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Helping Hampi

Posted by Isharya Insider on Nov 25, 2014

Hampi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site





East of Goa in the Indian state of Karnataka is Hampi, home to the stunning, stepped-pyramidal superstructures called vimanas that inspired our newest collection of the same name. It is such a place of beauty, it appeared in the epic Ramayana under the name Kishkinda and its 6,000 acre cache of art, shrines, palaces and temples is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Which, for residents, can prove to be both a blessing and a hardship. Under the requirements of the 1986 UNESCO zoning, the local population is required to maintain the facades of the buildings. Widening of the roads is not permitted, nor is any new construction; and when construction does take place, only specific traditional choices in materials are allowed. 

The Kishkinda Trust a.k.a. "TKT" to the Rescue 

“It’s no wonder heritage is often perceived by the local population as hampering development rather than being a source of their empowerment,” sympathizes Shama Pawar Shapiro, the Founder Trustee of The Kishkinda Trust (TKT). TKT focuses on helping residents of Hampi’s Anegundi - a charming hamlet of humble, whitewashed flat-roofed houses that contain inner labyrinths - to embrace heritage-based businesses, including adaptive re-use of traditional structures as tourism facilities. “Efforts to conserve traditional settings impose certain constraints on the local population,” she continues. “Linking heritage to livelihood is not always an easy task...However, for the villagers of Anegundi to be truly involved in conserving their historical surroundings, they need to be self-sufficient.”


 The Kishkinda Trust class at Anegundi govt school

To enable the villagers of Anegundi to become self-sufficient, TKT has been focusing on turning conservation into a source of income. They have helped local women artisans generate a comfortable livelilhood creating handicrafts from readily-available, eco-friendly materials like the banana fiber. This plentiful, low-impact resource is extracted from the trunk of the nearby banana plant - and has proved that TKT’s model is not only workable, but economically viable. In fact, orders continue to flow in from throughout India for local hand-crafted items including coasters and tablemats.

TKT's Grassroots Work to Support Culture and Creativity

TKT also helps the local community at a grassroots level by supporting creative endeavors that enrich and empower people’s sense of place and identity. For TKT, if it’s integral to culture, it falls within the scope of their efforts at conservation, which means they are involved in everything from ecology to cuisine, crafts, design, agriculture, technology, education, markets and festivals. “In this process of reaffirming ties between tradition, everyday commerce and the quality of life,” adds Pawar Shapiro, “people shall share their fruits of labor with the visitors in the celebration called ‘LIFE’.

 The Kishkinda Trust and ISHARYA supporting cultural arts in Hampi

The Kishkinda Trust supporting cultural arts in Hampi


ISHARYA's Pledges Proceeds from Sale of Hampi Jewelry Collection to Support Hampi Schools 


ISHARYA Hampi Jewelry Collection

To help support the amazing work and contribution of TKT to the overall health and vitality of Hampi, ISHARYA recently pledged an upfront contribution from the new Hampi collection of Rs. 50,000 INR. At the close of the Fall/Winter season, a further Rs. 50,000 INR will be donated, for a total of 1 lakh rupees (approximately $2000 USD). “It’s an honor and a joy to support the work of The Kishkinda Trust,” adds ISHARYA co-founder Gauri Tandon. “We were so inspired by the beauty and majesty of both the people and the amazing vimanas that characterize our new Hampi collection that we are honored to be able to give back.”

ISHARYA's proceeds will help both the women artisans and the children, via the Trust’s performing arts programs in Anegundi’s government schools, which teach traditional music and dance. With our donation, a group of 20 young children were able to begin their practice for a dance recital about nature and flowers.  The children were inspired by our logo, so they incorporated it in the form of floral props for their show. 


ISHARYA's Class at Anegundi


ISHARYA's Class at Anegundi


Floral prop inspired by ISHARYA Logo made by an Anegundi student


xoxo Isharya







Tags: Hampi, The Kishkinda Trust

ISHARYA Participates in The Hamptons Trunk Show by UJA New York

Posted by Isharya Insider on Aug 07, 2014

Tikkun olam.

