'Miss Jo' offer 40-50 designs across earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings and brooches.
'Miss Jo' offer 40-50 designs across earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings and brooches.

All That Glitters is Not Gold

The Big Jo’s family returns to its old stomping grounds of retail with an eclectic range of hallmarked silver jewellery

There was a time when Big Jo’s was a big name in New Delhi as the capital’s first air-conditioned, multi-storeyed department store. But then time, tide and liberalisation swept in and sent it away to the museum of old memories. Owner Sanjeev Kumar Jain, and his sons Samir and Sidharth, got busy with their real estate business and silver jewellery manufacturing for the export market.

But, the love for retail clearly remained, and earlier this year, the Jain brothers came back into the Indian and Middle East market with a line of 92.5 sterling silver jewellery, fittingly called Miss Jo. They started with an experiential store in Delhi’s tony, Khan Market, and simultaneously launched their website.

The launch makes sense. Having worked in the export market for years, the Jains have a good understanding of the silver jewellery category. They also have an in-house design studio, their own manufacturing facility and, most importantly, the market know-how. Samir says, “The thesis for my PhD was on the global silver jewellery market, and I covered manufacturing techniques, bullion trends, branding and pricing. Given my background, I handle production and business development while my brother handles finance and operations. Both of us see silver as ‘the new gold’, given its inherent qualities, its ability to be moulded into interesting shapes and its affordability vis-a-vis gold.”

Miss Jo currently has five collections: Signature, Secret Garden, Kaleidoscope, Enchanted Forest and Objet d’Art. All the lines offer 40-50 designs across earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings and brooches. “Every collection is distinct in the way it is made, its visual appeal and the stones it uses,” says Samir.

Samir (left) and 
Sidharth Jain
Samir (left) and Sidharth Jain

The Signature Collection tells a clean story in silver and white, with clear zircons set in silver. It’s perfect for people with an affinity, if not the resources, for diamonds. Kaleidoscope, as the name suggests, taps into colour, using rubies, emeralds and sapphires alongside clear zircons. Secret Garden pays homage to nature with pastel-hued rings, earrings and brooches shaped like dainty flowers and gossamer wings encrusted with tiny, sparkling stones.

Enchanted Forest takes the nature story a step further and goes deeper and darker; here, you will find butterflies, bees and bugs adorned with invisible-set stones in blood red, fuchsia, emerald green and deep moody blue. The Objet d’Art Collection, packed with bold, vibrant, geometric-shaped gemstones set in gold-plated silver, is in-your-face glam. Think rock concerts, cocktail parties and soirees on the beach. Or #WearitLoud, as the brand puts it.

Samir says the Signature Collection is currently performing the best commercially. That’s understandable, given the versatility of the tennis bracelets, hoop earrings and harmony rings that can easily make the transition from conferences to cruises. But, if you check out what the influencers are wearing—and promoting—on social media, you will find it’s the colour-drenched, flamboyant Objet d’Art that rules.

So who is the target audience, we ask. Samir says Miss Jo is not targeting any particular age group or income group. “Anyone with a fine eye for jewellery is our client,” he says.

Some of the pieces bring Swarovski to mind. Samir admits it is immediate competition. But, he adds, there are not too many organised players in India who are creating BIS-hallmarked, nickel-free jewellery in sterling silver. “Marketing gurus say, ‘If you cannot be the first in a category, then create a category in which you are the first.’ That’s what we are doing with Miss Jo.”

Currently, the brand is available in India and the Middle East. The products are reportedly selling the best in Hyderabad, Mumbai and Delhi as well as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. But 20 more stores are coming in the next few years at premium high streets and malls across the metros and at the major airports.

If all goes well, little Miss Jo may soon become another Big Jo.

The New Indian Express