Established in 2016 by Megan Kothari, Aaryah began its brand journey offering custom nameplate necklaces with a focus on Indian names. The founder and designer’s own “American” name played a role in her introduction to jewelry—though born in the United States, she felt a strong connection to her native India.
“Megan is not a traditional Indian name, but it derives from Meghna, a name my parents originally wanted for me,” says Kothari. “For my parents, assimilation was a key factor in their decision to spell Megan the way they did. Growing up, every time we’d go to a convenience store or stop at a gas station, I’d always find a souvenir with my name on it. I felt seen while my family never did.”
With an initial focus on celebrating and empowering artisan work—Aaryah’s pieces are handcrafted in Jaipur and New York—the brand has since transitioned to a bona fide fine jeweler, with a majority of its goods made with recyclable, certified conflict-free fine metals.
Take that transition one step further, and you’ve got Aaryah’s new bridal line—a first for the brand but one that feels like a natural evolution. Below, we talked with Kothari on the inspiration behind the bold yet timeless styles.
Describe the process of venturing into the bridal category. Was it a natural extension of your fashion line?
Aaryah has always been dedicated to creating unique jewelry designed to tell the story of the creators and the keepers, so moving into bridal was a natural progression for us. Combining my love for design and diamonds, we created one-of-a-kind pieces that truly reflect our customers and their journeys with their partners. Aaryah bridal aspires to create forever pieces that are story driven, ethical, and celebrate empowerment.
The designs strike such a beautiful balance between bold and classic. What has been your inspiration? Do you have a favorite piece?
Thank you! I love creating unconventional diamond pieces with fancy shapes—I love looking at a diamond and imagining the 100 unique ways I’d want to create something understated with it. The diamonds we source have such innate beauty, which complements our bold yet discrete settings.
I’m inspired by the things that make all of us, us. The inherent power in nature, in ourselves, and in our heritage. That’s what wearing your story is to me.
My favorite piece is our Trikona diamond ring for its unique diamond shape and negative space setting. It features a Canadamark triangle diamond suspended in a 18k yellow gold setting, a true one-of-a-kind piece. I love the many symbolisms and trinities that triangles represent, but for Trikona, it’s a ring that tells the story of your past, present and future.
I find the Trikona ring to be such a stellar standout! It’s so different yet sleek and timeless. How has the retailer/customer reception been to these new pieces?
The response to our Trikona ring is one of the main reasons we jumped right into bridal. The response from that ring gave me the push and the confidence to launch an entire collection.
How do you think the pandemic has changed the bridal business? Do you think any of the changes will persist with time?
So many couples weren’t able to host big celebrations with their beloved, so their ring was their main celebration. Since stores and showrooms were closed, clients turned to the virtual world to buy their engagement rings as there were no other options. It gave clients the opportunity to really self-educate and make empowered decision virtually!
How has business been over the past year? Do you think you chose an opportune time to enter the bridal market?
The pandemic has helped us reach new customers outside of our physical location in New York. With stores and showrooms closed, clients turned to the virtual world to buy engagement rings, which hasn’t always been the case in the past. More than 90% of our diamond and bridal sales were remote clients during the pandemic.
The pandemic has further emphasized the importance of relationships and spending time with your loved ones. People now more than ever want to celebrate their unions with a unique piece that shares their story.
You also offer bespoke design services. Any special products you’d like to share? Are there any trends or similar styles clients have been requesting?
We started working on bespoke jewelry a few years ago. One of the most special projects we had the honor of working on was transforming a client’s art piece (a brooch he won at auction that was worn by a famous king in the 1700s) and turning it into a pendant for him so he can harness its energy.
What are your plans for the remainder of 2021, and what do you predict or foresee for the future of your business?
We’re so excited to announce that we’re launching a showroom in New York City’s Diamond District. We can’t wait to create a space that embodies our brand and have our clients touch and feel our product in real life.
Top: Liz bezel-set ring in 18k yellow gold with 1.53 ct. radiant diamond, $10,500; AaryahFollow JCK on Instagram: @jckmagazine
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