This is our favorite new phrase, Hebrew for repairing the world or healing the world. Heal, repair, transform. Whatever you call it, it calls to all of us to help those in need and it is the mission of the 90-year old UJA-Federation of New York. They reach out to 4.5 million people a year through 100 beneficiary agencies in more than 70 countries. 

However, the UJA-Federation also knows that a spoonful of sugar always makes everything more fun, so their New York Manhattan Women's Philanthropy arm organizes an annual trunk show shopping event in the Hamptons, featuring unique designer clothing, accessories, spectacular things for your home and of course jewelry! 20% of the proceeds from every sale will help provide food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, independence of the elderly, disaster relief and rescue for the endangered. “We are thrilled to be participating in the 2014 Hamptons UJA Trunk Show,” says Isharya co-founder Radhika Tandon. “While we love lovely things, we also love having the chance to help our friends and neighbors in need.” So if you want to shop, accessorize and do good with us, be sure to drop by, say hi, and pick up a piece (or three) for a great cause!  

Which sounds good to us in any language.


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Isharya at UJA Hamptons Shopping Event

Tags: UJA, Hamptons, Trunk Show

Good Deeds by the Numbers | Spotlight on Maitri

Posted by Isharya Insider on Mar 31, 2014


maitri facts resized 600

This numerical “snapshot” is of the amazing work being done by the San Francisco Bay Area non-profit Maitri. It was founded in 1991 by a group of Indian women in response to the problem of domestic violence; the women affected needed somewhere to call for information, get referrals to mainstream agencies and find informal peer-counseling.

For more than two decades, this frugal, volunteer-driven organization, "seeks to foster self-reliance and self-confidence in South Asian women and their children who have been impacted by domestic violence, human trafficking, family conflict, and cultural isolation, by helping women learn how to help themselves," states their mission. 

Maitri’s volunteers speak over 11 languages-- reflecting the diversity of families in need who come from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and other South Asian countries.  

However, in addition to doing good, the Maitri crew also knows how to have a good time! In February 2014, they hosted their Annual Gala and silent auction at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, where they raised over $500,000, notes the San Jose Mercury News.

More than 400 of the South Asian elite from Silicon Valley attended the sold-out event, a glittery gathering of power players.

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Consul General Mr. Parthasarthi, who is currently writing a book on domestic violence, applauded the community for its large turnout at the event.  Their dancing feet deserve a mention, too, as everyone present piled onto the dance floor to enjoy a rousing performance by Jeffrey Iqbal.

And they certainly deserved to cut loose a bit, having participated in making the event such a success! For example: S. Suresh, Senior Executive at Informatica, made a generous $100,000 donation, Isharya donated earrings, a bracelet and ring, proceeds were donated from the sale of Pria Kataaria Puri’s elegant couture creations, and Bindiya Khanna’s eclectic collection of contemporary paintings.

The funds will go toward the direct grants and empowerment programs that Maitri funds and runs, including:

-Peer Counseling

-Help Line

-Transitional Housing Program

-Legal Advocacy Program

-Economic Empowerment Program

-Culturally Competent Trainings

-Community Outreach

-Education and Emergency Shelter Referrals

“Going forward, we need to move a step closer to prevention of domestic violence,” noted Maitri board member Vinita Gupta, a Valley entrepreneur, “and Maitri provides the platform to start this conversation.” Indeed they do with their 19-bed transition home, started in 2009, to address one of the biggest needs of victims of abuse: an affordable place to life while transitioning to a new life.

Retraining is also a key part of being able to enter the workforce and return to a life of productivity. The “Maitri Village Boutique” was made possible via a two-year Fund-a-need initiative led by Maitri’s Co-Chair Shamik Mehta and board member Noreen Raza, and “will teach women to re-enter the workforce and get back on their feet.”  And Maitri’s leader and board member Dr. Mukta Sharangpani concluded the remarks by urging everyone present (which now includes you!), “to become agents of social change.” 

If you missed the February gala, visit Maitri.org to check out their upcoming events.  

