Balancing practicality and passion, I was able to follow my dream and launch Ri Noor, a collection of fine jewelry that fuses my love of unique gemstones with my entrepreneurial spirit.
I spent my entire career after grad school in an energy trading company, putting my quantitative financial background to good use. I loved what I did; but in the back of my mind, a voice kept telling me that I could use my skillset to create something I'd always dreamed of creating.
I've always wanted to be an entrepreneur; but for a long time, my practical side dominated as I continued in the corporate world. It took a major life event for me to reevaluate what I wanted to do. When I had my baby, I felt I was given a window of time where I could explore flexibility and hone in on my passions. My priorities changed; and rather than climb the corporate ladder, I decided to pursue an avenue that would appeal to my interests.
From interior design to art and fashion, I've always been drawn to creative outlets; but one in particular always resonated most deeply: jewelry.
My love for jewelry and the transformation of gemstones into statement pieces was fostered by my mother, who introduced me to a gemologist when I was 20 years old. I was fortunate to meet people in the jewelry industry who encouraged my passion.
In the nearly 20 years since then, I've continued to build relationships and connections in the jewelry arena while focusing on my work in the energy industry. Now, with the time to start my own venture, I called on the people I met along the way to help me in producing a line of statement jewelry. And since my son was my muse, I named the new brand after him: Ri, for my son, and Noor, for light. The use of light is both significant to me and to diamonds and gemstones, whose light-reflecting qualities bring a piece to life.
With Ri Noor, I set out to create a luxurious mix of jewelry that blends fine-stones with unique, intricate settings at a price that is more attainable than fine jewelry. I desired to make a line that I could envision myself and my friends buying from, a collection that changes people's opinions on fine jewelry from a once-in-a-lifetime purchase to something more akin to buying a luxury handbag or statement jacket. This allows jewelry to become a more integral part of wardrobe.
I continuously work to design and produce new pieces that range from subtle and delicate to striking and impactful to elevate any outfit. Each piece easily transitions between different parts of daily life, making running errands in a tee and jeans a bit more fashionable. I want each piece to make the wearer feel comfortable no matter the occasion.
Despite initial growing pains, I am proud to say that the Ri Noor jewelry line is stocked by numerous international retailers, and our pieces have been featured in the likes of Bazaar, Elle and Vogue.
About the author: Shibani Shinde Patil is the founder and creative force behind the international jewelry brand Ri Noor. Shibani has a M.A in Financial Economics and an M.B.A with a focus on Statistics. Prior to venturing into entrepreneurship, Shibani worked in the Energy Trading industry, where she held numerous roles including Commercial Transactions, Structuring and Strategy. As founder and CEO, Shibani is actively involved in all aspects of the business including product design and development, marketing and developing sales channels.
Edited for brevity and clarity by Sammi Caramela.