Miniature paintings- an exquisite and painstaking craft July 26 2021


Miniature painting is a delicate and painstaking craft requiring great skill, precision, finesse and restraint.

Miniature paintings today are made using the same techniques and skills used since the 16th century, passed down through generations.

In a nutshell: to make these minuscule masterworks, the artist uses superfine brushes composed of the hair of a squirrel’s tail, and depending on the painting, commercial and/or naturally derived colors are used (such as blue from lapis and indigo, green from malachite, and verdigris, burnt conch shell for white, geru and red carmine for red, etc.) The base is generally a locally procured handmade paper.

Indian Miniature Paintings: Stone from which colors are extracted

Stone from which colors are extracted

Indian Miniature Paintings: Various natural colors are obtained from different rocks. These are further processed to form usable colors (by Lai)Various natural colors are obtained from different rocks. These are further processed to form usable colors.

Indian Miniature Paintings: Colors are mixed in shell, since there surface is smooth; they don’t react and also do not absorb the color. (by Lai)Colors are often mixed in shell, since their surface is smooth; they don’t react and also do not absorb the color.

Indian Miniature paintings: mixed/extracted colours are stored and used out of a shell. (by Lai)Mixed/extracted colours are stored and used out of a shell.

Indian Miniature Paintings: Special brushes made out of squirrel hair are used for making painting. (by Lai)

Special brushes made out of squirrel hair are used for making painting.

Lai Miniature painting sterling silver jewelry collectionMaster chitrakar/artist engaged in painting artworks that will be used in our jewellery collection. After the outlines, light colors are filled in first, followed by dark shades and then the detailing.

We can't wait to unveil our new collection, The Miniaturist. Each piece painstakingly hand painted. Small-batch, limited edition pieces that are heirloom-worthy and can be cherished for a long time.

Photo courtesy: D'source and Lai


History of Miniature Paintings July 25 2021


In the run up to the launch of our new collection, The Miniaturist, let's look at the history of Miniature paintings in India, in brief:

The tradition of miniature paintings can be traced back to the Mughals some 460 years ago. During the reign of Akbar (1560 A.D.), a large number of Indian artists from all over India were recruited to work under the Persian masters, who were brought to India by his father, Humayun. Marked by supple naturalism based on close observation of nature and fine, delicate drawing, the 'Mughal style', thus, evolved as a result of a beautiful synthesis of the indigenous Indian style of painting and the Safavid school of Persian painting.

Indian Miniature Paintings Mughal Indian Miniature Paintings Mughal

Indian Miniature Paintings Mughal Floral Indian Miniature Paintings Mughal Floral

However, unlike Mughal painting which was primarily aristocratic and secular, the art of painting in Central India, Rajasthani, and the Pahari region, etc., at the time, was deeply rooted in the Indian traditions- taking inspiration from Indian epics, religious texts like the Puranas, folk-lore, love poems, and musical themes.


Indian Miniature Paintings Rajput Indian Miniature Paintings Rajput Radha Lady on a swing

Indian Miniature Paintings Rajput Krishna and Radha Indian Miniature Paintings Mughal Rajput

As the Rajput rulers of these areas entered into political and matrimonial alliances with the Mughals, smaller artists from Mughal courts started migrating and found employment at these local courts- carrying with them the popular version of the Mughal style and influencing the existing styles of paintings there. The result was distinct regional styles, incorporating elements of Hindu, Persian, and European influences. Many important painting schools came into being and flourished in different parts of the region, in the 17th and 18th centuries, broadly divided as Mughal, Rajput/Rajasthan (Malwa, Mewar, Bundi- Kotah, Amber­-Jaipur, Bikaner, Marwar, and Kishangarh), and Deccan schools.


Indian Miniature Paintings Mughal Rajput Indian Miniature Paintings Mughal Rajput

First Look! July 23 2021


Lai Miniature painting sterling silver jewelry collection Launch

We couldn't be more excited than to finally be able to talk of our new collection, The Miniaturist,- out real soon!

If you've followed us for a while, you're perhaps familiar with our love for traditional Indian art, especially Miniature paintings.

Two years ago, we went on a quest to find the few remaining chitrakars/artists who specialize in miniature painting for jewellery. Find them we did, and for this collection, we're fortunate to have collaborated with two of them. One in Ajmer and one in Jaipur- both of whom learned this exquisite and painstaking art from their forefathers, who were artists in royal courts.

Using the same techniques and skills used since the 16th century, passed down through families and traditional guilds, from fathers to sons, this is truly a collector's collection.

No other collection has demanded such a long gestation time, so much coordination, and such a lot of patience! After 18 months of work - designing, prototyping, numerous WhatsApp calls and messages, couriers, and travels including a 3-months trip to India at the cusp of COVID last year, we feel so proud to present our new work to you......real soon! :)


Our first IFAM! July 14 2021


As we head home, after an intense and wonderful week at the iconic International Folk Art Market (IFAM), Santa Fe, our hearts are full with all the love our work received and our head is dizzy with all the inspiring craftsmanship and art we saw from the world over.

Our heartfelt gratitude to all the staff and volunteers, for putting together such a beautiful event- truly the best. And to all the shoppers- curious, creative, and culturally aware. 🙏❤️

Can’t wait to be back!

Lai at International Folk Art Market (IFAM), Santa Fe 2021

Lai at International Folk Art Market (IFAM), Santa Fe 2021

Lai sterling silver and lacquered wooden jewelry at International Folk Art Market (IFAM), Santa Fe 2021


Featured. On Forbes, no less! December 30 2020


The best possible way to end a weird/challenging year- a feature on Yay! 

Forbes. Lai press. Interview with Puja Bhargava Kamath by Sonya Rehman.

A huge thanks to the very fabulous Sonya Rehman for this amazing coverage. Sonya is not just an accomplished journalist, but a dear client- which makes this feature even sweeter- it comes from a place of knowing, owing and genuinely liking our work. Best year end gift! 🙏❤️

Click here to read the entire interview.

