110% Discount!

All friends and likers of Mississippi Earrings who've had a chat with us on Whatsapp for buying or enquiring know these words:
We don't price in a manner that we can pretend to offer huge discounts! Hope you understand.
We registered on Snapdeal and some other platforms quite some time back and so we keep getting various SMSes/emails from them.

By and large, whenever we had conversations regarding 'sales', the representatives of these platforms seemed to suggest to us: GIVE DISCOUNTS, INCREASE SALES. And we never could quite do that. And we always found ourselves gaping at claims of discounts offered by a good number of jewelry sellers.

But this SMS above surely amused us. Pleasantly indeed. :)

Earrings for denims

If denims are what you love wearing, here's a design that would lift your face up. These  earrings are made in Sterling Silver and gemstones. You might even want to gift them to someone who loves denims.

Stay tuned for more BlueJeany jewels on this blog.

Connect with us on Whatsapp. Please save +918140002228 and share your name and number with us to receive one-design-a-week on Whatsapp. Cheers!

What is 'real' jewelry?

Quite a few visitors at Mississippi say, "We wear only 'real'." On seeing some of our designs they say, "Oh, this! This we have in 'real'."

At best, this reality business only amuses us.

What is it that we see in the above pic? Real or unreal.

When visitors utter 'real', they seem to mean gold. They seem to mean diamonds. They seem to mean hyper-expensive.

The word 'jewelry', if traced back to the origins, actually simply means 'play of light'. (You can find out the etymology of the word through Google.) In the light of the meaning of 'play of light', jewelry is anything and everything. All comes to down how a piece of jewelry is composed to look.

But then, if it's so 'real' and hyper-expensive, it will sit in the locker most of the time. Where is the play? Where is the light? Where is that desirable look?

For us, when you are able to enjoy the play of light without any fear or worry, it's real.

Is your look real? Or is the jewelry that's sitting in the locker real?

Shop design and the business of variety

This is how our shop, Mississippi Earrings, looks.

If you look at the pic keenly, you'll find some unique good points about the design. You'll also have some questions. But let me ask you a question. How else could I have planned and designed this space?

Here's my understanding crystallized in a simple form.

Very few shop-keepers understand the design requirements when they start a shop. However, a shop invariably needs to be designed in some way. Since a typical shop these days carries the name 'showroom' and since the cost of real-estate is so high, shopkeepers are blinded by the tendency to devote as much space to 'show' as possible. There's also a tendency to think that showing a hell lot of things increases chances of sales. That's wrong to my understanding or context-dependent at best.

So 4 things to remember when setting up and designing a shop...

First point, divide the shop space into mainly 2 areas. Let me call the two areas as 1) Show Area (from which the name 'showroom' seems to have arisen), and 2) Work Area (or Mess Area). Yes a showroom has to have Show Area and Mess Area.

Second point. To my mind, the ratio between the two should be 50:50. Or it can even be 60:40 or 65:35, in favor of Mess Area. A curious shopkeeper devoted to improving his/her way of working and consequently, the customer's experience will always be up to something. He/she might often have something as work-in-progress. It's important to facilitate the process. Without space, this process might be stunted or even be relinquished. That might not be a good thing.

Third point. One might want to hide the Mess Area through an opaque divider. The point is the sight of Mess Area shouldn't spoil the sight of Show Area.

Fourth point. Mess Area design. You work on excel sheet, right? Erect a similar grid bottom to top on a big wall in your Mess Area section. That will serve you like crazy. Even your Mess Area will look like Show Area. Or may be more attractive.

The business of variety and what we call 'classics'

The t-shirt (brand is RIG) I'm in right now, I bought two colors in the same design and fabric from Pantaloons some 4 or 5 years back. One of the two colors faded early and I discarded that. But this one that I have right now just has stayed good. And I wear this tee more often than any other tee in my wardrobe.

On my visit to Pantaloons post that purchase of t-shirts, I don't recall having seen the same t-shirt again. Considering how good it has turned out, I am surprised. I wouldn't mind buying more pieces of the design yet again.

In fact, one of my cousins also bought two colors in the same design. He happened to discard the same color that I did. The other color he still wears fairly often.

And I've see this tee worn by quite a few others as well on different occasions.

A pair of Red Tape shoes I bought again some 4 years back and still feels so good, I find that design on the shelves even now when I visit the shops which sell Red Tape shoes. And every time I've visited these shops during discount sale season, I've not found this particular design on sale.

