Anit Dodhia, founder of Kaali Designs, grew up in a culturally rich Indian community in Momasa, Kenya, and spent a lot of his childhood at his family’s jewelry gallery. This is where he discovered his interest in gems, which would later turn into a passion that has shaped his career for the last 20 years.
Today, after becoming a GIA Graduate Gemologist, Dodhia and his company, Kaali Designs – named after the Hindu Goddess Kali, a fierce and powerful warrior – are based in San Diego, CA, where the jewelry is handmade to personify the perfect union of art and family tradition. Dodhia’s designs are inspired by the variable moods of the Indian Ocean, whether it be calm and reflective or dark and wild.
This month, we caught up with Dodhia himself to learn more about his favorite designs and what he’s most looking forward to at JCK Tucson 2019.
Growing up in your family’s jewelry gallery, did you always know you would end up working in the jewelry industry as well, or was it a passion you found as you got a little older?
I always wanted to work in the jewelry industry in some capacity, but I found my true passion for the business when I began to design.
The initial inspiration of your brand was the changing moods of the Indian Ocean. What are some of your other inspirations when designing?
Nature continues to inspire my designs. For example, my Acacia earrings were inspired by the thorns found on the acacia tree, and my pieces feature a textured finish mimicking the rugged landscape of the national parks of East Africa.
Your three collections – the Maya Collection, The Kali Collection and The Caramia Collection, are all so unique and have very different personalities. Do you have a favorite collection?
The Maya Collection is my favorite thus far. It was my first complete collection and feels very personal as the bold gem colors and use of gold draw heavily from my Indian heritage. I also used the collection as a way to launch my style as a designer and introduce my textured finish.
What is your favorite piece you’ve designed?
At the moment, the Maya Opal Ring is my favorite. The vibrant Ethiopian opal sits high and proud surrounded by diamonds on a tapered, gold, textured, cigar band. I love it!
How would you describe your target audience?
At Kaali Designs we don’t target an age group or other demographic, we target a personality or rather a feeling. Our jewelry is inspired, fun and dynamic.
We are very excited to have you joining us at JCK Tucson 2019! What are you most looking forward to?
I’m most looking forward to reconnecting with friends, colleagues and vendors. JCK Tucson is always a fantastic event and a great show for Kaali Designs.
What types of pieces or collections can we expect to see from you at JCK Tucson 2019?
In previous years, I’ve focused on rings, but this season I’ve been really into earrings, which I’m very excited to share.
To learn more about Kaali Designs, visit kaalidesigns.com/.