Our debut decorative arts collection: ALCHEMY November 28 2020


alchemy. Decorative arts collection. Bidri plates and platters.

Alchemy (n) a seemingly magical process of transformation, creation, or combination.

Our new collection is a melting pot of various inspirations- a little bit of Jamini Roy and Kalighat paintings of Bengal and a pinch of the organic lines of modernist ceramics, brought together and magically transformed with the unique and ancient metal-on-metal inlay craft of Bidri.

Soulful and sophisticated decorative art that conveys a true sense of artistry, craftsmanship, and heritage. Objets d'art that epitomize the power of beautiful things to inspire, delight, and bring joy.

A long time in the making, this is one limited edition collection you don't want to miss.

Click here to shop

Alchemy decorative art collection of bidri plates and platters.
Alchemy decorative art collection of bidri plates and platters.
Alchemy decorative art collection of bidri plates and platters.

Launching our sister brand: CRAFT STORIES October 22 2020


A lot of us share a love of beautiful, well-designed, and finely crafted things especially ones that have a soul and a story. We revel in thoughtful details and gush over unexpected pattern plays. The aesthetes. Most of you know us for the jewelry we design, some of you know of my passion for crafts, and a few of my love for home decor.

For a while now, I've been wanting to branch out and experiment with other mediums like textiles and home decor. Finally, last year I gave in to my creative urges and took the plunge. I began by reaching out to our old artisan collaborators as well as new ones, all the while honing on the POV I'd like to bring to the table. Our debut decorative arts collection is almost ready and we are working overtime to try to launch it before Diwali but more on that later. For now, please say hello to a new chapter in our creative journey- Craft Stories!

Craft Stories logo

Contemporary objects that blend traditional craftsmanship with a modern aesthetic and sustainable design ethos. A celebration of the much overlooked 'Indian Minimalism', influenced by our love for Bauhaus and Mid-century Modern aesthetics.

While Craft Stories is in many ways an extension of Lai it is designed to have an identity of its own. Our focus will be on home decor/art objects and jewelry will form only a tiny part of our work. Do check out the website

Wish us luck and do share your thoughts on our new venture!

xo Puja (Founder and designer, Lai)

An all new us! October 02 2020


Lai rebranding announcement. brand refresh.

This summer we turned 9. And while it's not easy to get off the daily treadmill of running a small business, the current COVID situation allowed us to slow down. And re-access.

It allowed us to step back, look at how far we've come, and appreciate our small and big achievements. To feel pride in what we've accomplished as a really tiny team (of 3!) with our artisan partners. It allowed us the bandwidth to potter around our web-shop, do some tweaking, and apply a fresh coat of paint. A remodel, so to speak.

After months of work, we’re super thrilled to unveil our redesigned brand identity. A new logo and a color palette that reflects the evolution of Lai and our aesthetic since its founding in 2011. A more mature us but with the same core beliefs and brand DNA. Honest, unpretentious, designs- with a soul, and some wit.

We started the creative journey, of defining new brand identity, by pinning inspiring images onto a mood-board. We had fun looking at all sorts of mediums, and elements to inform our creative decisions. Like we do for our jewelry, we gleaned inspiration from art, architecture, cultural artifacts, etc.

Lai brand inspiration collage

Colors: Lai is nothing if not about color. Not in a bold, in-your-face way. But in a subtle, a-touch-of-color way. Color informs the way we design our pieces and the techniques we use, and also how we absorb the beauty of the world, and the arts around us. Culling from our mood-board, we created a color palette that reflects the essence of Lai as a brand and all that inspires us......Lai color palette

Logo: we wanted to retain the original handwritten, cursive script look while giving it a warmer, more 'handcrafted' feel. The imperfect circle provides a nod to our artisanal work, while the deeper orange-red (almost terracotta) of the logo evokes an earthy, folk art-inspired feel.

Lai logo change

I’d like to take the opportunity to thank our loyal customers and artisan partners for your trust and friendship in this entrepreneurial journey. It's not been easy but it's been a privilege and joy to nurture Lai and share it with all of you.

We'd love for you to browse around our website (on a laptop for an ideal experience!) As you notice changes in our branding, we'd love to hear your thoughts and/or suggestions. Comment below or write to me at



In Cosmo's "Big Accessories Edit" September 14 2019


Super stoked to be a part of Cosmopolitan (India)'s September “Big Accessories Edit” as one of the "fabulous 31" homegrown brands to know! 

Cosmopolitan India September'19 -the big accessories issue featuring Lai Folklore collection silver jewellery

Cosmopolitan India September'19 -the big accessories issue featuring Lai

Cosmopolitan India September'19 -the big accessories issue featuring Lai Folklore collection silver jewellery

Cosmopolitan India September'19 -the big accessories issue featuring Lai Folklore collection silver jewellery

Another #LaiSpotting on Iris Apfel! August 22 2019

The iconic Iris Apfel, wearing our lacquered wooden ‘warrior cuff’ at an event at Hudson Yards, New York, the other day!

😍😍😍 OMG!!! *swoons*

Iris Apfel wearing Lai's Channapatna lacquered wooden 'warrior' bangle at an event at Hudson yard in New York

Lai's Channapatna handcrafted lacquered wooden dramatic 'warrior' bangle



Highlights from NY NOW 2019 August 15 2019

Sharing a few highlights from NY NOW, our annual trade show outing. Our favorite was obviously this!

Iris Apfel at Lai booth at NY NOW 2019. Seen here wearing our Channapatna handcrafted lacquered wooden warrior dramatic bangle!

The iconic Iris Apfel, at our booth, checking out our new Channapatna lacquered wooden jewelry collection:

Iris Apfel at Lai booth at NY NOW 2019, with designer Puja Bhargava Kamath. Seen here wearing our Channapatna handcrafted lacquered wooden warrior dramatic bangle

First-ever Runway Fashion show at NY NOW (featured here: our handcrafted lacquered wooden bangles):!