Here's to giving!


xoxo Isharya







Tags: Isharya, Charity Rocks, Maitri Bay Area

Charity Rocks | ISHARYA Joins the Junior League of Baton Rouge at Hollydays

Posted by Isharya Insider on Nov 15, 2013

What do you get when you mix two-parts giving-back with one-part socializing plus a heaping helping of that famous southern hospitality?  A fantastically festive concoction of fabulous fashions, fine foods, exciting entertainment and a multitude of special events all wrapped up in a delightful package known as Hollydays!

Hollydays is one of the largest annual fundraisers in Louisiana and was started almost 30 years ago by the Junior League of Baton Rouge (JLBR), an organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Their amazing teamwork and hard work has enabled them to raise millions of dollars for the fifteen charitable initiatives and programs they support.  

ISHARYA was invited to sell our modern Indian jewelry at Hollydays this year by stylish local Mary Kadair of Kadair Advertising. Held at Baton Rouge River Center - where everyone who's anyone performs when they're in town…or visits, like our stylists, who snapped plenty of photos. We loved getting the chance to socialize and chat with the lovely Junior Leaguers and of course visit with everyone who stopped by our ISHARYA pop-up shop!

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Elizabeth (left), and Mary Kadair (center).

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Team Kadair and Hollydays shoppers at the ISHARYA pop-up shop.

Last year, an astounding 17,000 visitors to Hollydays answered the call to "Shop for a Cause" and spent $425,000 which impacted more than 60,000 people in the Greater Baton Rouge area and 300,000 over the life of the various projects, including:

Being in the Junior League isn’t all about shopping. The ladies take their volunteering and community work seriously, mentoring and tutoring students at the state's first charter boarding school, THRIVE, for children from troubled homes; taking seniors on field trips to explore art, culture and friendships; and partnering with Trafficking Hope, which educates and raises awareness about human trafficking. It's all part of JLBR's overall mission to support health, education and cultural development. Since 1932, they've been using woman-power to help build a better Baton Rouge and were instrumental in funding many key local institutions, including:

ISHARYA was proud to help support the local charities, their efforts, and can't wait till next year!

Tags: Isharya, Charity Rocks, Hollydays, Junior League of Baton Rouge

Help Support Typhoon Haiyan Victims

Posted by Isharya Insider on Nov 14, 2013


Photo: Help the Bay Area and Alice@97.3 break fundraising records for the American Red Cross Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund TODAY.  

Call 1-888-543-5778 or visit http://radioalice.com/donate


Millions are devastated by the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. 

Help local Bay Area radio and TV stations   and  break fundraising efforts TODAY by calling 1-888-543-5778 to donate to the RedCross Typhoon Haiyan fund! The Alice Radio DJ's, CBS news anchors, and stars from the CW are answering the phones today.

You can also make your donation online at redcross.org. or visit Radio Alice 97.3 for more information. 

Sign up as an ISHARYA INSIDER to learn how ISHARYA is raising funds for the relief.

Tags: Isharya, Red Cross, Typhoon Haiyan, Alice Radio, KCBS, CBSSF, Typhoon Relief Fund

Design House International and ISHARYA Support Greystone Mansion

Posted by Andrew Standaert on Oct 29, 2013

Beverly Hills is abuzz with Design House International’s Gala and Showcase House opening at the iconic Greystone Mansion on November 2, 2013. 

While the home is a true beauty on its own, The Friends of Greystone capitalize on its architecture by annually inviting world renowned interior designers to transform the mansion into Design House International’s Showcase House. This year’s theme, ‘Titans of Business’, expresses the creativity and power of iconic titans of business from the entertainment, fashion, finance and technology industries.

The showcase launches with a Masquerade Gala, “An exclusive viewing of Greystone Mansion’s magnificent rooms created by top interior designers and the titans who inspired them,” benefiting the ongoing restoration of the estate. Some of the titans include Coco Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli, and Halston.  

Isharya is proud to donate to the silent auction supporting the historic mansion, which draws the finest crowds from around the world. The showcase is open starting November 2 – November 24, with tickets available here

One of our correspondents had the pleasure of visiting the mansion. Here's his story, and more history of this iconic landmark:

Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills back exterior
The expansive entertaining patio of Greystone Mansion.  

tree lined Greystone Mansion gardens

The scenic gardens of Greystone.
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The Gates of Greystone, photo by Mary E Nichols.

