Get the sparkle on … | Daily News

Get the sparkle on …

Designing jewelry for ‘Jewels by Hush’
Designing jewelry for ‘Jewels by Hush’

Dream big, sparkle more and shine bright. That is the feeling and motivation that Harshini Perera gives you. Gifted with many skills in diverse sectors from painting to jewelry designing and manufacturing, Harshini’s fascination with precious stones emerges from her childhood.

“Ever since I was a little girl - as young as five years – I was surrounded by gems. I used to visit my neighbour who was a gemologist and a jeweller. I was gifted with boxes of gems for all my birthdays. I used to feel like a character from a fairy-tale - to be in the midst of gems – sparkly, sparkly gems!” Harshini recalled.

After completing her studies at Bishop’s College, Colombo, she held her first painting exhibition. Browsing through her paintings, she was discovered by a jeweller who had been captivated by her paintings of women adorning exquisite jewelry designs embedded by real stones.

“After seeing my paintings, I was asked to face an interview and was offered to design jewellery. At the time the store I worked at was the best in town. A lady knows and understands a lady like no other. I was able to make jewelry for people from all walks of life – celebs to presidents,” she said.

Harshini notes that the most challenging thing about being a jewelry designer is that one has to draw every stone to perfection. Some stones are so tiny and some designs have so many stones it can get a bit frustrating. To get all the stones cut into perfection to the perfect size for the design too is quite a daunting task.

Today she has her own jewelry design brand ‘Jewels by Hush’. It comprises jewelry designed for babies, teens, young and old and had clinched a Leadership and Excellency award. She had also won a Woman Icon award powered by Times Women, New York, for her achievements.

“ I make the ladies who say “Jewelry is not my thing” change their minds and I make them wear jewelry! I’ve got the most simplest designs to the most complicated, colourful, and cocktail rings. It was my childhood dream to become a jeweller one day, and my life was woven to God’s divine plan. I always thought God was the best designer. If you look at nature you would know that I’m right. So I would call him my teacher and my master. I work with precious and semi-precious stones. I believe my designs are very unique, because it comes fresh out of my crazy, creative mind. And, they’re most definitely different to what you’d find in the other jewelry stores. I connect with the client, and I give the piece of jewelry a personal touch,” Harshini explained.

Life has opened many doors for this gifted lady. Some years back she had been given an opportunity to model in Hollywood and to act in Bollywood. However, due to various circumstances she had to let those opportunities slip by.

“ I’d be lying if I said I am 100 percent happy with not going ahead with Hollywood or Bollywood. I made the decision to let go of Hollywood, because I obeyed God’s request and flew back to Colombo. Turning down Bollywood was a decision I made to raise my son. I don’t regret choosing my son over Bollywood. At the same time my dream is still very alive. It ain’t over until I say it’s over!” she added with a smile.

For her the turning point in life was having her son, Aakesh, whom she dubs as the love of her life. He is 14 years old and studies at S. Thomas College, Mount Lavinia.

“He has brought so much love and joy into my life, like no other human did. He is the kindest, precious boy I know - not because he is my son, but he truly is an exceptional boy. He even leaves water cups for mosquitoes to lay eggs. So you can just imagine? (and of course I throw the water away!) I have brought him up to care and be there for the less fortunate. I have always taken him everywhere I go – we even visit Dehiwala zoo almost three times a week to see the orangutan baby who has become very close with my son. We interact closely with him. The orangutan family has become very friendly with us. Aakesh is very much into debating, swimming, and karate at school. I am raising him to become a warrior for Christ!” she said adding that a child is most definitely the greatest gift a woman can have.

Adding another feather to her cap Harshini was also crowned Miss Sri Lanka for Miss Tourism International 2005. Queried on why she decided to pursue the pageant world she notes that when she got offers to model in Hollywood, when Indian celebrities told her that she looks better than them during her stint in New York and when returning to Colombo, her uncle informed her that she is better than all these beauty queens – all these feedback added up. Her passion to help less fortunate children too boosted her determination to succeed as a beauty queen.

“The most memorable moment at Miss Tourism World International was when I won a medal for Sri Lanka and the most important thing that I learned from the pageant was that a beauty pageant is not just based on beauty, it’s about what a beauty queen is built with - talents, intelligence, etc. I say that because almost everybody was a 6 footer, and most of them had plastic surgery done. But it didn’t really matter because it’s not only about the outer beauty. It’s also about inner beauty, talents, and intelligence,” she expressed.

Speaking about her charity projects Harshini says that she returned to Sri Lanka from New York to engage in charity work. That year the Tsunami struck the island. Harshini served at Kalutara, Payagala, for over a year and a half. She taught children English, Art Therapy, took them on educational tours to Colombo etc. To date she has been continuing to do charity work privately.

She still has some unfulfilled dreams which she hopes to keep to herself till she has achieved them.

“Acting in India at least for one movie would be a dream that I would like to keep alive,” said the beauty who made a memorable silver screen appearance in Udayakantha Warnasuriya’s ‘Hiripoda Vessa’.

“I have no beauty routine! I’ve never put anything on my skin until this year. The only thing that I put on my face now is Ponds day cream, and Ponds night cream. I also put bio-oil on my body,” she said.

Harshini has plans to hold another painting exhibition in the future. Her jewellery line and son’s education keeps her busy these days.

“I’m cooking up some ideas. I will definitely reveal them in the future,” she concluded with a mischievous twinkle in her eyes.

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