Fashion Runway show at NY NOW 2019. Models wearing our Channapatna handcrafted lacquered wooden bangles

Another one from the Fashion show and the NY NOW 'Sustainability' showcase with our Lacquered wooden jewelry:

Fashion Runway show and Sustainability display at NY NOW 2019. Channapatna handcrafted lacquered wooden jewelry.

The NEST Artisan Showcase at the design office of Nest partner, Mara Hoffman: (you can see our Lacquered wooden jewelry on the right and read a bit about this event on left)!

Nest Artisan Showcase at Mara Hoffman's New York office. Channapatna handcrafted lacquered wooden jewelry.

Barely out of the oven and already garnering so much press! August 01 2019


Our new collection, Folklore, launched just a while back, is already been written about by so many fine folks!

Read about it in this beautifully written feature in The Voice of Fashion (VOF) - one of the most distinct voices in the Indian design and fashion industry.

Lai's Folklore, sterling silver jewellery collection, in The Voice of Fashion (VOF). Press. India.

In one of our favourite national dailies, The Hindu. While we are clueless about the “Colourful cows” nitpick like that would be pretty foolish, right? :)

Lai's sterling silver jewellery collection, Folklore, in The Hindu Metro edition

 This wonderful shout out in Indian Express's Indulge

Lai's sterling silver jewellery collection, Folklore, featured in the new Indian Express Indulge

 And this unexpected mention in Conde Nast Traveller India!

Lai's sterling silver elephant charm necklace from Folklore collection, featured in Conde Nast Traveller India's August 2019 issue

Featured in Architectural Digest! June 28 2019


Super stoked to find ourselves in Architectural Digest (India)'s round-up of 5 jewellery designers who “turn to architecture for creating exquisite pieces”. Yay! 💃


Lai featured in Architectural Digest India’s round up of 5 jewellery designers who “turn to architecture for creating exquisite pieces”.


New videos to explain the mind blowing craft of Bidri! May 01 2019

Since you are here, we assume you know of our Bidri collection and about the craft of Bidri (if not, read all about it here and here)!

We had previously share a photo documentation of the various steps that go in the making of this exquisite craft. We now have some fresh videos, straight from the workshop in Bidar, Karnataka, shot and put together by none other than the master artisans themselves! Are you ready to be amazed?!

As we had said before, the exquisiteness and the clean lines of Bidri belie the complicated and time consuming steps that go into its creation.

Crafting of a Bidri article (inlaying silver wire/sheet onto an oxidized zinc and copper alloy base) involves four main steps: (1) mould making, (2) melting the alloy and casting the article, (3) engraving and inlaying the design and finally (4) oxidizing.

First part of the video covers stages (1) and (2). A mix of soil, castor oil and resin is used to prepare a mould onto which the impression of the 'master' models/designs/forms is taken. In this mould, molten metal alloy of zinc and copper (in the ratio of 16:1) is poured, which fills in the hollow cavity left behind by the impression of the 'masters'.

In the second part of the video, you can see stage (3)- engraving and inlaying the design.

The rough surface of a freshly cast piece is smoothened by filing with files, scrapers and sand papers. Then a superficial layer of black is applied on the surface of the article by rubbing it with a solution of copper sulphate. This makes it easier for the artist to draw the design on it, which is easily visible on the black surface. 

For engraving the design, the engraving tool, a kalam or metal chisel of various shapes and points is used. Inlaying work is done by deftly and skillfully placing the silver wire into the engraved groves. The inlaid design is then buffed to smooth the surface.

The third part of the video covering the oxidization process and finishing.

After final filing and/or buffing, the bidriware is now ready for the final blackening process. A special variety of soil which is available only in the unlit portions of the Bidar fort is used (it is said that this soil is very special. While no definite reason can be attributed to this- some artisans feel that the soil is away from the sunlight and rain for years and therefore it has great oxidizing properties). The soil is mixed with ammonium chloride and water to produce a paste which is then rubbed onto a heated bidri surface. The paste selectively darkens the body while it has no effect on the silver inlay.

The final piece is rubbed with coconut oil to brighten the black surface.

Tell us if you weren't wowed! :) 

Shop this rare and very special collection, 'Bidri x MCM', here.


In Elle India's Dec'18 Beauty editorial: 'Spirit Of Beauty' December 13 2018

Super stocked to see so many Lai pieces feature in this visually stunning editorial, in this month's Elle India, on revisiting centuries-old traditional Indian 'shringaar' rituals! Read it here.

Elle India beauty editorial featuring Lai's sterling silver 925 nose pins, deity eye ring, ear studs, arm band, anklet, hair clip, hair ornaments

Elle India beauty editorial featuring Lai statement deity eye ring

Shop this ring here.

Elle India beauty editorial featuring Lai's Victorian arm band cum bangle anklet

Shop this arm band here.

Elle India beauty editorial featuring Lai's enamel Himachali traditional tribal drop cone shape earrings

Shop these earrings here.

Elle India beauty editorial featuring Lai's enamel dramatic nose pin and sterling silver gem stone hair clip

Shop our hair clips here and these nose pins here.

Elle India beauty editorial featuring Lai's gold plated traditional small light weight nose pin with pearl

Shop this nose pin here.

Elle India beauty editorial featuring Lai's traditional old world crescent seed pearls nose pin and sterling silver gold plated deity hand garnet stud earrings

Shop deity hands ear studs here and the crescent seed pearls nose pin here.

Elle India's December 2018 22nd Anniversary issue with Oprah Winfrey in Sabyasachi


In Elle India's Nov'18 Bridal editorial: 'Minimalism vs Maximalism' November 20 2018

"Whether it's the age-old concept of maximalism that appeals to you, or a more contemporary and minimalist version of couture, dressing for weddings has never been this individualistic” - from Elle India’s November’18 bridal editorial, ‘Minimalism vs Maximalism'.

