If you’re not big on film trivia, chances are you may not know who Akanksha Agrawal is. The founder of the new silver furniture and accessories brand Exclusively Yours happens to be the granddaughter of veteran actors Bina Roy and Premnath, who was the brother-in-law of showman Raj Kapoor. As soon as she opens up about her star-studded lineage, people around her start comparing her physical features to the young crop of actors from the Kapoor clan. She too has faced the camera in a couple of movies, including the Salman Khan-starrer Garv, which one may or may not remember. “I miss the wonderland that is Mumbai, but Delhi has given me my own creative identity,” says Aggarwal, who is happily married for 10 years into a Delhi business family.
Aggarwal’s enthusiasm is almost contagious as she takes us through her collection of silvered goodies at an exhibit at The Oberoi Hotel. She begins with a handcrafted silver sofa that’s fit for a maharaja. “This is a prized possession, also very close to our heart. I know it’ll be difficult to let go of it,” she says.
Leaving her filmy routes behind was an equally challenging decision she took when she got married to Delhi’s real estate developer Rohit Aggarwal. “You can take away a girl from Bollywood and… you know the rest,” she grins. Well, her Bollywood friends Shilpa Shetty Kundra and cousin Riddhima Kapoor Sahni did come to egg her on. Aggarwal looks up to her mother-in-law Neena, who co-founded the brand with her. “She is a strong woman who got into her own jewellery business when no one expected women to be entrepreneurs. We are friends and partners,” Aggarwal praises Neena, who is the founder of Maharani Jewels and assists on aspects like the sourcing and engraving of pure silver at her factory. It was Neena’s expertise in precious metals and her years of experience with craftsmen that helped Aggarwal get her designs off the drawing board. “We got the old warehouse reopened and contacted our old kaarigars telling them what we plan to do. We’ve got a positive bunch of people working for us,” she says.
Every facet of silver is highlighted in the products handcrafted by the kaarigars: smooth, beaten, antiqued and polished. The metal is also interplayed with other natural materials such as teak wood, leather, silk and even semi-precious stones such as lapis, rose quartz and jasper. “We got wood-carvers and silversmiths to tango together to give shape to the pieces that would often take us up to a month to finish. Inspired by the Renaissance period, the living and dining room furniture line has sofas, armchairs, solid silver chairs with vibrant upholstery, chaise lounges, coffee tables and consoles. There’s a range of sterling silver dinnerware too that includes dishes, cake plates and ice buckets. Limited-edition products, like a life-size mirror, a wooden horse bust adorned with silver work, along with home accents such as table lamps, lightings, table scones and corporate gifts will be retailed from an appointment-only studio located in Panchsheel Park.
“Our USP is our craftsmanship that we make available at an affordable price. We’re not here to make mega profits, but only to create heirloom pieces that make every home beautiful,” says Aggarwal. The products start from a mere `500 (for corporate gifts) and go up to several lakhs.
Aggarwal, who has tried her hand at home interiors by bringing New York-based Sherle Wagner to India in 2012, believes that home accents made of silver need equal attention and care like any piece of jewellery. “Exclusively Yours will create jewellery-esque décor accessories,” Aggarwal says.
The idea is to dress up your home with the exact same delight you would dress yourself up with.