A Crafted Destiny: Meet Jewelry Designer Sonali Dixit

Sonali Dixit - in Bridal Expo

Have you ever felt as if your creative path was just meant to be? That’s precisely how Sonali Dixit feels about her foray into jewelry design. Growing up in Kathmandu, Nepal, a city famed for its rich artistic traditions, she was immersed in creativity practically from birth. “It’s as if my passion for arts and crafts was ingrained in my DNA,” she says. 

Sonali credits her mother and grandmother for shaping her artistic journey. “These two talented ladies not only passed down their artistic skills but also ignited a deep love for creativity within me. As a child, I was mesmerized by the beautiful knitting, crocheting, and beading works that they created. I would spend hours watching them work their magic, and it sparked a fire within me to create something beautiful with my own hands.”

At first, Sonali was drawn to painting and drawing. She loved putting a brush to canvas and seeing the colors come to life, losing herself in the process.

Credit: Sonali Dixit/Quise Jewels.

As a teenager, Sonali couldn’t resist the urge to create. She collected fabric scraps, buttons, and even broken objects to make unique jewelry. The designer’s interest in arts and crafts intensified, and she experimented with different mediums, including pottery, paper mache and origami.

After being unable to find accessories to match her fashion sense, Sonali made jewelry the focus of her creative practice. Today, she resides in upstate New York, where she founded Quise Jewels, her line of handcrafted beaded jewelry. She also offers a selection of paper quilling jewelry. Discover more in Sonali’s interview with Artisan Joy.

When did you realize that you could sell your designs?

I shared my creations on Facebook, and some of my friends asked me where they could buy them. That triggered my business.

How do you define success for your business?

My success is the satisfaction I get when I make a perfect piece. I compare the work I did in the past to the new, and I see flaws being addressed—I feel that is my success. I also define success as when patrons raise their eyebrows in awe at craft shows and ask, ‘did you do all that?’ It’s when I post a photo, and people comment, ‘Those are beautiful.’ I love hearing that.

Where do you find inspiration for your work?

When I am feeling happy, I look around my workbench for inspiration to create something beautiful. If I’m feeling low,  I sit on my workbench, start opening all my supplies, and ask, ‘How do I get my happiness back today?’ My work gives me inspiration for every single situation

What’s one piece of advice you wish someone had given you when you first started your business?

Selling is not an easy job; it takes more than your creation time to sell.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to start selling their art or creative product?

Makers are always makers, but not always sellers. So when you are thinking about selling, keep in mind that you will spend double-time convincing people to buy.

Credit: Sonali Dixit/Quise Jewels.

What’s something our audience would be surprised to learn about you?

Oh, I would say, I started learning how to weave when I had lots of free time without my family. All my learning isi from YouTube, and it only started in 2014. It took time to be perfect and have a better-finished product. So if you put your heart and soul into it, you can learn whatever you like, and the Internet is a free resource with an ocean of knowledge

As creatives, we can be continuously creating and refining our art. How do you handle perfectionism?

Oh, that is what I am so picky about—the perfection. I know people are not going to notice my imperfection, but still, I feel I should not be selling something I do not like. So I try to rework on same design. 

Credit: Sonali Dixit/Quise Jewels.

What’s something that surprised you about running a creative business?

Oh there is a lot—when it is business, it is business, not just creation: the product descriptions, the photography, the web designing, the marketing, the selling, the shipping and handling, the packaging, the branding. After that, the inventory, the pricing, the accounting, keeping up the website and so much more. I never imagined it would be so hard to be a one-woman show.

Can you share the name of a supplier or vendor that you use for your business that you just loveone that makes running your business a bit easier? 

VistaPrint for brand printing and Uline for boxes for shipping

What brings you joy?

My creations of course—nothing beats that.

Thanks, Sonali! You can learn more about their work at http://www.QuiseJewels.com.

Editor’s Note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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