Don't miss our statement pearl stunners and our enamel chevron bangles from 'An Indian Summer' and 'Kinner Kailash' collections respectively! Gorgeous, no?! :)

Elle India November'18 Bridal Editorial Minimalism vs Maximalism Lai pearl statement earrings

Elle India November'18 Bridal Editorial Minimalism vs Maximalism Lai enamel chevron bangles

Elle India November'18 Bridal Editorial Minimalism vs Maximalism Anushka Sharma Lai pearl statement earrings   

📷: Sushant Chhabria
Styling: Divyak D'souza
Art direction: Pranish Moore
Models: Vartika Singh and Aishwaryaa Desai

Our 'Hidden Messages' collection in 'Trend and Style'! November 17 2018

Our 'Hidden Messages' collection finds a mention in 'Trend and Style' Winter 2018 issue!

A German trade publication, the style scouts of 'Trend and Style' ( chanced upon our work at NY NOW, Aug'18. We are SO thrilled at this unexpected inclusion! :)

Trend and Style, trade magazine Germany on NY NOW 2018 trends. Lai sterling silver jewellery- hidden messages


Trend and Style, trade magazine Germany on NY NOW 2018 trends. Lai sterling silver jewellery- hidden messages     Trend and Style, trade magazine Germany on NY NOW 2018 trends. Lai sterling silver jewellery- hidden messages

Featured November 05 2018

Our Diwali just got sweeter! The stunning Indian actress Dia Mirza in this month’s Travel and Leisure's (India) cover story, wearing our Victorian abalone drop earrings! 👏👏👏💃💃💃

Fabulously styled by the one and only Divyak D'Souza! Shop these earrings here.

Indian actress Dia Mirza in Travel and Leisure November'18 issue wearing Lai's gold plated sterling silver earrings

Indian actress Dia Mirza in Travel and Leisure November'18 issue wearing Lai's gold plated sterling silver earrings



Our guide to Chandni Chowk October 05 2018

Delhi India Chandni Chowk Vintage painting Red Fort Jama Masjid

Whether you are a tourist or a local, unlikely you'll fall in love with Chandni Chowk in the first go. Or ever. It is messy, chaotic, dirty and noisy. Too many people, too much traffic, too much of everything, infact. But in a world getting increasingly homogenized, it can only be a wonderful thing when a place like this can exist, sustain, evolve and hold on it's own sub-culture, centuries after it was founded.

Said to have been built during the Mughal era by Emperor Shahjahan’s daughter - Jahanara, Chandni Chowk is the sole surviving custodian of the legendary charms of Delhi of yore- the Delhi of Mirza Ghalib.

The many speciality markets within Chandni Chowk were set up during the ancient times and have known to survive almost three centuries- both in old and new avatars. Kathra Neel for cloth, Chawri Bazaar for stationery, Dariba Kalan for jewellery, Khari Baowli for spices and many others.

Crumbling Havelis now line the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk, a mere shadow of their former glory. The kuchas (alleys) and mohallas (residential neighborhoods) are all swallowed up by shops, vendors, crowds and vehicles. But if you care to look beyond what meets the eye, stories from a richly layered past start to emerge.......

Chandni Chowk- a Lai curation: 

Chainaram (Fathepuri; one of the oldest shops in the area- get their desi ghee 'dal moth' and ghewar.)
Meghraj Biscuit (Fathepuri; old fashion sweet buns and coconut biscuits)
Gulab Singh Johrimal (this 200-year-old perfumery is now run by the seventh generation decedents of the founder. Lai favorites: patchouli, oud and khus/vetiver)
Shop no.15 (Khari Baowli; dals/lentils and beans) (Trivia: operating since 17th century, Khari Baoli is Asia's largest spice market. The Khari Baoli step-well was constructed during 1650's and during Shah Jahan's time the Baoli was used by animals and bathing. The first traders and merchants of Shahjahanbed set up their businesses here and some of the shops are still known by the serial numbers assigned more than 200 years ago!)
Shyam store (Khari Baowli; spices and dry fruits.)
Kedara (Kinari bazaar; masalas- specially dal and chaat, papads, 'mangori' and ubtan/face pack.)
Kinari bazaar (for all sorts of decorative odds and ends required in 'puja' and weddings.)
Ram Chandar Krishan Chandar (near Paranthe wali galli; for saree shopping the good old way- on a 'gadda' with male attendants draping the selections on themselves.)
Azad Tailors (Ballimaran Rd.; for impeccable fits and tailoring of mens' sherwanis and kurtas. My dad got his wedding one stitched here as did the husband!)
Second hand books (Nayi Sadak) 
Natraj Dhai Bhalla (a Lai favorite. Two items on the menu since 1940; aloo tikki and dhai bhallas- both beyond delish!) 
Katre Neel ki tikki (next to the gate; for what else but aloo tikki!)
Gol Hatti (Fatehpuri; for chola bhatura/chole chawal)
Annapurna Bhandar (near Fountain; for samosas: with a filling that has potatoes cut into tiny cubes and not mashed, served a signature dry chutney that needs to be diluted in water, we'd say these are the best samosas in Delhi. Yes, we like them that much! Don't forget to try their mishti doi and other delectable bengali sweets.) 
Fruit Chaat at SBI bank 
Ved Prakash Nimbu Pani (Town Hall; for banta- this place is believed to be the birthplace of banta! For the uninitiated, banta is lemon soda with a dash of spice, bottled in those amazing 'kancha'/marble topped bottles.)
Daulat ki chaat (in the by lanes of Kinari bazaar and else where- but only in winters. Also called 'malai-makhan', this milk and cream based sweet delicacy is light as air  and all sorts of sublime!)
Giani di Hatti (for rabdi falooda, ice creams and chhole bhatoore.) 
Kuremal ki kulfi (Sita Ram Bazaar; go for their natural fruit flavors in Kulfi. We love the mango, anar, paan and jamun ones. Also their fruit stuffed kulfis- if only for the prettiness of it.)
Amritsari Lassi Wala (Fatehpuri Chowk; for nice thick 'malai wali' lassi.) 

Chandni Chowk: The Mughal City of Old Delhi, Swapna Liddle 

Delhi India Chandni chowk Jamma Masjid shopping and eating Guide


Our guide to Delhi October 05 2018

Where modern life clashes with the old world, sometimes gently sometimes not quite. Forever evolving. A city with which I have a love-hate relationship but one that I return to every year. Because it is home. It is where family and friends are. It is where my most precious memories were made and fiercest battles fought.

