Color Craving

When you can't find jewelry that gives you fashion, quality, and affordability, make it yourself

By Michelle Valigursky

vaidyas

Courtesy of Pratiksha Vaidya

Siblings Parag (left) and Pratiksha Vaidya

Working in finance and private equity in New York City, Pratiksha Vaidya 09B wanted individuality in an environment where bland business dress was the norm.

“I worked in a conservative industry for many years, but I love—no, crave—color,” Vaidya explains. “The more time I spent in the professional world, the more I wanted to express myself through my outfit, including accessories. But the typical luxury brands were so cost-prohibitive that it broke the bank. And while the fun costume jewelry was great, it would never last beyond a few months. I wanted both. I wanted fashion and quality.”

Vaidya began to design her own pieces, items that would be the foundation of Pratiksha Jewelry, the Dallas-based jewelry company Vaidya went on to found in 2015 with her older brother and business partner, Parag Vaidya. The business leverages a multigeneration family history in the gem and mining business in India.

“We decided to take the family business and turn it on its head by collapsing the supply chain,” Pratiksha Vaidya says. “In the traditional model for jewelry sales, multiple levels of commerce exist, from the harvesting of stones in mines, supplying of those stones to manufacturers, distribution of finished jewelry to wholesalers, who then sell to traditional brick-and-mortar retail stores. Ultimately, these finished jewelry pieces end up in the hands of consumers, with costly markups at every step.”

Pratiksha Jewelry embraces an innovative business model that benefits the bottom line for consumers. “We’re exposing the underbelly of unnecessary markups,” she says, adding that the company leverages its relationships and industry connections to offer high-quality jewelry at dramatically lower prices.

Looking forward, Vaidya reflects on what is yet to come. “You could say that fine jewelry is in our DNA,” she says.

“Consumers want to be as educated as possible before making a purchase, and we want to be their partner in that journey. The whole industry is wrapped up in a cloud of illusion, and we want to be a pioneer in demystifying that world.”

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