This weeks fix is a fairly new jewelry line that creates authentic and unique pieces. Haati Chai‘s rapid growth and dedication to give back definitely caught our eye.
Haati Chaimeaning “Elephant and Tea” is an Los Angeles based custom jewelry line founded by Stella Simona. The line has a wide variety of unique pieces handcrafted with fine stones, natural crystals and other elements. Haati Chai is the perfect mix of sophistication and youthful beauty. It doesn’t take much to notice that each piece has been specifically designed to encompass the allure of the Indian Culture. All the jewelry is hand crafted, therefore no piece is the same, each stone has its own grooves, and each crystal has its own sparkle.
Not to forget about the fellas, Haati Chai’s has a men’s sub division called Chelle.
Adorning celebrities from Kelly Rowland, Kevin McCall, Reagan Gomez, just to name a few can be seen wearing the lines pieces.
Haati Chai has a strong online presence with there website,blog, tumblr,twitter and instagram, so you will always be able to stay updated with their upcoming trends and lines, but if you dont pay attention you just might miss an amazing sale. Scroll down to check out our interview with the designer and see some of the pieces.
Hey Stella, how did Haati Chai come about, why you started it?
Well, my cultural background roots from India. I am Bengali. Growing up with this rich culture I took to having an amazing interest in jewelry. Even before having my own line I always knew what I wanted and how I wanted to feel based off of the jewelry I picked out for the day or event. Jewelry is an expression of yourself and I feel it should be a reflection of your mood. My grandparents would go back home every few years and would at first bring me back pieces and as I grew a little older they would tell me to describe what sort of design I wanted and ring it back with them. Until recently that is the farthest I’d ever thought I would get with jewelry. I was always a collector never in my mind the designer. I can recognize what is striking and even point out what is missing to add that extra umph. For example a very good friend of mine Amanda Zelle who is the designer of Zellhaus has been designing for years. I would sit in on a lot of design sessions and watch her work. She would ask me what I would like and I’d tell her . I even attempted to design something’s when I couldn’t describe my idea properly and figured I would show her what I meant. Those were all failed attempts and I always left it at “I will always have good taste in it but never be capable of being the artist that you are.” she is truly amazing and such an inspiration.
Anyhow time move on, and like I said jewelry is a reflection of you. A lot of things I described to my now fiancé and business partner I could not find. He was the one who told me its within me and that I should give it a real try. We are firm believers in the idea that art will release you and set you free. I always brushed it off and just was not fully inspired at the time. One day I happened to be in a jewelry supply store and something randomly came upon me. I bought a few pieces and made some simple designs just for fun at home. Before I knew it I had people requesting to order pieces and major stylists trying to dress their clients. I’ve come as far as I have and I believe I will continue to grow as long as their is passion and drive.
What is your inspiration in general, and for the new fall line?
Now in America we dont have the same understanding of jewelry. I grew up adorned in jewels, children out here don’t know nothing about that. In my culture jewelry each piece represents something about you. For example in the region which I’m from girl babies are given two bangles to wear all the time or women wear a hoop ring for a nose ring until they are married and then they wear a stud nose ring. All their pieces they keep and pass down for generations. The pieces all tell a story. Every collection we’ve designed has been made with the idea of offering something which can be apart of someone’s story. This new collection I want to be dark, edgy, chic , and of course exotic. I pulled inspiration from Egypt . The chains, rich embellishments, and stone accents are all a reflection of the way Egyptian culture has influenced me. Everything is deep dark and mysterious or shiny and rich in color. The men at that time were know to be even more adorned than women. I designed these new pieces to be fit for men and women. Style is how you decide to wear it. Ideally most guys can add a chain or bracelet with any ensemble as a bold piece. With women I envisioned a lot of layering with this collection. The collection is ancient Egypt fused with contemporary design.
Many people love your line, but who would you say are your favorite designers?
Thank you. Honestly I am all over the place with my taste in fashion. To tell you the truth I love the original jewelry makers. The forgotten ones we all get our biggest inspirations from. Sit me down any day in a little village in Africa or India and I will leave so moved. Everything they make is one of a kind and made with in my opinion the bed techniques. They’re so detail oriented. I love Rajasthan style of jewelry a lot. It’s a style not necessarily made by a specific designer. Rajasthan is a very rich in art culture region of India. Rich, rare, foreign, ancient , intricate — that is what I respect and recognize with other jewelry other than my line.
Where do you see Haati Chai in 5 years?
The ultimate goal is to give back. Haati Chai will leave a mark on several grounds. “Haati” is the Bengali word for “elephant” and “chai” is the word for “tea” — 2 of my favorite things. Also 2 things my culture is well known for. I plan on starting projects visit to a South Asia and begin a program to incorporate underprivileged children as apart of our design team, to eventually support themselves and feed their families and receive education. The program will emphasize on arts and business– 2 things which will aid them in their future endeavors. In addition I plan to begin an elephant sanctuary to take care of the endangered species. A percentage of our sales will go towards taking care of the elephants. People, our stories, the culture an traditions we design for ourselves all leave an impression on one another. In 5 years Haati Chai will be apart of a major culture and the jewelry will represent people helping one another to help the world. Haati Chai will continue to tell a story , but an even bigger story by then.
What separates you from other jewelry lines?
Well no two people are the same. My jewelry is a reflection of me and my views. Same goes for other lines. I think that sums it all.
What has been your biggest accomplishment thus far?
My biggest accomplishment thus far is reaching so many in so little time. We’ve been around for a year. The first year in my opinion was a soft launch. We didn’t push our designs like many companies do. The world and their infatuation carried us and let us know to keep doing what were doing.