Shubhra Singh from India
"Music and art have always fascinated me. I remember when my aunt gave me an old sitar. I was 20 years old at the time, and I was so exited to own such priceless piece that I immediately started to learn how to play it.
"As I grew up, I decided to do something more substantial for my career. I wanted to do something of my own, free from any ties. Then one day, I thought to myself why not use my creativity to design jewelry? This idea motivated me take a two-year course in jewelry design.
"I learned the basics of silversmith, like cutting sheet, wiring, melting, stone setting, finishing and polishing -- basically all the pre-requisites to be a jeweler. When I mastered the techniques, I needed to start designing so I took a course in enameling called meenakari work. When I finished the course, I started venturing into the competitive market of jewelries. My parents were apprehensive, but when they recognized I had talent, they knew that I could make it.
"After a while, I set up my workshop under the Sanskrit term Dyuti, meaning 'radiance.' Slowly people began to appreciate my work, and with the kind support of my well-wishers, I was fortunate to participate in quite a few exhibitions. I have also participated in one of the most talked about exhibitions, the Delhi Blind Relief Association."