After the winding drive past palatial estates, the Beverly Hills Hotel, and through the towering iron gates, it’s hard to believe you’re allowed to be here. Instantly you feel like Hollywood royalty. Nestled on 18 acres in between Holmby Hills and the Sunset Strip, the historic 46,000 sq ft, Greystone Mansion is a public respite with sweeping views of Beverly Hills and West Hollywood.

greystone mansion gardens and sweeping viewsThe expansive garden entrance to Greystone.
Side garden of the Greystone Mansion in Beverly HillsViews of condos in the heart of Beverly Hills.

Greystone Mansion carportThe carport at Greystone Mansion.

With great drive up appeal and lush gardens, Greystone’s exterior is 19th century English revival architecture with a combination of two story turrets faced with Indiana limestone, Welsh slate and leaded glass windows. The interior is 18th century in style and includes fifty-five livable rooms, including the entertainment wing consisting of a theater, bowling alley and billiard room. 

Construction started on the mansion in 1926 and finished two years later at a cost of $3 million ($41 million in today’s dollar). The original owners occupied the residence until 1955, when Ms. Doheny sold Greystone to Henry Crown, the owner of the Empire State Building. After renting the estate to movie studios, Mr. Crown wanted to subdivide the property in 1963, leading to the mansions potential demolition. A citizen's community worked with the City of Beverly Hills to purchase the estate in 1965 and in 1971 it was turned into a public park. The non-profit, Friends of Greystone, was founded to care for the property. 

During its lifespan The Bodyguard, Ghostbusters 2, Rush Hour, The Social Network, Spider-Man, X-Men were all filmed at the mansion, including many others.

In keeping with the Showcase House's 'Titan' theme and 1920's flapper elegance, ISHARYA picked the Black Goddess Honeycomb Fringe necklace as the perfect piece for the silent auction. Adorned with 18k gold and black jasper, it's a true statement piece.

Enjoy touring the showcase house!

black jasper goddess fringe necklace by ISHARYA jewelry resized 600Black Jasper Goddess Fringe necklace by ISHARYA, donated to the silent auction supporting Greystone Mansion.

Tags: Isharya, Greystone Mansion, Beverly Hills, Design House International, Friends of Greystone, Showcase House

Havana Nights | Katherine Delmar Burke School Dinner Auction

Posted by Isharya Insider on Apr 06, 2013


Isharya is pleased to continue their support of the Katherine Delmar Burke School, a San Francisco K-8 Girls school, with their online auction and fundraising event, Havana Nights. According to the school, the event helps provide around $400,000 annually to fund student financial assistance and professional development of the faculty and staff.


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This year Isharya donated three pieces from our new Turquoise Pyramid Luxe collection, and a matching Turquoise Gem Rocks cuff, all celebrity favorites. Shop the auction through Sunday April 7th at 10pm.

Take a peek at these celebrites wearing versions of those donated, with direct links to the auction!


sofia vergara in isharya

Sofia Vergara with a pop of turquoise in our Gem Rocks cuff.


ashley greene in isharya

Ashley Greene presenting at the 'Do Something Awards' in Isharya's Pyramid Luxe statement ring.


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Priyanka Chopra wearing Isharya's Pyramid Luxe pendant.


maria sharapova

We love tennis stars Maria Sharapova's fierce look in these Pyramid Luxe drop earings

Tags: Burkes Dinner Auction, Katherine Delmar Burke School, Pyramid Luxe, Ashley Greene, Maria Sharapova, Sofia Vergara, Priyanka Chopra

Isharya's Jewelry Copyrighting Workshop at The Harker School

Posted by Isharya Insider on Mar 19, 2013

The Isharya marketing team went back to school, leading a descriptive writing workshop for Mr. Goodwin’s 4th Grade Language Arts class at The Harker School in San Jose, California. We were invited to teach students tips for writing persuasive product descriptions, using Isharya jewelry and our new website as tools.  To make the workshop more exciting for the fourth graders, we brought jewelry that was spotted on their favorite celebrities, like Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato and Carly Rae Jepsen!

