By Chris Bavender
When Aanal Mehta couldn’t find the right career opportunity as a graphic designer she decided to take the plunge and start her own business. So, last June, Asdarm Creations – an online jewelry design store – was born.
“My hope is to reach out to local boutiques in Zionsville where I would like to sell my work to reach a wider audience, apart from participating at local art fairs,” Mehta said.
Mehta wanted a unique name for her business, so she used her husband’s initials (ASD) and her own initials (ARM).
“Hence ASDARM,” Mehta said. “I have been using Z-works, founded by Dan Moyers in Zionsville, as shared co-working space and the resources they offer, which has helped me to set up my business.”
Her husband, Ameet Daftary, has always been supportive of her efforts.
“Aanal has a very creative mind and the ability to uniquely capture color, texture and style to generate art,” Daftary said. “Her travels across the world have opened her mind to ideas which imbue her creations. I therefore fully supported her to develop ASDARM Creations as a platform to share her creativity and views of art with people.”
Her creative designs come from her Indian heritage, drawing on the culture, art, music and diversity of her native country. The 44-year-old Zionsville resident also gets input from her mother and brother-in-law, whom she calls “fashion-forward” when it comes to dressing. Her greatest inspiration, however, is her aunt.
“She has been my mentor, guided me and trained me to make ethnic jewelry,” Mehta said. “Her necklaces are most sought after in the elite circles of Bombay, India. I have been fortunate to learn, observe and adapt from her.”
Mehta finds herself drawn to recycled wood and recycled kitchen spoons and forks to create her “unusual and funky” necklaces. It can take two to three days to create the pendants for the pieces. She also designs ethnic global fusion jewelry.
“My goal is to promote different forms of Indian art and save it from becoming extinct,” she said. “Many fashion labels are working with Indian art in the form of textiles and prints for clothing – so why not use fashion jewelry as a platform for Indian art to get its due recognition in the U.S. market.”
Her designs have a fan following among her loyal customers.
“Each piece is unique. There are both casual pieces as well as more upscale jewelry. There is a piece of jewelry for every type of person,” customer Stephanie Davis said.
“The jewelry that Aanal designs is simple and elegant. Unlike what is found in stores, each piece is one of a kind. It has a unique story down to every bead. All of these magical components are sourced worldwide and unite in a little global village of it’s very own,” customer Gaurang Daftary said.
But her work isn’t just for adults. Mehta also has a line of children’s jewelry.
“Young children of today are very fashion conscious and love to accessorize just like we adults do. When I had my first exhibition in Zionsville, one of the customers asked whether I create necklaces for 4-year-olds,” Mehta said. “That set me thinking. There is a very small market for children’s jewelry.”
Other signature items for Mehta are unisex bracelets.
“There is a growing willingness among men to splurge on themselves while shopping for their companions,” Mehta said. “What’s more, men today are more open to new materials and new styles. Hence including men’s leather and bead bracelets on my online store.”
The one thing Mehta is most proud of – the fact none of her pieces are mass produced – makes for one-of-a-kind statement pieces.
“No two designs will be the same,” she said. “My inventory always changes.”
As the holidays approach, Asdarm Creations will offer a 15 percent discount store wide with the coupon code HOLIDAYS until Dec. 15. Shop the site at www.asdarm-creations.com.
As for what’s next, Mehta is already planning a spring exhibition of her work. Details will be announced on the Asdarm Creations Facebook page.
ABOUT AANAL MEHTA
Favorite pasttime: “Spending time with my husband, my best friend, watching movies together and going for long walks together. We also enjoy working out at the gym together.”
Favorite local restaurant: “Wow, I have many! Rosie’s Place for Brunch in Zionsville, The Loft Restaurant at Traders Point Creamery, Napolese Pizza, Canal Bistro for Mediterranean food … I can go on.”
Birthplace: Warren, Mich.
Favorite vacation spot: “We have traveled extensively and have enjoyed each place for its history, culture, food, arts, etc. Countries we have visited are: Cambodia (Ankor Wat), Thailand, Jordan (Petra), Kenya (African Safari), Mexico (Mexico City, and Cancun), Australia (lived in Australia for a year because of my husband’s job. Been to Sydney, Perth, Canberra, Darwin, Cairns, Great Barrier Reef and Alice Springs), Myanmar (Burma), Hong Kong, Dominican Republic (Punta Cana).”
Spouse: Ameet Daftary
Place of work: Freelance graphic designer and founder and design artist of ASDARM Creations, LLC.
Place of worship: Hindu temple.
Favorite quote: ‘The only way to do a great job is to love what you do.’ – Steve Jobs. I live and breathe by this. I am very passionate about what I do – both as a graphic designer and as a design artist for ASDARM Creations.