For my final installment of women in Pune, India, I want to introduce Sayalee Marathe. Let’s look at a small part of what she is doing! I had the opportunity to meet her in her boutique in the distinguished red and white building – see photo below. While I was perusing the jewelry on display, she began telling me about her passion for silver jewelry from a young age. Yet, the traditional jewelry designs were offered in gold, making them too expensive for many families. This is how she began experimenting with creating traditional jewelry designs in silver, making them more accessible and affordable to a broader audience.
Sayalee continued to explain to me various cultural and historical contexts about jewelry. One of the traditional designs that recently inspired Sayalee was the ‘Kolhapuri Saaj’ necklace, which is as special to Maharashtrian women as the Mangalsutra. The Kolhapuri Saaj is a gold necklace and 21 leaf-shaped motifs or ’charms’, each with its own meaning and a pendant.
Sayalee’s ‘Aadyaa Saaj’ necklace (see photo) pays homage to the Kolhapuri Saaj but is crafted entirely in silver. It features 44 different ‘charms’ with motifs, including fruits, flowers, and symbols of auspiciousness, happiness, prosperity, good luck for warding off evil spirits. (4th photo) Much time was spent finalizing each of these motifs. Sayalee’s goal was not to replace the original but to make it more accessible and affordable to a wider audience.
Sayalee’s brand, House of Aadyaa, quickly gained popularity, as they continue to blend age-old traditions with contemporary design and creativity. Aadyaa (आद्य) stands for “The Origin, The Unparalleled and the essence of CREATION,” embodying the brand’s ethos of respect for the heritage and symbolism of Maharashtra, originality, and unique creations.
Scroll through for more pieces, the Saroj (Lotus) hammered earrings. I bought a necklace for myself – green stones and a circle pendant! (8th photo)
She embodies so much and is a role model for other women who aspire to pursue their dreams.
I hope you enjoyed getting to know these women of Pune and might inspire you.
Meet the previous women in earlier posts.
Start with the first woman I met with, click here to visit Srishti