How to convert traditional thali mangalsutra into a modern thaali

Thaali designs are the deciding factor on whether or not you’ll wear your thaali on a regular basis.

Today I’m going to share with you a story of a young and vibrant professional who wanted to convert her traditional thaali (mangalsutra) into a modern thaali.

Thaali, as you may know, is a symbol of marriage and lifelong love for your significant other.

But her traditional thaali posed a few challenges.

  • It was heavy due to thick gold chain
  • It did not go well with western outfits such as jeans, office attire or party dresses
  • It was just not as beautiful

She did not want her original thaali to remain unworn and be stuck with it for the rest of her life.

In this case study, I’ll share with you the exact steps this woman took to get her traditional thaali converted into a modern thaali.

Meet Chandrika.

Chandrika is a working product/ program management professional who wanted to give her original thaali a new look.

She wanted to own a piece that was simple and elegant and something she could wear on a regular basis.

This is when she decided to contact me to find out if I can give her thaali a makeover.

Once Chandrika signed up for our custom thaali (mangalsutra) design process, she was delighted to get the following results:

  • Received a combination of 28+ custom thaali (mangalsutra) and chain options, unique to her personal preferences
  • Repurposed her original thaali into the new custom modern thaali
  • A handmade custom thaali delivered to her doorstep

Now let’s look at how she was able to achieve these results, step-by-step.

1. Understand her personal preferences for the modern thali

The first step to creating a modern thaali was to understand Chandrika’s personal preferences.

To kick-off the discussion, Chandrika jotted down her requirements in an email to our designer.

She was looking for a long tassel mangalsutra chain that was thin but sturdy. She also indicated her preference for a dual-tone chain (white and yellow gold).

So far, these requirements were reasonable and definitely paint a clear picture of her preferences.

But there was a twist that made this project challenging and interesting at the same time.

Chandrika wanted to use her original thali as part of her custom modern thaali. She even sent us photos of her original thaali.

The photos allowed our designer to assess the feasibility of the project and see if we could actually help Chandrika.

Here is the original email from Chandrika.

After further discussion with my team at Sampat Jewellers, we agreed to take on this custom thali project.

We informed Chandrika and she was super-excited to hear the good news!

Custom Thaali

To get started with the custom design process, we require a $300 non-refundable design fee.

Once the design is finalized and Chandrika chooses to work with us, there will be a minimum $1995 cost for the custom thaali (mangalsutra).

The good news was that if Chandrika decided to make her custom thaali with us, she would get a credit for $300 on her final bill.

Given the nature of Chandrika’s modern thali requirements, we estimated the cost to be $2000-$2500 plus applicable sales tax.

As far as discounts are concerned, I encouraged Chandrika to take advantage of our first-time buyer offer which would get her a 5% discount off on the final order (there are no discounts on the design fee).

Chandrika was beyond thrilled and signed up for the custom design process. She promptly made a payment of $300 to kick-off the design process.

2. Provide personalized, modern, custom thaali designs

Once Chandrika and I discussed her requirements for her custom thaali, we were on our way to getting the designs sketched.

Chandrika also shared with me the size of her original thali mangalsutra along with more detailed photos of her thaali. This information was invaluable.

Chandrika used our pre-paid, fully insured, shipping label to send us her original gold thaali.

She was sending us her original thaali because she wanted to use it as part of the newly designed custom thaali.

While her original thaali was making its way to our office, I was busy creating unique thaali designs for Chandrika.

Once the designs were ready, we scheduled a call to discuss Chandrika’s modern thali designs and concepts.

Chandrika received six unique thaali designs. Each design was thoughtfully put together keeping in mind Chandrika’s initial requirements.

Now let’s look at the six design options individually and find out which one Chandrika loved the most.

Custom Modern Thaali – Option 1:

This design boasts two thaalis placed in a vertical form mirroring each other divided with diamonds to break the heaviness of the pendants.

The gold beads with diamond stripes in an asymmetrical pattern show an up and down movement.

This is a long mangalsutra style that can be worn at work.

The chain is a dual tone chain for added interest in the upper part of the mangalsutra.

Custom Thali Mangalsutra

Custom Modern Thaali – Option 2:

In this option, we have used the thaalis on the chain instead of making the thaali the focal point.

This design is more subtle and asymmetric.

The four solid gold beads are used as little dangles in the bottom.

Custom Thali Design

Custom Modern Thaali – Option 3:

This is the most playful and out of the box thaali design.

A beautiful gold circle rim around the thali to give it a dramatic appearance.

It becomes a new pattern and the original thaali shape is ambiguous.

Two gold beads are used on the chain and two in the bottom of the design to space them out and efficiently include them in the design.

Modern Thali Mangalsutra

Custom Modern Thaali – Option 4:

This design features two thaalis next to each other to form a linear pattern.

It looks like a beautiful lace pattern made with gold.

To balance out the linearity of the thaalis, this design option has gold balls with three strings with uneven lengths. This gives extra grace and better proportion to the piece.

Thali design

Custom Modern Thaali – Option 5:

This design option has the thaalis on top of each other. The idea is to create one dynamic pendant with a feminine tassels in the bottom.

You’ll also notice a diamond triangle with two little triangles in the bottom. This feature is meant to give a sleek look to the final design.