At our shop, Mississippi Earrings, there are certain designs which thrill the visitors (and therefore sell) more often than most other designs. In spite of our efforts to introduce other newer more beautiful designs, they continue to sell.

Mind you, for these instances - tee, shoes, earrings - I've not mentioned the prices. These designs have worked irrespective of the prices.

Slightly tangential, but in our other business run under the name of K.K. Stones, where we sell natural stone for flooring and wall cladding, Kota Stone and Black Granite continue to sell more than any other stone or color.

In the business of fashion, it's easy to get overwhelmed by variety. For the seller, it's the urge to offer variety. For the consumer, it's the urge to seek and experiment with variety. And yet, what works are the kind of specific designs like I've mentioned above.

We call them classics. Timeless.

I can see that Red Tape's observing its classics, wonder if Pantaloons is doing the same. It's important to keep these alive.

Is your look in the locker or on your face?

That's one essential question every woman who spends on jewelry ought to ask, no? The Indian woman with loads of cash, she buys so much jewelry only to keep most of it in the locker. And while things have changed, she stays happy thinking she's invested wisely.

And the conning continues...

A good number of patrons who come to our store are surprised by what we share with them.

So in today's (28th April 2014) TOI newspaper, you might've come across this piece of 'news'. You can check it online here. Considering how easy it is for them to influence the reader into believing something, it's a rather pathetic piece of 'journalism'.

They've mentioned 5 names here. 3 of them categorized under FAUX DIAMONDS. So let me fail the faux first.

CZ = American Diamond. Again, CZ = American Diamond. Which means, there shouldn't be a price difference. Having said that , CZs come from various manufacturers who claim some differences. So yeah, CZs are also branded products. Depending on the brand, one pays the price. And indeed, the prices span a wide range. And that 1 Carat prices for each of these Faux Diamonds that this girl, Hemali Chhapia-Shah the journalist, has mentioned are way off the mark.

The third Faux Diamond, Moissanite, doesn't come that cheap. Unless it's a Faux Moissanite. Or someone's figured out the patented making process and is making it illegally. More on this later in this very same post...

Coming to Diamonds, if you just make a casual search on Google, you'd realize that Natural Diamonds and Lab-made Diamonds are priced almost equally across the web. (Pardon me, if something's changed very recently. I guess not.) Why so?

The article I've linked to above has an explanation:
The website of Gemesis, one of the companies that manufactures diamonds via the CVD and HPHT methods, claims the only differentiator between the diamonds they produce and the natural stones is the point of origin. "Available in the purest Type IIa, colorless and rare, these diamonds possess the same exceptional cut, color and clarity, as well as identical chemical, optical and physical characteristics as high-quality mined diamonds," states the company.
You get that, no?

Now the moot point about diamonds and faux diamonds.

What are the reasons that drive this market for diamonds and faux diamonds? That brilliant brilliant slogan 'Diamonds are forever'. Or that investment that can be reaped at an appropriate time. Or that desire to be pampered rather extravagantly and therefore, be reassured of your man's commitment. Or that glitter that lights up a face (or a look).

You can think of more reasons and I guess they would be offshoots of the above.

Why are diamonds so expensive? Why is Moissanite so expensive, not in comparison to diamonds but in comparison to CZ?

For diamonds, ask De Beers. For Moissanite, ask Charles & Colvard. No, I am not seeking an escape here. Who among us knows the cost of the manufacturing these precious stones? Is it the cost of manufacturing that determines prices? Or is it the charm of a lovely face that makes these stones so desirable? And exactly what is the value of the charm of the woman's face you love?

I leave the answers to your own guesses and optical senses :).

Lastly, from what we've studied while running Mississippi Earrings, we've come to understand that it's really really difficult to determine if a diamond is a Natural Diamond or Lab-made (or man-made) Diamond. The world simply goes by the word of the jeweler that it buys from. But what your investment in forever?! Your guess is as good as mine.

Last issue.

What gives this woman Hemali Chhapia-Shah such misguided confidence to write such an article and occupy the space on a first page on TOI? Here's her record as shown on TOI website today, 28th April 2014. She's written 9 articles in total. All on education, except the one I've anchored this post on.

Diamond or not, isn't the point. To con or not to, is the meta-physical issue. Or let's ask, "What's conning?"

RamLeela-fame Deepika Earrings

Here are the Deepika earrings popular coz of the movie RaamLeela.

Being an earrings-maker, and more so a seller, I feel happy when women come asking for earrings of certain kinds.

