Having been a part of the entertainment industry for over 18 years now, they are a brand name to reckon. Having faced real tough times in the industry this enterprising couple have made an indelible mark. While Mansi is a creative Genius, Manoj is the driving force behind her !Today Mansi designs for the most talked about leading ladies on TV . Pyaar ka dard hai Meetha Meeta, Ek doosre se karte hai pyaar hum are their latest shows. Rangmunch explores how this extremely sweet couple went on to become what they are today.
Manoj: Basically I know nothing in designing. Its only my interest in Mansi’s aptitude. Mansi has done MBA from Osmania University, Hyderabad. Luckily no one from my family ever objected to her working. I always told her to do what inspired her. Her mom was into jewellery business. One day Mansi asked me if she could do the same. I told her to get some samples and see how it goes. To my surprise she sold the entire stuff in a weeks time and made a profit of 1Lac Rupees. She then started developing her own designs and I also like to indulge in new and innovative things. I love challenges. Though Mahua (the place we lived then) was a small place, we still started to work on manufacturing the designs. Mansi used to design and I would help her out in costing and the business part. Everything was running smoothly and we started supplying to Bombay and other small towns and it all worked out well.
We were blessed with 2 daughters and with that came the problem of their education. My sister advised us to move out of Mahua in order to provide a better future to my kids. I didn’t know what to do. In between I went to Pune for some training and I really liked that place. I decided to move there with my family but God had different plans for us. LIC refused my transfer request to Pune and instead gave us Bombay. Our family, friends and relatives were all taken aback. They gave a grim picture of Bombay and the fast life out here. But we were determined to make it work and take no one’s help except God’s. We had a scooter by which we travelled everywhere and anywhere.
The change in Destiny...
We went through our share of struggle and finally destiny made us meet Karanvir Bohra. Every endeavor of ours is blessed by Siddhi Vinayak. Meeting Karanvir Bohra was all destined. And as they say rest is history. Its through Karan that we met Shweta Tiwari.
We made a lot of jewellery then for Shweta Tiwari. Later she introduced us to Amna Sharif , Sakshi Tanwar and Tanu Gill. Today Mansi designs jewellery for more than 920 celebrities. It is through this industry that we have the name and fame. We have a car and a house today. This industry has been extremely kind. Today Mansi-Manoj is a brand name, but back then nobody knew us. Everyday we thank God for being so kind to us and for blessing us. If we can help the society in any way, we would. Whatever difficulties we have faced, we would not like anyone else to undergo the same.We would always like to be there for physically challenged people.
Profession vs Skill...
Manasi tells us “My God is my teacher. I never recognized this ability in me. My dream was to become a counselling psychologist. I wanted to study further. I never even thought I would get married. I just wanted to be financially independent. My father told me to give my MBA entrance. I was really pampered by him. I even got a job with Milton group and worked for 2 years. But somehow there was no job satisfaction. I decided to fly to US and study there. That’s when my uncle put his foot down and said that I should get married first. Manoj and I met, spoke for 6 hours and we decided to tie the knot. Since after marriage we stayed in a joint family, I had to take care of my family first and then think of the rest. That’s when I started my pearl business that to in the afternoon for 2 hours. When people started noticing and liking my work, I realized that I had the talent for this. Manoj literally pushed me into this field. He took care of the financial part so that I could focus on the creative aspect."
Creative Inputs and Feedback:
Manasi: You know when I came into this industry, Jewellery was a very neglected area. Actors didn’t know what piece went with what. Just because something was beautiful, they would wear it. They didn’t think of the age they are playing or the character. So I insisted to be a part of the story telling session. Its extremely important for me to know the character I am designing for. I have to know language the character would be speaking, or the costume he/she would be adorning. Is it silk, tussar, cotton….all these factors help me to decide and create the jewellery the actors have to wear. It took me 3 years to make the channel and Production Houses understand the importance of jewellery. Initially a lot of people insulted us but Aatish Kapadia was the one person who said give a damn. He understood us. Everyone felt we were trying to show our importance. JD Majithia really backed us. Ajay and Sangeeta Sinha were the first people in this industry who signed us for ‘Hasratein. ’ Even in the look test an actor wears jewellery. I used to design 5-6 sets per character. Now the channel and the production house understands the importance of jewellery and has given us complete freedom to go ahead with our ideas.
Manoj: Before we came, the people handling the jewellery used to purchase it locally and pass it to the production houses. Creativity was not really there.
Manasi: I have never compromised on quality and style. My dream is to work for Sanjay Leela Bansali. I want to do honest and hard work. I also believe that the shows that are for me , will always be for me. No one can ever take that. Even Ajay Sinha explained to us that Mansi-Manoj can only be one, so don’t get disheartened even if there is tough and dirty competition.
Designing the Look
Today we are doing Punar Vivah, Diya Aur Baati Hum. Now for Sandhya in Diya Aur Baati , she is supposed to be sad as she has lost her parents. So I designed simple pipe sets. I did not go for the matching sets. I used rubies, pearls and emeralds, no heavy duty sets. Now the channels also don’t question us, cause we have established ourselves. Our name works.
We have been a part of the industry for the last 18 years. We are currently doing jewellery designing for Diya Aur Baati Hum, Punar Vivah, Yahan mein ghar ghar kheli, Main Lakshmi Tere Angan ki, Ek Doosre Se Karte Hai Pyar Hum, and also Byah hamari Bahoo ka and Kairi.
Rangmunch: Do you rent out as well as sell your jewellery to people?
Manasi: We rent it out. We also have clients who purchase them. I am now like an image consultant. Even when celebrities go to any award function, I help them in choosing the style.
Designers Delight in the Industry:
Manasi: Shweta Tiwari. She has a long neck, she has the height to carry gowns and sarees. She can dress as a young girl with boots, jeans and t-shirt too. She is very elegant and is also good at heart.
Rangmunch: What advice would you like to give to simple house wives or upcoming artists in this field?
Manasi: Put in your 110%. Give complete focus and be patient. Stick to your morals and develop good will. Just 2 years back I got the Women Achiever’s Award.
(As told to Niharika Vidya Sagar and Swati Ghosh)
Edited by: Navyanka Varma
Recommended by: Gul Khan (4 Lions Films)