Delhi- A Lai curation:


Utsav (our favorite for sarees and yardage from across India. Look out for their annual sale in Aga Khan Hall.)
Kamayani (run by Kamayani Jalan, of Delhi Crafts Council- her position to get 1st dibs on the work of the weavers working with DCC coupled with her excellent eye, ensures one of the best textile curation in Delhi.)
Kamala (another favorite. Find the best curation in contemporary Indian craft-based design and textiles at this beautiful store. Run by Delhi Crafts Council, look out for their bi-annual textile exhibitions, 'Kari' and 'Sarees of India', in March and October respectively.)
State Emporiums (Lonely Planet said it best: "Handily in a row are these regional treasure-filled emporiums. They may have the air of torpor that often afflicts governmental enterprises, but shopping here is like travelling around India".)
The Shop (for block prints, well stitched garments and Pondicherry pottery. Preferably go to their Regal Building, CP shop. And do drop in at Khadi Gryam Udyog Bhavan next door!)
Shades of India (gorgeous and fabulously textured clothes and accessories.)
Anokhi (what would our wardrobes be without their signature block prints and well cut clothes? Not to mention the softest Jaipuri quilts!)
Good Earth (perhaps the best example of restrained Indian maximalism- be it clothes or home decor. The cafe is no less enticing – with fabulous decor and veranda seating.)
Fabindia (yes, it has changed and yes we complain but it still delivers as a one stop shop for craft based contemporary home goods, clothes and more. For a complete Fabindia experience go to their flagship store cluster in N-Block market, GK)
Delhi Haat (ruined by corruption and bureaucracy, the soul and authenticity that made Delhi Haat the fabulous place it was seems to very much be a lost cause. Still, go there for some chance discoveries, regional food (we are firmly team Maharashtra Food Stall) and occasional folk performances. Look out for their Master Weavers, National Awardee and Dastakari Haat Samiti events.)
Craft Museum Shop (run by HHEC, it has a wonderful curation of Indian crafts and textiles plus an interesting selection of vintage/antique items)
Sunder Nagar Market (leisurely shop hop for handicrafts, antiques, replicas and jewelry. Special mention: Bharany's)
Lajpat Bhawan (for freshly ground masalas, papads and more. Join their Library, if you can frequent this place- it will warm your heart every single time. Browse and buy used books at their Book Shop and finish off with a glass of freshly squeezed juice at their juice counter. All for a good cause.)
Santushti Shopping Complex (this grassy, leafy complex, run by Indian Airfare Wives Association, is a great place for an unhurried shopping experience in Delhi. Hit our favorites: Ogaan, Tulsi by Neeru Kumar, Anokhi and Lotus Eaters.)

Cafe Lota (a Lai favorite! Still dreaming about their jackfruit biryani, chicken ghee roast and bhapa-doi cheesecake....)
The Potbelly Rooftop Cafe (totally worth the never ending climb up the stairs for it's back-to-the-roots earthiness and home cooked Bihari (regional Indian) cuisine.)
Spice route (an all around unforgettable experience. Another Lai favorite!)
Patiala Peg and 1911 (our two favorite bars housed in an Art Deco classic, the Imperial Hotel.)
Bukhara (a legend not without reason.)
Indian Accent (when you pick it as the venue to introduce then boyfriend, now husband to your parents, you know its a special place! Despite its move from Manor to The Lodhi, this place is a must do on every India trip. Opt for the six-course tasting menu for a memorable culinary experience.)
SodaBottleOpenerWala (go there for a taste of Mumbai and it's inimitable Iranian cafes.)
Chor Bizaare (finger licking Indian food in a setting that will floor every vintage lover. Go there super hungry or share the Wazwan!)
Cafe Latitude°28 (unwind in a modern day Maharaja maximalism meets brooding Parisian chic setting that is signature Good Earth.)

Crafts Museum (lets just say we are happy to spend every extra minute in Delhi in this serene Charles Correa designed Museum. Lots of changes every year, some we are not too happy about but the recent addition of Cafe Lota and Lota Shop are two of their better ideas!)
India Habitat Centre (swing by for a leisurely meal at their non-member's food court, Eatopia, or The All American Diner. Walk around soaking in the brilliance of this Joseph Stein building and catching up the exhibitions at Visual Arts and Open Palm Court Gallery or any cultural event in their open air amphitheater. Highly recommended: membership to their Film Club.)
National Museum (if you can tone down your exceptions, you'll find your self being amazed at 5000 years of our cultural heritage stored here. Big, serene, though old fashioned- still, our happy place!)
Lodi Gardens (a Lai favorite. An urban oasis with a good deal of history thrown in. Opposite India Habitat Center- kill two birds with one stone!)
Hauz Khas and Deer Park (if we weren't in the NIFT campus, this is where we were! A great place to shop, look around and eat. Leave some time to explore its medieval madrasa, tombs, mosque and the lake. A quintessential Delhi experience that is a mix of urban and rural.)
Triveni Kala Sangam (another Lai favorite- visit this gem by architect Joseph Stein for it's architecture, art exhibitions + performances, plant and pot shopping, yum homemade food + masala chai at it's Terrace Cafe and those old school vibes.)
National Gallery of Modern Art (Housed in the stately 'Jaipur House', the only place you'll get to see stalwarts of contemporary Indian art like Amrita Shergill, Souza, Raza, Jamini Roy, Rabindranath Tagore and M F Hussain all in one place. Bonus for the sculptures, Miniature paintings, Tanjores and the Kalighats!)
Qutub Complex/Mehrauli Archaeological Park (for ruins, history, open spaces and the beauty of them all together. The only area in Delhi known for 1,000 years of continuous occupation- includes ruins from various dynasties- the Tomars, the Sultanates, Mughal and the British. Or just go for the Qutab. Don't miss the annual 'Qutub Festival', held in November-December.
Connaught Place (too many reasons to list....)
Lutyens' Delhi/ India Gate: (at night, with ice cream from one of the cart vendors.)

