We had the good fortune of connecting with Shibani Shinde Patil and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shibani, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I have always been enamored by the idea of entrepreneurship, building something yourself and not being impacted by the usual corporate glass ceiling. While it was something I have always wanted to do, I did not think one should dive into business blindly without making sure it made financial sense. For example, having a chain of laundromats or dry-cleaning stores, as unsexy as they are, may make more financial sense than having a jewelry store. However, after exploring and dipping my toes in a few entrepreneurial ventures, I realized that one must enjoy what they are doing to be able to endure the entrepreneurial journey which can often be long, lonely and difficult. For me really it took having my first child late in life to finally make the plunge. I did not want to be in a corporate setting during that time and hence I thought it was the best time for me to explore. I had always commissioned my own jewelry pieces because I could never find that good balance of price, quality and impactful pieces. One of the triggers was receiving a pair of earrings shortly after my son was born. This was something my husband had never done before because I preferred to commission my own pieces. The earrings were from one of the most famous and historic jewelry houses. I loved the earrings, but I was shocked when I learned what he paid for them. It is no wonder a lot of people think of fine jewelry and buying jewelry for loved ones as unattainable or ostentatious. I knew I could create something that balanced all those aspects. As I mentioned before, there were various factors that helped me make the decision to start the business, but the timing of it was driven by the birth of my son, Rishi. I named the brand Ri Noor – Ri for Rishi and Noor for light. The use of light is both metaphorical to me and is significant to diamonds and gemstones whose light reflection qualities bring a piece to life. The historical Koh- I- Noor diamond known for its spectacular beauty and size, literally means, mountain of light.
What should our readers know about your business?
At Ri Noor we are passionate about our gems and even more so with making impactful pieces that are meant to be worn. Our collections consist of a luxurious mix of jewelry that blends fine stones with unique and intricate settings, at a price point that is more widely attainable. Our target customers are women who love to accessorise, and thus we endeavor to bring them precious jewelry that is not meant to be locked up in the safe, but rather worn through daily life and special occasions. In addition to the collections offered on our website and through vendor partners, we also offer custom and bespoke services to our clients, many of them brides to be who want something unique.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
This is a little difficult to answer because we recently relocated from New York City to Houston and have have only been here for five months, right around the time Houston Covid cases started peaking. Given how young our kids are we have been extremely cautious and limited our time outside. Despite our caution, being in Houston with all its outdoor facilities has really helped during the pandemic. Memorial park and Hermann park, with their proximity to the heart of the city, are great for being outdoors and there is something for all age groups. I am looking forward to exploring everything this wonderful city with all its world class facilities has to offer once it is safer to venture out. Also as someone who loves food and trying different cuisines, I was astonished at the authentic, multicultural food scene and I would highly recommend trying all the cuisines Houston has to offer – including – Portuguese, Spanish, Asian, Arabic, Mexican, Indian, to name a few.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to shoutout to an incredibly talented architect friend of mine Ludmilla Raphael, who left a great job at a large architectural firm in NYC to venture into entrepreneurship. Ludmilla partnered with Joshua Mackley in Austin, Texas and their company is called FORRM architects. Our kids are both very similar in age and I would like to commend her for making the bold move and juggling work and kids, especially during this difficult time.