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The workshop began with a brief introduction on tips we use to create engaging copy for our website and collateral. Then the students got to work. They got the opportunity to inspect the Isharya baubles up close and asked us detailed questions about the materials used to make the handcrafted jewelry.  While writing their descriptions chock full of vivid adjectives, they got the hang of adding their personal suggestions on how to style the jewelry.  A few brave students even shared their descriptions with the class and were eager to receive our feedback. One student recommended the Rutile Nile Nymph Pyramid Ring be worn with sparkly leggings and black high heels!  

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The students did a fantastic job in creating and editing their product descriptions in the allotted five minutes per piece.  Here are a few of our favorite student descriptions of Isharya best sellers--Moon Bali Filigree Hoops, the Pyramid Luxe Statement Pendant and Allure Hoops. We love how they talked about the details but didn’t get too technical—our exact advice!


Isharya writing workshop: student at workA student focuses on our Moon Bali Filigree Hoops to come up with the perfect description.


Gold Crescent Earring

This beautiful earring's tiny, rose jewels dangle as you move, while the shiny gold sparkles in the sun. Several dangling jewels surround different shades of yellow stones underneath a design of gold flowers. Wearing an evening gown, this pair of flashy earrings can make you stand out.  

The Golden Moon 

With a golden, fancy design, the middle sparkles with gold. Around it, little tiles make the form of a crescent that has a smooth texture. Little rose pink beads dangle around the edge, making a rattling noise as you walk. A black or white shirt with jeans would make this beautiful piece of jewelry pop out. 

Pyramid Pendant 

An ebony resin pentagonal pyramid dangles off a gold chain decorated with a smaller pendant with four yellow mirrors.  This gold necklace resembles calmness.  Wear this with a completely black outfit for a burst of color.

Allure Hoop 

With five connected hoops on each earring, these earrings will certainly catch people's attention.  Silver mirror raindrops on the borders sparkle.  These earrings have been spotted on Selena Gomez!


Isharya Writing Harker 3 resized 600Our new website was used as a tool for the workshop!

The next workshop in their month-long persuasive writing curriculum is an upcoming field trip to the San Francisco deYoung Museum, where they will write descriptive essays on art.

We were thrilled to spend quality time with The Harker School students and thank Mr. Goodwin for inviting us to come in to impart our practical work experience to his class. 

Tags: Isharya, descriptive writing workshop, The Harker School, Isharya website

Harker School Fashion Show

Posted by Isharya Insider on Mar 01, 2013

Isharya proudly sponsored the Harker School 10th Annual Fashion Show, "Mission Possible: Dare to Try," a event providing financial assistance to students who would otherwise be unable to benefit from a Harker education, a San Jose, California K-12 College Prep school.

"Involving more than 100 student, faculty and parent models and student performers, this is truly a K through life event. Net proceeds go to provide financial assistance, fund the construction of the new gym and performing arts center and support the school’s capital building projects," says Harker, founded in 1893.

Harker School Sponsor

For more news on the fundraiser, check out the school's article.

Tags: Harker School Fashion Show, Isharya

Tree of Life

Posted by Isharya Insider on May 16, 2011

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The mission of Isharya's philanthropic activity is to promote, pursue, and steward support for the advancement of education, women and children's rights, and nature protection.

The company consistently works with the local community and international charities to provide jewelry for auctions and generate funds that allow schools and organizations to continue its educational mission and support outreach.

Isharya recently took part in Faberge's "Big Egg Hunt" competition aiming to raise funds for the Action for Children and Elephant Family charities. As one of 200 of the world's leading designers and artists participating, Isharya designed a 2-foot tall fiberglass egg, taking inspiration from the Tree of Life, an ancient Indian philosophy that all life on Earth is interconnected. The egg was cleverly hidden in Trafalgar Square in London, where visitors from all over the world set foot to search for the eggs in the worlds biggest egg hunt. The event ended with all 200 eggs, including Isharya's "Tree of Life" egg (pictured left), being auctioned off and collaboratively raising over £1 million to support the two charities.

See the making of Isharya's "Tree of Life" egghere.
For more information on how to help, please contact info@isharya.com.

Tags: Tree of Life, Charity