Women On Top
#SoYouWantMyJob: Kaabia & Sasha Grewal — Founders, Outhouse Jewellery
Many professions look fun, glamorous, and almost easy from the outside, mostly because we have NO idea about what goes on behind the scenes. A universal truth is that to be successful in any job, in any field, takes a ton of hard work that a lot of people don’t see.
To bust some myths, we introduce our new series So You Want My Job? — where we get young, successful, influential women to tell us what it actually takes to do what they do. I think we all stand a chance to learn a thing or two from them!
Fashion is an innate passion for many young girls, but turning a passion into a profession is sometimes difficult to achieve. Meet Kaabia & Sasha Grewal, designers and founders of the cutting edge jewellery brand Outhouse, who took the leap and turned their love for jewellery into their daily bread.
Mesmerised by their mother’s heirlooms as children, the sisters were fascinated by the sparkle that gleamed within the gems. Making their move from Ludhiana to Delhi to pursue a degree in jewellery design, they each embarked on their own journey once they graduated, only to come together in 2012 to create sparks with their very own label.
With outstandingly edgy designs to their name, Outhouse has been spotted on a whole lot of celebrities and has been deemed an industry favourite.
We caught up with the Grewal sisters, as they tell us what it’s like to turn a passion into a job, the perks and downfalls to expect in jewellery design, and of course, what it takes to make it in this industry.
Tell us about yourselves and what both of you do.
Kaabia: We are originally from Ludhiana, and moved to Delhi in 2007 to pursue degrees in Jewellery Design & Manufacturing from the Indian Institute of Gems and Jewellery, after which we both did our own thing.
Sasha got recruited as head designer at a design house. She went on to design for high street brands like Topshop and River Island. I continued to pursue my passion in gemology at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in New York, after which I interned with jewellery design maverick Eddie Borgo.
We decided to start Outhouse in 2012. Both of us have varied sensibilities that are synonymous with Outhouse’s aesthetic — one is experimental and dramatic yet classy (Sasha), and the other quirky and edgy (me).
What does a typical day in your life look like?
Sasha: A typical day would be early morning gym and yoga, a healthy breakfast, prayers, and off to meetings, taking calls on the way to our office. Once we’re back home, we like to give some time to research and relaxing.
What did you do to become jewellery designers?
Kaabia: Fashion and jewellery have been guilty pleasures for both of us since we were little. Like most girls, the love comes from our mother, who took us along to her visits to the jeweller and made us fall in love with all things sparkly. Even today, we are reminded of times where we’d be sitting, dressed identically, trying on every piece of jewellery in the store.
After receiving our degrees in Jewellery Design & Manufacturing and interning with Eddie Borgo in NYC, we think it was pretty clear that the vision of starting something of our own had to be in jewellery.
This passion for jewellery coupled with our desire for doing something creative were the driving forces that brought us together to launch Outhouse in 2012.
What’s the most fun part of what you do?
Sasha: Ideating and conceptualising. The creative thought process is the most fun part.
And the hardest?
Kaabia: Sitting in long meetings!
What is the job market like for your profession?
Kaabia: On the rise, we would say. But it’s really important to have quality over quantity!
What’s the biggest misconception people have about what you do?
Sasha: Many people think that working in this industry is all glamour and parties, but what they don’t realise is the hard work that goes into each piece.
What would one need to do to get a job like yours?
Kaabia: Be ready to work hard and think creatively — you need to execute things with good planning.
What’s the single most important quality you need to possess to do your job?
Kaabia: Leadership and multitasking!
Career advice to a confused 20-something on how to choose a job/profession that’s right for them?
Sasha: Do what you truly love and follow through with your passion!