Few days back, on a Sunday, a woman actually called me early morning asking for RamLeela style Deepika Collection! Now this one looks great but look at her ear. Seems like it’ll drop out of her face if she keeps that earring on for just a few more minutes!

Temple Jewelry is great art. But mind the size. Look good but heed the body.

Image from: styleonstreets.blogspot.com

Vidya Balan's pendant

It's okay if we get beaten by Vidya Balan :)

Like the size of and the work on that neck-piece. Like we keep hinting to visitors at our shop, one piece of jewelry is enough to make a statement.

5th June, second anniversary of Mississippi Earrings

Shapes of gemstones

Aesthetic judgments of jewelry largely depend on recognition of shapes or asking for the likable shapes. I haven't heard more than 1% of the customers who've visited Mississippi Earrings naming the shapes they like or want. And that makes it difficult for them to ask for the stuff they really have in mind, or for us to give them stuff that they really want.

This should help a little bit. There's over-all form of jewelry and then there are forms of gemstones used therein. Will talk about the over-all form of jewelry in the following posts.

Goldyben & football

Yes, the fixation with the metal called Gold is insane. :)

Earrings spotted @ IPL

Pardon the picture, but you can get a hint of the shape of the earrings that this IPL presenter has worn. Spotted this a couple of days back. Lovely!

Second short letter to Goldyben

Goldyben has traditions to follow. But if a part of the tradition harms, it has to give way to something that doesn't harm.

Why do earlobes tear?

So many prospects/patrons who visit our shop complain that their earlobes are stretched and cut because of heavy earrings. One of the reasons for earrings to turn out heavy is that they are made in gold. Yes, given the same volume, gold is far far heavier than silver. And earlobes are very sensitive to weight. So we created this little piece of information...


Quite popular these days, such designs are called Chandbaalis.

Find more details on our shop-front: http://blomming.com/mm/mississippiearrings/items

Mississippi is looking for an all-rounder

Mississippi is looking for an all-rounder (with or without a fancy degree) who is good with words and wants to explore and handle:
  • Photography
  • Graphical Software like Paint, Coreldraw & Photoshop
  • Interactions with prospects and patrons of Mississippi

This person might have a businessman-like ambition and wouldn’t feel shy in starting small.

This person would be patient, hyper-responsive and good listener.

This person is ready to work (for a good part of the time) with a person who looks like this currently.

What does the word ‘explore’ mean?
He/she might not be a master of these skills and is willing to tinker, think, learn fast and deliver.

What does the word ‘all-rounder’ or ‘businessman’ possibly hide?
That the person could be female or male.

What does ‘fancy degree’ mean?
What the Indian education system makes you believe in and makes you spend time in and for which you can get a unusually well-paying and ridiculous desk-job if you are lucky.

What does ‘good with words’ mean?
An ability to crack some weird jokes in the English language.

Location: Ahmedabad
Remuneration: Based on discussion/meeting (in any case, good enough to live a balanced life but not enough to change the expensive smartphones every third month)

"Don't you keep that? Or that or that?"

That kind of question is the trick question. When a prospect or visitor at the shop starts throwing such questions, what do you do? How do you interpret?

I've observed that there are prospects who are genuinely looking for a particular kind of thing and come looking for it in the hope that our shop would have that.

On the other hand, there's a big section of prospects who ask that question just to 'deceive'. Either they just don't know what they are looking for and, therefore, try to convince themselves (and us) rather failingly that they know what they want, or they feel guilty of spending our time and not buying anything and, therefore, need an easy escape.

These latter kind of prospects also ask us the question in a manner so as to convey that if we keep stuff like the ones which are not currently on display, we would get them, and many like them, to buy. Beware of this hopium. Businessmen typically want to satisfy their prospects and such hopium might induce them to invest in unnecessary stocks.

Prospects who are looking for something or those who feel no guilt in window-shopping usually say so, seem to look at things more intently and walk around decisively.

Just exactly what has it taken for me to keep Mississippi flowing?

Just exactly what has it taken for me to keep Mississippi flowing? Friends who know about the venture sometimes ask me, "So how is Mississippi doing?"

To share the truth, Mississippi is growing with every passing month. The other side of the truth is that the growth has been gradual. And every little addition to its growth comes out of a lot of legwork. Literal legwork and figurative and virtual. 

Like they say it takes about 1000 days to really build the momentum. If you survive, you'll most likely do well. I didn't believe in that. I thought I would do better and much much earlier. I thought my 'idea' is gonna make waves.

