“Dream big, work hard and make it happen,” Puja Bordia, founder of the Tresor Collection of fine jewelry (tresorcollection.com), recently shared her fascinating colorful story in an interview. “I believe if you dream about it, work hard for it, and believe in yourself, you can make it happen. I come from a family of 18 generations of jewelers in Jaipur in India. The Mookim family - my maiden name - served as treasurers for the Maharajas or princes in Jaipur for centuries. They were jewelers, goldsmiths and gem cutters, making incredible suites of necklaces, earrings, bracelets, even crowns. Virtually all my extended family is in the jewelry business. It’s in my blood, thus it’s my passion.”
Puja currently lives with her husband Sachin and son Aadi in Miami, FL where the showrooms of Tresor are based. Founded in 2008, the company exhibits at the Couture show in Las Vegas and other major shows and has attracted top stores and celebrities as clients.
“My father, Pushpendra Mookim, owns jewelry factories in Jaipur. Called the ‘Pink City’ because of its magnificent pink palaces and castles, it’s known world-wide as a colored stone gem cutting center. He travels the world - from Brazil to South Africa, Hong Kong and Germany - seeking top quality rough material to be faceted in his factories. Steeped in a tradition of 18 centuries of craftsmanship, he has an amazing eye for color.
“The workmanship in the Jaipur factories is exquisite. They have all the latest up-to-date technologies, including laser machines and CAD/CAM. The young people in the area all want to go into jewelry. Colleges and schools abound to learn the most current aspects of the trade backed by centuries of tradition. I always enjoy meeting and working with my factory staff. They’re the most incredibly talented people.
“When I was young I traveled with my father around the world on buying trips and to shows. My father is the support for my business. All my credit goes to him. I am very close to my dad. We talk all the time and when we talk, it’s all business! We’re just on the same wavelength.
“I’ve always loved jewelry, but also love fashion. In 1998 I spread my wings and attended the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, intending to make fashion my career. I worked for the top fashion houses - Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Kenneth Cole, Bill Blass. While working, on the side I would design and wear my own jewelry. I’d always get many compliments. My friends would ask, ‘What are you doing working here when you could be designing your own jewelry?’
“The idea of forming my own company percolated for years. Eleven years ago I married. My husband’s from Australia, a networking consultant. His family is friends with our family, a kind of ‘semi-arranged’ marriage still common in India. While pregnant with our son, I decided the time was right to take the plunge. I attended GIA diamond courses and fell in love. I’d found my true calling.”
Next month. Part II. The Birth of a Treasure.
Mia Katrin is an award-winning jewelry designer featured in over 70 top stores nationally. She is available for lectures and seminars. To add her Collections or book a lecture: www.jeweljewel.com, 877 539-3569, facebook.com/MiaKatrinforJEWELCOUTURELLC.