This design option was my personal favorite as it was modern and timeless.

Thali Designs

Custom Modern Thaali – Option 6:

This design option is unique in its use of the princess cut diamonds (square shaped diamonds).

Princess cut diamonds lend an added dimension to the design and enhance the rectangle shape of the existing thaalis.

To keep the thaali design simple, six princess cut diamonds are added as smaller elements to maintain the attention on the thaalis.

This thaali design option could have its own variations depending on personal preference.

Simple Thali Mangalsutra

You may also recollect Chandrika was looking for a light weight chain that is sleek and modern.

To complement the six thaali design options, Chandrika received four custom chain options to choose from.

Gold Chains

As you can see, the combination of six unique thaali designs and four chain options led to several design variations for Chandrika to pick from.

So which option do you think Chandrika picked?

Let’s find out.

3. Iterate and finalize the ultimate modern thali design

Chandrika and I scheduled time to discuss the six thaali design options.

She was amazed with the designs and liked some elements of each design.

  • Diamond strips from thaali option 1
  • Horizontal thalis in Option 4, and
  • The princess cut diamonds in Option 6

As you can see, it’s already been such an amazing fun journey for Chandrika.

She is choosing her own adventure.

As next steps, I created another set of designs combining Chandrika’s favorite design elements.

The goal was to give Chandrika a much more refined and revised thaali design that she absolutely loved.

Below are three revised thaali design options. We’ll call them Thaali 2.0.

So, here we go!

Thaali 2.0 – Option 1:

This design incorporated diamond strips. The diamonds add sparkle next the gold thaalis.

Thaali 2.0 – Option 2: 

This option features different shapes for Chandrika to see options instead of the triangle.

But we both agreed that a triangle is the best shape for such a style and other options didn’t look as nice.

Thali Custom Design

Thaali 2.0 – Option 3:

This option includes more princess cut diamonds between the thalis to add extra sparkle and geometry.

As you can see, this design option looks absolutely stunning and was Chandrika’s favorite.

In the midst of the design process, I was admitted to the hospital as I was expecting a baby and my water broke early.

We had to keep this project on hold for a few weeks. In the meanwhile we got Chanrika’s original gold thaalis shipped out to our studio for a complete makeover.

Soon after giving birth to a beautiful baby boy, I knew we had to bring this project to completion and deliver on our promise. There was some delay but Chandrika was extremely patient.

4. Deliver a beautiful, handmade thaali at her doorstep

Chandrika was now ready to place her order but had a couple of clarifying questions.

Specifically, she wanted a breakdown of the total number of grams and cost for the yellow gold, white gold and diamonds individually.

I reassured Chandrika that her final invoice will include the total grams of gold and the quality of diamonds (cut, clarity, color, and carat weight). However, we do not provide a price breakdown for the gold and diamond separately.

Furthermore, our artisans use as much gold as they need to make the design come to life. We do not cut corners to save a buck or two.

At the end of the day, we wanted to make sure Chandrika was happy with her purchase and didn’t store her custom thaali in the bank safe because of the way it looked or made her feel.

Chandrika was also curious if the price would change if we used a different metal color. I clarified that the price would remain the same irrespective of the metal color.

Chandrika was happy to get her questions answered.

Now that the design was finalized and her questions answered, Chandrika placed her order. Soon thereafter, our artisans got to work to bring her custom thaali design to life.

In a couple of weeks, Chandrika received a behind the scenes image of her custom thaalis that showed how things were shaping up for her jewelry.

Handmade jewelry

Our artisans may not be the best photographers but they sure are good at their craft of making handmade jewelry.

While making this piece, there was a slight change to use round diamonds instead of princess cut (square-shaped diamonds) due to financial reasons.

At the same time, I did not want to compromise on the design. To get the same princess cut look, we creatively used round diamonds and square gold-setting.

It did not compromise the look and we achieved the results we were looking for.

Below is a photo of Chandrika’s custom modern thaali that was delivered to her doorstep.

Thali designThe final piece was delivered by our insured courier service provider and shipping was complimentary.

The outcome was beautiful and Chandrika was very happy.

Here is what she wrote back to us.

“I just love the piece and so does my family! My brand new thaali has helped me stand apart and I have been receiving so many compliments for the creative design! I owe it all to you 🙂 . Attaching a few photos of me trying it on for the very first time! You can see the happiness on my face right there! 

I will definitely make sure I write down an amazing review on Google as well. Once again thank you so much for making my thaali so unique and beautiful! It looks amazing and I’m loving it! <3”

Below are her smiling photos with her new custom thaali and also her personal note to us.

Custom Thali Mangalsutra Design

This was so satisfying to me and my entire team to see the smile on her face. This makes it all worth it.

It is great to know that Chandrika is finally able to wear her thaali mangalsutra at work and other events.

I wanted to create something that is very unique and never to be found anywhere in the world.

A mangalsutra so unique and special and fine piece of jewelry that she will cherish forever. Thank you, Chandrika, for giving us this chance to make this special and meaningful for you.

If you have any questions or are interested in getting your own thali redesigned, I will be happy to help you. You can email us at contact@sampatjewellers.com and we will get back to you.

We look forward to working with you.

 

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