No, we are not some ocean, nor the river we purport to be. To create just one wave is a mighty effort. To talk about 'waves', the plural, is another thing. And so precisely, let me say, we've created 20 waves (20 products which have kept us afloat out of, let's say, 400 or so) in the 21 months of our journey.

Personally, I've had to dig deep, into my savings, into my head and into my closet. Entrepreneurship is like that.

I cut down my wardrobe to 3 colors. 2 primary colors, 1 spicy. Primary: blue and white. Spicy: red. 2 supporting colors: beige and grey. Haven't thrown away clothes in other colors but I'll wear them till they last.

As to other things, I buy nothing except running shoes which I can wear to my shop. The other big buy was a camera (in replacement for the one that I lost) which I use for clicking earrings and birds.

I've bought a lot of transparent containers in the 21 months. I realize preservation of everything I have is important for survival. Transparent coz I want to see what I have, time and again, and be efficient in making use of them till we build a momentum. I've labelled them all so that one glance is enough to get what I want.

A fling bag so that I don't expend a lot of energy forgetting things. I carry a lot of little things which I might need in the bag.

I've driven my bike fairly carefully and slowly. Idea being I shouldn't injure myself. Can't afford hospital bills and can't afford to spend time on other matters. I've given up on car almost completely. On many occasions I prefer walking down to my shop, and for the little things I want to buy for myself or the shop.

On occasions I've gone for sessions at my friend's coaching class so that my pocket-money is taken care of. I've had occasional yummy pizzas but nothing compared to when I was in a job.

And I've not traveled by flight for the last 20 months.

Every such little decision could be taken keeping
only one thing in mind. That the money I save could be used towards creating/offering one additional design of earrings to earrings lovers. That's it. No more, no less.

Just exactly, this is what it has taken me, personally, to keep Mississippi flowing.

This update is slightly long by FB standards. And this is a meditative Sunday answer to a question which most friends and relatives ask. :) Good day!

Katrina Kaif's got choice

Yes! To eat or to earring. You can check more about Mississippi Earrings here.

Uniqueness, blingness and massiness

Here are a few inferences on the three things mentioned in the subject. These are based on my observations and experience at Mississippi. The inferences could overlap.

Those who rely only on their looks to muster any kind of attention but do not want to spend a lot will spend on the most ordinary, non-distinct but full-of-bling designs. Why? They want to be noticed but they do not want to stand out. Bling makes them noticeable and design doesn't make them stand out at all. If I go a little further, such people would unconsciously develop taste only for the most ordinary. For then, they can wear the same thing over and over again without inviting any kind of judgements. The last statement might not be true in reality but might reflect the thinking of such people.

Those who only want to talk and neither want attention nor want to spend a lot, will buy the most ordinary, non-dintinct and unblingy designs. For once, there might be no design. It might just be a placebo sort of jewelry.

Those who rely only on their looks to muster attention and do not mind spending will buy distinct and full-of-bling designs.

Those who are not bothered about deliberately garnering attention but are sufficiently careful about how they look, tend to choose unique or distinct designs, with or without bling. They might have a lot or only a limited amount to spend.

There are obvious questions here. I surmise that bling is relatively clear to understand. Uniqueness or distinctiveness is of course devoid of massiness. Let's say such stuff isn't commonly seen.

Any views?

What do you value in Taj Mahal?

What do you value in Taj Mahal? The amount of white marble used? The design and architecture? The historical significance?

The same questions apply to a lot of other objects. I retail earrings, so my reference is to earrings. People often have questions like these. What value do we get if we resell? What is the value of silver?

The reality is we can make the same stuff in copper or brass. Metal is just a little part of the value and affects the price of the eventual product based on commodity prices. It is the design and the craftsmanship which we charge for. And the price of that design/craftsmanship would stay the same whatever the metal.

Then why use silver? Simply because it scores higher than other metals in most important properties and, very importantly, it is long-lasting.

Eyes for earrings, got me a kiss

I visited the Stonemart 2013 at Jaipur and was captivated by this at the Dhoot Sangmermer pavilion. Of course, other works of art were also very good but this got locked in memory. Mesmerizing.

Organize your earrings collection

We are running this offer these days. We use organizing boxes to maintain our inventory and just a chance remark by a visitor to our shop gave us this clue: like we are organizing for our internal management, women who are fond of earrings also need to organize them better (and consequently, wear their collections better).

So those in Ahmedabad especially can avail themselves of this offer. The box is really good quality, especially for silver earrings. And it should fit in the closet really nicely along with all the garments.