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  • Writer's pictureThe Feminist Times

Adorn Yourself In BATOKI Brilliance: Artisanal Jewelry CELEBRATING THE FEMALE FORM

Updated: Apr 4

How did you make a jewelry brand that celebrates the female form?

In what I wear myself, for many years now, I like my fashion slow and mindful. I like stories. I want what I wear to have meaning- to me personally or symbolize ideas & values. I’m passionate about sustainability and supporting local artisans. So Batoki starts with mindful design. For example, the female form has always been looked at with various energies - beauty, lust, and the warmth of motherhood. We as women hold with us the magic of immense Power & Play if we only overcome the inhibitions often associated with these symbols, and our bodies, to embrace that Power and dance with the Play. 

I want everyone wearing a Batoki to experience that magic and its power because I see jewels as talismans that can hold meaning and manifest the ideas or desires they symbolize. I created three motifs for this collection both to celebrate the female form and also as an expression of the power that they symbolize: The Yoni: became my symbol of Creation, The Bosom: the symbol of Nurture and care, and The Eye: the symbol of protection, intuition, and vision.

The Creator Jewels symbolize the power to craft your moment, journey, identity, and expression. The Nurturer Jewels, to feel the love, caress your soft heart when needed, and have the power to hold someone else with the same. The Visionary, to claim your space, tell them you see your throne and are ready for it. You have the vision and intuition to make your own choices.

What do you want the women and girls to feel when wearing a Batoki statement piece?

Magical! Powerful! Playful!

Choose whoever you want to be today and every other day.  Slip on some earrings and be X. Change them up and be Y. That kind of shape-shifting is Magical!

With a Batoki you are whoever you want to be in the moment.  That could be introvert, extrovert, feisty, sexy, soft, or even not seen. It is about aligning with your energies and letting you feel how you do. The collection features motifs that speak loudly but also softly. From delicate strings of yonis that hang from your ears with the Creator Earstrings, the pearl-like bosoms that make the Nurturer choker, or eyes that string around to drip down your neck with the Visionary neck-drip. 

Then some days, you make it louder with the big yoni earrings, mismatched hoops, and mixing of the metals. Batoki wants you to come out and play!

Fashion is not a serious business, and talismans are not just for magic. They are also adornments we wear to look and feel good. Experiencing the magic of being us means giving ourselves the space for leisure & play. I want my jewels to help you claim your space, make your way, and have fun with it all. Mix the tones, mismatch the earrings, stack those rings, and bask in the compliments when you shine in your Batokis and stand out in a crowd.

What does the future for homegrown Indian jewelry brands look like to you?

I learned the craft in the most old-school way. When on a sabbatical from work, I met my guruji in Rishikesh. I spent seven months during the Covid lockdown learning from him the craft of wax artistry and metal smithing in a small workshop on the banks of the river Ganga. It took months of discipline and work. From there my journey took me to Jaipur where on the streets of Johri Bazaar and Kishanpole Bazaar I found local artisans to work with and craft my ideas to fruition.

This country is the Maharani of Jewellery, with great craftsmanship and a large network of skilled artisans.The thousands of beautiful people who have bought and worn a Batoki are testimony that we are vocal for local and value good design.

Q. One piece of advice you’d like to give to young girls in India.

Just keep at it. But more so, don’t be afraid to be someone new, every other moment. I went from a wannabe designer to a copywriter, to making festivals and events, to now becoming a jewelry maker and metal smith. It’s been the funnest to learn new things but it takes time. Give it a push- learn hard. Learn new. See more. Do more. You’ll be more :)

Q. What advice would you give to 13-year-old Mitalee?

Ooff. That question hits hard!

It’s going to be so interesting Mitalee. You will learn so many new things. You will be in so many places, You will become the sum of all that you see, feel, and do. So go travel, learn, and unlearn. Keep at it. And know that dreams change, give them the power to. 

In conversation with Mitalee Chandwani, Founder - Batoki - Use Code TFT20 for 20% Off

by Kuhu Srivastava

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