City of Jinns, William Dalrymple
Delhi: A Novel, Khushwant Singh
Twilight in Delhi, Ahmed Ali


Lai spotting! Priyaka Bose September 06 2018

Priyanka Bose, Indian movie Bollywood actress, in Lai silver jewelry choker necklace      Priyanka Bose, Indian movie Bollywood actress, in Lai silver jewelry choker necklace

The fabulous and uber talented Indian actor Priyanka Bose in our Devi amulet choker! Can’t get over how stunning these pictures are! 😍

anka Bose, Indian movie Bollywood actress, in Lai silver jewelry choker necklace


Two weeks to go!! #NYNow July 27 2018

NY NOW handcrafted artisanal jewelry design Lai invite

Last year we took a huge risk. Having never participated in a trade show, we decided to dive into the deep end of the pool and learn how to swim!

For those of you who are familiar with trade shows, you’d know what a massive under taking it is- financially and time wise. I sat on the fence for three years before finally summoning the courage to dive in. And dive in in so small measure- we went all out and chose one of the biggest shows in the world, placing our designs, hard work and love in 50 sq. feet of space. One of the 2500 odd exhibitors. In a behemoth called NY NOW.

Cut to a year later, Lai can be found in stores of hallowed institutions like J Paul Getty (LA), Asian Art Museum (SF), The San Diego Museum of Art and more. Not to say that the show was a roaring success or suddenly we had ‘arrived’. Far from it. But it thrills me no end that my conviction to not change our designs and aesthetics to ‘suit the market’ paid off. That we could hold on our own. And that there was enough success and encouragement that we are going to be there again.

Wish us luck.....cause we need tons of it!

xox Puja

Silver jewelry 101 June 20 2018


Sterling silver jewelry 101

Long post alert!

“They are all made in 92.5 silver. I like it’s not sterling silver. (Sterling silver and zircon are worst!)”. We are quoting verbatim a line we came across on an Indian blog reviewing a jewelry brand.

The other day we received a DM on Instagram asking the price and material of a nose pin we had posted. On sharing the details, we got the reply- “Oh, I only wear silver”.

These statements are so factually wrong that we are compelled to clarify this. ‘Sterling silver’ IS 92.5/925 silver.

Since pure (100%) silver is too soft to be made into jewelry, some other metals (usually copper) are added to make it harder. 92.5% silver, as the name suggests is 92.5% silver + rest some other metal(s).

92.5, 925, Sterling silver are all the same thing. Sterling silver is a universally used and recognized standard for fine silver jewelry.

As for Zircon- it is a naturally occurring stone, found in abundance and hence not expensive (though in bigger sizes it is!), but beautiful in the many colors it occurs in. Surely nothing negative here!

But we think we know what the author might be trying to warn her readers against. German silver (an alloy of base metals) which is what all street side junk jewelry is made out of and Cubic Zirconia or CZ, which are man made stones used in imitation jewelry. A case of good intention but wrong information?

Which brings us to the broader point of being careful and selective in the information we are consuming.

It is so easy to Google and wax eloquent on the new weave or regional jewelry one is flaunting on Instagram, isn’t it? Who doesn’t like interesting captions and what better than to throw in a factoid or two that you just looked up?

Our two cents:

(1) please enjoy all the captions and stories but when it comes to spending your money, make sure to do your own research rather than blindly following and taking the word of your favourite blogger, influencer or curator.

(2) look for information coming from horse’s mouth which includes artisans, organizations and brands directly working with artisans and experienced experts in that field.

(3) Google is still your best friend but be sure to check out multiple sources and not go by and stop at the first thing you read.

(4) ask, ask, ask till all your questions about material, provenance etc. have been answered to your satisfaction by the seller/brand. But please do a favor- checkout their website first. Most legit brands take a lot of care to preempt and answers all queries under ‘FAQs’ or ‘About’ section- do see if your query has already been addressed to before you shoot them a mail/message. All brand owners/designers love to answer questions but it can get tiresome answering questions that are repetitive and have been answered on the website.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this- anything else you’d like to add or correct?

P.S: sterling silver = 92.5 silver = 925 silver! 🙂

Originally posted on our Instagram page.

Our new collection is now open for orders! November 18 2016

"Jewellery tells a story. Like many art forms, it has the power to evoke memory and emotion. We hold on to it and protect it, carrying it with us through life. We pass it on to younger generations. Its worth cannot by measured solely by the materials with which it was crafted. A piece of jewellery can reveal much about the designer’s style, but it tells the wearer’s story." (source: unknown)

Our new collection is now open for orders!

Each piece in this limited edition collection has been handcrafted by expert artisans in our Jaipur workshop with extreme attention to detail at every stage. Since these are labour intensive and technically complex pieces, we have decided to make this a 'made to order collection' with a lead period of 3-4 weeks.

We will be taking orders for a week after the launch (till 27th November, Sunday). No booking shall be taken after that. Payment can be made via credit/debit cards, PayPal and on-line bank transfers.

Contemporary, yet timeless. Inherently mysterious, intriguing, and- once the wearer makes them her own- unparallely personal. Our "Amulets, Lockets and Talismans" collection is a must for every jewelry lovers wardrobe! :)


Yay again! November 08 2016

Thrilled to find the spot light on our Bidri X MCM collection on one of the most wonderful sources available to conscious consumers for discovering ethical brands/designers and from world over- Thank you so much, Valerie!

P.S: we may be working on launching a new story soon but we are still focused on promoting our Bidri collection, to make collaborating with craft groups a sustainable exercise for them and for us- especially to the US/European clients this Holiday Season. So if you have jewellery loving friends and family on this side of the globe, please do share this with them!

Yay! October 27 2016

Our favourite Mumbai based read The Daily Pao lists our long rectangular bidri earrings as one of the best Diwali gift buys from country's 25 indie labels.

