October 6, 2013 Asmita Aggarwal

Soul Sisters

If it wasn’t for their father, Kaabia and Sasha of Outhouse wouldn’t have a label, but there is a lot more to these sisters than just good looks…as the duo hope to revolutionize the way Indian women view jewellery with Punk Maharaja, their WIFW SS 14 line

Born and raised in Ludhiana, a small industrial town of Punjab, sisters Kaabia and Sasha Grewal would have never launched their costume jewellery label Outhouse, if it hadn’t been for the encouragement of their father, a hotelier.

“Most girls our age would be married off, Ludhiana is conservative when it comes to their women working. But we are what we are today, thanks to our father,” says the older sister Kaabia, who studied gemology from New York.

A year-and-a-half back when they started from a small shop in Shahpurjat, Kaabia admits it was tough, but their hard work has paid off, as today they operate out of a sprawling factory in NOIDA. “People would come to us and ask us why our jewellery is so expensive (it starts from Rs 6,000 and goes on to Rs 20,000) after all it was ‘junk’ if it wasn’t silver or gold. But they didn’t look at the detailing or craftsmanship involved in making each piece,” she says.

With time, the sisters have educated the market about ‘investing’ in their extravagant pieces which are 18 k gold plated and hand-made. Seeing the demand of the market they have started using pearls, natural stones and turquoise to craft their most popular item – the neckpiece. Right now their shoulder gazing earrings are hugely in demand, but they do admit that unlike clothing their jewellery is not seasonal. “We were the ones who introduced haath phools to the Indian market, so in many ways we are the frontrunners of contemporarising jewellery,” says Kaabia.

For WIFW SS 14, their line titled ‘Punk Maharaja’ is inspired by royalty from different parts of the world. You can pick up bold cuffs, head ornaments (The Great Gatsby look), body ornaments (waist and arm bands) or ear cuffs. Each piece is statement-y in itself, so just one is enough. This time we have opted for a deeper palette, so you can see maroons and purples merging with pinks in Swarovski and opal.

“Working together is an exchange of ideas, even though we are two very different people with opposite tastes. I like it easy and clean, while Sasha loves mixing stuff together, so Outhouse (we just loved the name, it has a nice ring to it) jewellery is a great blend,” she laughs.

Hoping to launch their own flagship store soon, Kaabia admits they are learning something new everyday. “I remember when we were teenagers we used to go shopping with our very stylish mom who is a lover of jewellery. What we saw was heavy diamond sets and kundan, Ludhiana loves it loud and blingy. Our effort was to change the way women view jewellery, something that has to be put away because it is costly; we wanted girls to enjoy fashion, get a piece to match their dress everyday,” concludes Kaabia.

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