By Shillpi A Singh
Rebekkah Kumar was in love with India even before visiting it for the first time for her wedding in 1994. Armed with a management degree from the MIT Sloan School of Management and rich and varied experiences in business, marketing, and technical domains, the American was able to combine her personal journey, passion for jewellery, along with the love of Indian craftsmanship and culture to launch her label ‘Fourseven’ in 2014.
The name of her brand, which is available online and now also at two retail outlets in Gurgaon, reflects both India’s independence in 1947 and USA’s Independence Day that falls on July 4 (written as 4/7 in India).
“It is a celebration of personal journeys, passions and life memories. I believe that people are happiest when they are proud of who they are and confident of themselves,” says Rebekkah, who is married to an Indian and has a son and a daughter.
Exuding a natural grace and easy friendliness, the tall, elegant 40-something is often her own brand ambassador and model – on her throat dangles the ‘Gayatri Mantra’ pendant, and on her wrist lies a ‘Unity’ bracelet depicting all religions together with the peace sign and Tree of Life.
The starting point for Rebekkah was just an idea – to make high-quality jewellery inspired by Indian culture and spirituality – and she dared to embark on it all alone.
“The launch team had only two people and some hired part-time help. It expanded and became a small group of six working virtually with no office space,” she recalls, adding that it has been a wild ride.
Her label soon got angel funding from the Indian Angel Network, which gave them the opportunity to scale the business. “We then moved into an office, hired a great team and pushed hard to build a strong and positive brand,” she says.
Fourseven had an informal launch when the products went up for sale in local exhibitions in 2013 and a formal launch in March 2014 when its website was up and about.
Sterling silver was the obvious choice for Fourseven’s range of exquisite jewellery that she calls “affordable luxury”; it is safe for sensitive skin, long-lasting, works well in terms of design and is pocket-friendly too.
“I’ve always loved silver. It is a beautiful precious metal that looks elegant on all skin tones. It is also said to promote health and well-being. It gives us a huge range to work with both in terms of price range as well as designs for men, women, and children,” she adds.
The brand is best-known for its charms and charm-holders that celebrate life, spiritualism, good luck, hobbies, fitness, professions, Indian culture and more. Rebekkah plans to launch a new collection for kids and will time it with Children’s Day in November.
The non-jewellery gifts include ‘storyboard’ bookmarks, wine charms (to put on wine glasses), tealight holders, and custom gifts for weddings and corporate clients.
Calling Fourseven a design-led company, Rebekkah says, “We are a proudly made-in-India brand creating designs that will resonate with people around the world. When customers come back after their first orders, it makes us feel proud.” Her label has been featured in several publications and Rebekkah herself has been hailed as a role model for mompreneurs and, indeed, expats who love India.
Fourseven prices range from Rs 500 to Rs 35,000 with the average price point for charms at around Rs 1,000. The brand currently ships to 12 countries around the world.
Rebekkah agrees that having a start-up is like having a baby: “The business needs you any time of day or night and any day of week, and relies on you for its growth and well-being.”
She also admits she is driven to excel by her fear. “I did not want to look back on my life and have any regrets of having been too scared to try,” she says, adding in parting, “May your fear of regret always be greater than your fear of failure.”