Thrilled to be on their list! :)


Lai spotting in Cuba! October 13 2016

So kicked to see this behind the scene picture from Majestic Disorder's fashion editorial shoot for their upcoming issue- shot in Havana, Cuba! Feathered here: Round Bidri cuff from our Bidri X MCM collection.

Majestic Disorder is one of our favourite world arts + culture magazine and we are so proud to have had this chance to be a part of this awesome magazine! If only we could have travelled to Cuba with our jewellery! :)

Work in progress! October 12 2016

So many of you have written in to ask about our next collection....well its about time, isn't it?!

While we had all the intentions of giving you some wonderful options to add to your jewellery collections, this festive season- its clear now that we had grossly underestimated the time taken to actualize the gorgeous yet technically complex collection we have in pipeline for you.

While, despite all our efforts, it seems like we will miss the Diwali bus, we are sure to wow you with our new collection- now (almost) nearing completion. Stay with us for more!


Also posted on our Facebook page on 12th October, 2016.

"jewellery brands we obsess over" October 11 2016

Big thanks to the lovely folks at The Ardour for choosing Lai as one of the "jewellery brands we obsess over"!

Featured! October 02 2016

Thrilled to find our Bidri X MCM collection featured in our absolute favourite and highly acclaimed Indian design magazine Creative Gaga!

Thank you so much Pragya and team Creative Gaga!



Website re-launch! September 30 2016

We are super thrilled to share our refreshed, dynamic and responsive website with all of you!!  
  • shop by not just collections but also by separate product categories (earrings, rings etc.), price bands (under Rs.2500/-, under Rs.5000/-) and by type (plain silver, with gemstones, gold plated etc.)
  • secure payment by credit/debit cards, net baking, cash cards, on-line bank transfer and cash/cheque deposit
  • a counter lets you know when a design is down to last 2 or less pieces in stock 
  • create a "wish-list" of both in stock and sold out designs that you can refer to anytime. You can pool in all your favourite designs under your wish-list, look them up in one place and edit the list anytime. Email the wish-list to family/friends, treat it like a registry to circulate amongst friends so that they know exactly what to buy for you and more!
  • a 'notify me' feature to leave your e-mail id against any sold out design you are interested in. As soon as that design is back in stock the system will automatically send you a notification mail. This feature will also help us know which sold out designs you are coveting so we can put them into production- so we highly encourage that you use it!
  • enjoy free shipping for all purchases above Rs.10,000/- within India or above USD 200 within continental USA
  • world wide shipping from India and USA

We hope these features will make it a breeze for you to shop from Lai and make your time spent in our web shop more fun and productive! 

Know of anyone who loves good jewellery just as much as you do? Then please do share our website with them!

As always, we are just an e-mail away, should you have any query or concerns that are not addressed on the website.

Thank you for all your support over these past few years....

Much love,

An eight page spread in India's premier jewellery magazine! September 28 2016

Super stoked to find an eight page interview and and photo feature on Lai in India's premier jewellery magazine- Adorn!

A big thanks to Shanoo Bijlani, editor Adorn, for this wonderful oppourtunity and the brilliant interview!







Also posted on our Facebook page on 28th September, 2016.

Look at that! September 21 2016

An absolutely envy inducing Lai collection of one of our most enthusiastic supporters- Akanksha Dutta!

It is hard to put our feelings into words when we see all our designs, loving collected over time, shot with so much love and pride and shared with us.....

Thank you so-so much for all that love for Lai, Akanksha. Feeling blessed and humbled!

Also posted on our Facebook page on 21st September, 2016.

Media love for our Bidri X MCM collection continues to pour! September 19 2016

In September'16 issue of Elle, India

In September- October'16 issue of Creative Gaga

In September'16 issue of Femina, India

Saying that we are thrilled would be an understatement! :)



Featured! September 13 2016

Lai's Kinner Kailash enamel studs in Harper's Bazaar Bride September'16 issue on an actress after our own heart- the very gorgeous Nimrat Kaur. Thrilled!

Thank you Divyak D'Souza, Srishti Tewari and Harper's Bazaar Bride India!

Nimrat Kaur Harper's bazaar Bride India

Thank you Google alert for letting us know when our brand is being spoken of! September 03 2016

Spotted Lai's Bidri X MCM collection being quoted by The New Indian Express journalist Nidhi Singh on her feature about the the rising trend of multi purpose/detachable jewellery!

We like! :)

The indian Express article

Down the memory lane! September 02 2016

Found some old pictures of when we 1st sampled, some 6 years back, what are definitely a Lai classic now- these coin earrings!

Making of Coin earrings    Making of Coin earrings

Making of Coin earrings    Making of Coin earrings

Also posted on our Facebook page on 2nd September, 2016.

Featured! August 30 2016

Thrilled to find ourselves in a list of 3 indie brands that The Luxe Café has handpicked as "indie designers and brands which are changing the face of jewellery, as it were, and re-interpreting it as design artifacts rather than just a beautiful accessory."

"While stores like Nimai, en Inde, and online portals like Isharya are devoted to the cause of exclusively designed, eclectically curated jewellery, we have some of our own designer favourites adding to the list of labels doing not just pretty baubles, a list which started with names like Eina Ahluwalia and Suhani Pittie, which has grown to include other brilliant sparks. Rummaging through our treasure troves, we bring you these brands which are further propelling the indie jewellery movement, introducing the modern divas to innovative, experimental, bold and beautiful statement jewellery. Not defined by the price, rather by the passion with which they are created, these jewellery brands offer adornments which are flaunt-worthy and yet not flashy, they are loved by the celebs and still not overtly-starry. By the time you reach the end of this story we hope have you convinced about the next-up stores and portals to haunt for adding to your cache of concept jewellery."

Read this beautifully written feature here.

Thank you so much for this lovely surprise and your thumbs up, The Luxe Cafe!

So we had a bit of a SOS last Friday.... August 10 2016

It came to my notice that the Picasa links via which we had shared our catalogues with all of you for so long were now defunct. Google (who bought Picasa) had announced this a while ago but it came into effect last Friday. If you click on any of our links now, you will get an error message.

