"Ten years from now, I will still be doing what I do today. I will always be a silversmith at heart."
Rajkumar Mathur of Ornament House remembers the time he used to earn $5.50 a month. It was when he and his current partner, C.B.Mathur, used to work for a silver jeweler called Amarpali. They learned the silver trade from him. After 12 years of loyal service, Rajkumar decided to branch out on his own, setting up his own silver business from scratch. Together with C.B.Mathur, in 1989 he set up Ornament House.
Working with silver is a big risk. Like gold, people can invest in silver futures on the stock market and this result in major fluctuations in its price. But silver is all Rajkumar knew how to work with and he strove hard to sustain his business. In 1995, he and his partner were able to rent a room in a famous jewelry market in Jaipur, Rajasthan. Ten years later, they could afford to rent 2 more rooms to expand production.
Rajkumar has between 40-50 artisans working with him at any given time and the entire process of designing, cutting, stone inlay and packaging happens under his supervision. Ornament House uses silver and semiprecious stones to create unique pieces of jewelry that appeal to all generations. In fact, Amarpali, under whose apprenticeship Rajkumar started, is now one of Ornament House’s customers.
Recently though, Rajkumar has had to scale back operations. 2010 has been a difficult year, largely because of the recession which affected his clientele as well. Despite the upheavals in the demand for silver products, Rajkumar remains loyal to his craft. While he encourages his children to pursue their own dreams, he admits he’d like to see them carry his legacy forward.