the gold market. We would suggest learning about gold from an investment perspective as it is a highly liquid asset. Secondly, Jayenchy would like them to feel special about purchasing and wearing their jewelry. They are spending a lot of money on a single piece, so it is only fair that they get treated with the highest standards. Finally, we would like them to learn about what is available other than the status quo in the market and that our offerings are more unique and outstanding than what is available here.