So instead of switching to Google photos- to which Google has migrated our catalogues, we've decided to transfer all the product pictures, prices and other details to our website. Given the number of collections we have, this is a herculean task but one we are determined to make and finish at the earliest. One by one, we'll upload every single collection, every design. This is phase 1.

A bit later we plan to e-commerce enable the website so that you can shop our entire (India) inventory directly from the website (yay!). This will be phase 2.

The US inventory will have a separate website and this will be phase 3.

I guess this was all inevitable. Much as I enjoy hearing from and writing to all of you, a large chunk of my day was going in just clearing the inbox. I was begining to feel the pinch of being the direct (and only) client interface. So the upcoming changes should hopefully make it easier for you to shop from us and leave me with more time for growing our brand and for more exciting product developments.

And while we are talking about this, I'd love to hear from you if you have any suggestions about features you find useful while shopping on-line (cart abandonment reminders?) and which in your opinion are a complete put off (pop-up?!). Any entrepreneurs, running their own website, reading this? I'd love to find out about payment gateways for India etc. Let me know if I can trouble you for some information.

Thank you all so much for all your support and love. Lai is all geared up for some big changes!
xox Puja

Also posted on our Facebook page on 10th August, 2016.

Featured in national daily Deccan Herald! July 18 2016

Featured in Friday's (15th July'16) Deccan Herald, New Delhi edition. Yay!

Thanks a ton, Shweta, for this wonderful interview! :)


Also posted on our Facebook page on 18th July, 2016.

Not staged. Real life. July 16 2016

Just got some pictures, taken on a cousin's wedding a few months back in India, and I love them. They, in a way, speak of things I miss most about being in India- the festivities, family gatherings and that occasional dressing up!

In the background, on left is one of my aunts who I've, since my childhood, seen wearing the most gorgeous Kanjeeverams, some serious jewellery, her signature big bindi and always looking so darn regal!

Love the whole old-world feel to this picture- due credit to the photographer for capturing it and also choosing to make it black and white.

Also posted on our Facebook page on 16th July, 2016.

One of our dearest, most colorful, super wearable and deliciously affordable collection- Rangoli- is now back in stock! July 14 2016

Re-launching our Rangoli collection- because there is nothing more we need to wear, in these summer days, than light weight and comfortable pieces of jewellery- that are chic and super pretty too!

Lets admit it, while its easy to paint a very romantic picture of summer days, it is also the time when outside of an air conditioned environment, things can get not so pleasant and sweaty.

Whether you choose to wear a sundress, cotton kurtis or the classic white shirt, our Rangoli collection pieces will provide just that right pop of colour and subtle detail, while being comfortable enough to be taken from office mornings to an impromptu evening out. Effortless jewellery- but super versatile.

As a bonus, we have also restocked our bestselling Nose pins, Greek and Detachable Jhumka collections......because we do like to spoil you with choice! :)

And, yes, all of these make for perfect gift options too!

These are all 'ready to ship' collections, so go ahead- make your selection and order away! As always, these are limited edition pieces so you will need to get back to us at the earliest to ensure you get your selection.

Haven't received our Summer edit mailer? Check your junk/spam folder or the 'Promotions' tab if you use Gmail. Still not there or if you are not on our mailing list, then write to us at and we'll get back to you with the details!


Also posted on our Facebook page on 14th July, 2016.

‪#‎ThrowBackThursday‬ July 07 2016 a time when I worked on fine jewellery and diamonds!

Seems like another life time! :)



Also posted on our Facebook page on 7th July, 2016.

Yay for being listed as one of "India's top creative brands"! June 27 2016

Merci beaucoup, for listing Lai as one of "India's top creative brands"!



Our Bidri X MCM collection got featured! June 24 2016

A write-up on our Bidri X MCM collection in The Humming Notes, a new lifestyle website that focusses on travel, culture, heritage, food and wellness.

Always exciting to know that people are liking our work enough to want to write about it and share it! Thanks a ton, Aarti and team Humming Notes!

Look whose list our Nose pins made it to! June 22 2016

Always exciting to find Lai in Little Black Book, Bangalore's curation! This time in their round up of best places to buy nose pins.....

A big thanks for team LBB and Chandni for the shout out! :)

Also posted on our Facebook page on 22nd June, 2016.

‪#‎ThrowBackThursday‬ June 16 2016 about a year and a half ago when this shot was taken for an interview. I was asked to pick my most frequently worn jewellery and this is the assortment I chose.
It's seems a bit odd looking at this photograph now since about 70% of these jewellery pieces are not in my current rotation!

I'd be most curious to know how you wear your jewellery. Do you change jewellery on a daily basis? Wear them on a rotation basis? Stick to the staples? I'd so love to know! :)

Also posted on our Facebook page on 16th June, 2016.

It is wonderful to be back after a vacation and have tons of wonderful mails and messages awaiting us.... June 14 2016 this one on our Instagram feed from a designer we admire a lot- Eina Ahluwalia:

"I just discovered your new Bidri line, and I had to write in to say I LOVE it!!! Congratulations, it's absolutely brilliant ❤️"

It is so generous and wonderful of Eina to stop by and comment- we are thrilled to have our new collection liked by some one whose work we admire a lot. In fact, Eina is not the only fellow designer who has written in to congratulate us on our Bidri are some others whose messages we are so grateful for!

"The bidri range is exceptional! Congratulations!!!"
- Benaazir of MoodSwings Jewelry by Benaazir

"The collection is fro sure not be missed. Loved every design"
- Sankeerthi of Rabbit Out Of The Hat

"Sheer art, Puja! Have always loved your design sensibilities. Bidri in this form is poetry 💜"
- Aparna of Nine By Thirty

"Really appreciate your latest experiment. It's incredibly brave of you to try something so different despite all the expectations and pressures that come with having a strong following."
-Vyshnavi of Dvibhumi

Thank you and much love to all of you! Feels great to be a part of such a warm and positive design community! :)

Click the above image to play the video!

Also posted on our Facebook page on 14th June, 2016.

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