Inspired by her Indian roots, Megan Kothari is saving the art of traditional jewelry making from its extinction. Her brand AARYAH, also the Sanskrit word for rare, inspires confidence on the New York streets. This trend-setting collection is not only designed to push the boundaries of contemporary jewelry, but is also 100% handmade by Indian artisans. We got to know more about Megan Kothari’s story— her origin, her inspiration, and how she balances tradition in the modern world.
What sparked your interest in jewelry?
I get asked this all the time and the irony always makes me laugh. My family has been in the jewelry industry for 40 + years, so I’ve been exposed to it my entire time. It’s always been a part of who I am and soon enough life came back full circle and AARYAH was born!
How did you get the idea of AARYAH?
A few years ago, a coworker complimented a cuff I was wearing to work. It was a unique piece I picked up while visiting my grandfather’s village in Gujarat, India from my favorite local jewelry shop. A few weeks later, a woman actually tried to buy the same piece off my hand – while I was eating at a restaurant! I knew then that this style of jewelry was truly one-of-kind and it was time to introduce it to the world.
Aaryah is the Sanskrit word for precious and rare. What does being rare or unique mean to you?
To me that means staying true to yourself, whether it’s your style, your thoughts or your way of life. We’re all so different in our own ways and I believe everyone has something different to offer.
How do you keep tradition in the modern world?
For me, it’s been rooted in how I grew up. Merging traditions into my daily life has always felt natural as it’s such a huge part of who I am.
Your jewelry is Indian tribal inspired — where do you find inspiration in New York City?
The people I surround myself with are constantly inspiring me. Honestly, its my passion for AARYAH that gives me the power to push myself. Every day I wake up and make a conscious decision to work harder and harder to be the best version of myself and to make my dreams for AARYAH come true.
Do you have any advice for emerging fashion entrepreneurs?
I know this isn’t the first time you’re hearing this but if you have an idea, just go out there and make shit happen. Don’t wait for someone else to validate your idea. Your own belief is more than enough and will take you a long way.
Photography Credit: Ali Reza Malik & Saad Rahman
Lean more about AARYAH and browse her new collection at aaryah.com.