Socialite Spotlight: Mousumi Shaw

Mousumi Shaw is passionate about everything she pursues in life, which is why Sikara & Co. is so special to her.  Her passion for traveling internationally rose out of her deep desire to better understand our world:  to understand the history of countries, to hear the stories of the local people and of course to experience their culture.

Sikara is inspired from the Indian word, Shikara, which means houseboat. It symbolizes the journey we take in life, which results in a fusion of experiences. As a teenager, founder Mousumi Shaw helped her mother, an immigrant from India, start up her own jewelry company in the United States. Fourteen years later, Mousumi decided to launch Sikara & Co., which incorporates her passions for art, jewelry and other cultures.

Sikara is Modern Fusion Jewelry™ and is a reflection of Mousumi’s life as a first generation Indian-American. Although her ancestral roots are from India, she has been influenced by a multi-cultural world. Her travel and life experiences in over thirty countries have become engrained in her personality, her sense of style and the design of Sikara.

From the beginning Mousumi always envisioned Sikara & Co. being a lifestyle brand for the globally minded women. She wanted to share the beauty of the world through their designs.  In 2012, Mousumi plans to launch a Bali, Indonesian collection; which would add to their current collections from India, Mexico, Italy, Egypt, Spain and Brazil. In the coming year look for a new Sikara & Co. retail pop-up store either in the New York, Las Vegas or Los Angeles markets.

In addition to her entrepreneurial and private sector interests, Mousumi also has an interest in government and nonprofits.  Her experiences in public service range from serving as a Congressional Page when she was a teenager to serving in the National Economic Council at the White House for Dr. Laura D’Tyson and President Clinton while still in college.

Mousumi is also dedicated to the mission of empowering others through entrepreneurship and leadership with her role on the Advisory Board of C.E.O. Women, a nonprofit helping immigrant woman to start their own businesses and as a founding member of Indus Women Leaders. Also, philanthropy has always been an integrated part of her company’s culture. For the past few years they have gotten involved in local communities to give back through charity galas and hosting fundraisers in retail pop-up stores.  In addition to this, Mousumi pilot tested the Sikara Global Ambassador Giving program in the Boston store in 2011.  It is a program where customers get to choose at check-out how to give back through picking a global charity.  Mousumi plans to launch it across the company via their online website and also through retail stores in the New Year.

Mousumi thinks passion is a key ingredient to success and enjoying the journey of materializing your vision. Mousumi is fortunate to have found a way to blend her love for the arts, business, traveling and philanthropy.  She encourages people to follow their heart, be true to themselves, play on their strengths and to not be afraid to take risk.  She says “Be open to change and remain flexible.  It’s great to have a strong vision but how that materializes might change.  For example, we originally planned to grow the company through third party distribution (i.e. selling through high-end boutiques, museums, galleries and department stores).  When the recession hit us in 2009, several of our retail partners were risk averse and held back from ordering more.  I knew at that point that if we were in front of the direct end-consumer, not only would we be able to create a real user experience for our customers, but also sell our product.  I knew people wouldn’t buy a $2000 ring as much as they would buy our $150 or $250 cocktail ring.  We took a chance and it has helped us double our revenues in a bad market.  You have to think creative and take risks!  Finally the biggest thing to success is also having passionate people on your team.  I’m blessed to have some fabulous passionate team members that treat Sikara as their baby!”

Mousumi graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in South Asia Regional Studies and a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School.  She recently finished her joint masters degree at Harvard Business School and the Kennedy School of Government.  During her time off, she enjoys photography (she’s responsible for all the travel photography on this website), spending time with her family and friends, rowing on the river and gallivanting around the globe.

Visit sikarajewelry.com to get a special discount for the holidays as a Wiles reader to get 10% discount until 12/15/11 by entering “Wiles2011″ at check out.

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