“The birth of my second baby in 2013 took its toll on me emotionally, mentally and physically. An inherently anxious person, I was overwhelmed by my new responsibility. I was anxious about taking care of another life. Self-doubt, anxiety and frustration took over my being. I was slowly, but surely slipping into postpartum depression.
In India there is a huge taboo around postpartum depression and its treatment. I looked for ways to get over it non-clinically. Coming from a fashion and design background, I wanted to look for something creative to keep me happy.
Quilling was the hottest trend then and I turned to the internet to learn the art. I made my first creation – an earring and it was a very satisfying. When I made it my display picture on whatsapp, it aroused a lot of curiosity from friends and relatives.
My first customers were from my close circle of friends and relatives. This was a defining moment in my life. For the first time I felt things were looking up for me. Getting paid for my first piece of work helped restore my broken self-confidence.
The feelings of doubt and anxiety were slowly replaced with feelings of self-worth and confidence. My husband supported me by running small errands for me when required. He was pleasantly surprised that I was emerging from the dark pit that I had gotten myself into.
I got into handmade jewellery full time. I created a page on Facebook and marketed my work. Soon, I had unknown people reaching out to me with requests for artificial jewellery – earrings, necklaces and bracelets.
I am a perfectionist by nature and spend a lot of time in designing the minutest intricacies of my jewellery. I work with metal, stones and beads. Creative freedom while creating art is of supreme importance to me. Most of my suppliers and customers are online based.
Living in a place like Thekkady in Kerala poses its own set of challenges. It means that I have limited access to resources and services needed for my line of work. However, this has not deterred me from doing what I truly love. I believe that this is the area where I can make a mark for myself.
I have a loyal tribe of women who like what I do and stay with me when they can easily approach another jewellery artist. They have been very patient and supportive of me during periods of transition. I plan to get into silver and fine jewellery and perhaps pursue a full-time course in jewellery making in the future.
I am content that my studies in fashion and design are being put to use. I am equally glad that my work brings joy to others. I have come to firmly believe that there is light at the end of every tunnel. My life has been a case in point.”