She inspires us in just so many ways – personally and professionally. There’s a wonder mom amidst us in who is leading the Zariin team from the front and doing everything to be a loving, supportive and a visionary mom to her 10 year old son. Mamta Gupta, the Founder of Zariin wears a few crucial hats and plays all her roles with unparalleled passion. Our mother’s day special for our real women series had to capture her spirit that is an integral driving force of the label. Her strength, dedication, love and zeal pushes us to give in our best. Interestingly, being a mom entrepreneur that she is, we have often found her at certain instances when she applies her mothering skills to the team. It works and how!
In conversation with her to understand certain realms of Zariin and half of its conceptualizing force.
What does Zariin mean to you?
Zariin is my creative journey to connect with the world. It is a baby that first rose out of my sister and my deep friendship and intellectual connection. Now 9 years later, it has evolved into a family of a beautiful, like-minded and supportive team, wherein we all input our love and creative energies together and in return derive a better version of ourselves every day.
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How relevant are the Indian fashion and the jewelry craft in the world today?
More relevant than ever! Supported by a rich craft heritage and a culturally diverse population, Indian fashion today is more than a sum of its parts. Indian designers are always blending an expanse of varied influences, and in the process creating a design language which is as nuanced and intriguing as India itself. Whether it is by way of awards, collaborations, or even associations with international buyers from renowned fashion stores wanting to share their interpretations of Indian crafts in their stores- Indian labels are a force to reckon with. As a designer, we wear the “Made in India” tag proudly on our sleeves, and the craftsmanship and quality speaks for itself.
Your personal relationship with jewelry?
Jewelry means different things to me on different days- on some days, it is an instant pick me up for an outfit, another day it is a nostalgic reminder of a memory from travel or an occasion, yet another day, it is a conversation piece, when I can talk about the inspiration and the story behind the design of that piece. But the common denominator in all these aspects of wearing jewelry is the joy of beauty and intimacy that comes along with wearing it.
You have been a strong supporter of #womenforwomen campaign and it reflects so distinctly in the brand story. Any comments.
I totally feel that there are no two ways about it. When women support each other, they can create amazing success stories together – built on strength, resilience, and trust. When we become strong work allies, we uplift us both. When we are positive mentors, we are creating confident future women leaders. When we appreciate and celebrate each other’s achievements, we nurture secure relationships. That’s what we strongly believe and practise at work and at personal level too.
You often mention that it’s a good time to be a woman. Why do you say so?
Yes, I do. I think we need to change the narrative. We need to believe in ourselves as women, and fight the circumstances if we need to, and create our own reality. The world has changed a lot from the time our grandmothers or our moms were little girls (and still needs to evolve). It’s a good time to be a woman to manifest all your dreams and ambitions.
A single mother. Founder of Zariin. Fitness enthusiast. Avid book reader.Penchant for travel. What does it take to manage it all?
I wouldn’t say I manage it all perfectly all the time. Often I drop the balls, and pritoritise one thing over another. As a mother, I often find myself giving my son the first priority all the time, but I don’t judge myself or drown with guilt when I have to travel for work, and my son understands that. I also consider myself hugely blessed for having a great support system from my family, that helped me with transition when I moved back from USA with my 1.5 years old son, and rebuilt my nest here in Delhi. It truly takes a tribe to raise a child, and I can’t express enough gratitude to my family and all my friends, who have helped and supported me in every way possible.
How do you match Kabir’s energy.
I have come to accept that I can’t match his energy, but I would love to admit that I do try my best to do that. I love being outdoors, and it worked out well that so does he, so we often bike together, climb the bouldering wall, do outdoor adventures or hikes together, when we travel. If he had his way, we would play football together everyday, but we find a middle ground and play twice a week. I couldn’t get myself to warm up to some of his savagely boy things like playing Nerf war with guns, but we both can live with that! Instead, I watch many action and superhero flicks with him! At the end of the day, we both wind down by getting in bed and reading our books, which is a perfect closure to the day and a common ground to match both of our sensibilities.
Biggest lessons Kabir has taught you?
Becoming a mother has helped me connect with my latent courage and strength that perhaps was unknown to me earlier. It has helped me take on challenges which I would give a pass earlier. It also amplified my patience skills by ginormous proportions, and has taught me the true meaning of “leading by example” . I think children are born to make us parents evolve into better human beings.
In addition to all this, Kabir is a great sounding board to me, when I am stressed out about mundane matters, and he does listen, and sometimes gives me amazing fresh perspectives. I love his nonchalant attitude about things- last month, in the middle of his exams, I asked him if he’s up for an audition for a character in an international TV series. He was instantly taken in by enthusiasm and excitement, and memorized his lines and cracked the first round of audition, and then went on to take his exams as usual.
On the lighter side, what I am trying to learn from my son, though still in vain so far- is not being afraid of honeybees and bugs, AND waking up at the first ring of the alarm clock, every single day. I don’t know how he does it, but he just does!
Vidhi has a question for you too! – Does Vidhi (your sister and partner) understand when you have mother commitments and you’re MIA at work?
Vidhi is a super understanding sister and partner, and I couldn’t have asked for more. She understands my need for a flexible schedule, and always rises up to the need of the hour, if I have a pressing responsibility towards my son, or anything else. She is a great leader too, and always fills in for me, to the team that directly reports to me, whenever required.
Almost 10 years of Zariin. What are your biggest highlights as a mom entrepreneur?
There are many interesting highlights in this 9 years journey. I remember vividly when I was taking Kabir on a Zariin trail of stores that stock us in New York, and we walked into Anthropologie on 6th Avenue, and he spotted our designs and proudly started telling everyone around that these designs are made by his mother! Everyone around there congratulated me, and Kabir was surely beaming with pride for our achievements as a label.
Also, as a mom entrepreneur I feel that the biggest wealth that I have accumulated through Zariin is our community of friends worldwide, who not just wholeheartedly embrace our label, but also have immense love and care for us as people. I am not exaggerating when I say that Kabir has played soccer with our buyers from Japan, or showed up dressed as Captain America to a dinner in NY with our designer friends!! All these relationships, conversations, and jocular anecdotes have punctuated this journey with lingering memories and smiles.
Which Zariin collection is closest to your heart?
Our Classics collection, which we keep re-inventing in new forms and versions, shall always remain closest to my heart. The uncut stones, in their raw-natural unpolished versions, remind us of the women we are, and the women we create for.