Evanston, IL– Have a big Indian wedding to attend and have no idea how to dress/accessorize for it? Or maybe you’re just smitten with the Indian-styled hair jewelry that Nicole Richie often wears on the TV fashion reality show “Fashion Star.” Either way, demand for Indian jewelry is up, and Luxemi.com aims to help.
The company was founded by best friends Swapna Chandamuri and Swathi Narra. Both first-generation Indian Americans, they often struggled to find the right Indian clothing and accessories for Indian weddings/events and figured their peers might be having the same problems.
“I’m from Louisiana and could never find what I needed so I used to bring home accessories and apparel from India when I traveled there,” says Narra, who left her career as a lawyer to co-found Luxemi. “But with Luxemi, we didn’t want to just import merchandise. We work closely with designers in India to take traditionally styled Indian jewelry and make it more contemporary for the Indian American consumer, not to mention the American consumer who embraces Indian styling.”
Luxemi is a play on words—a mix of the word “luxury” and “Lakshmi” (the Hindu goddess of beauty and grace). And while the largest Indian American communities are in Los Angeles, Chicago, and the New York/New Jersey area, Luxemi targets people all over, including friends of Indian Americans who might have to attend a traditional Indian wedding for the first time.
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Luxemi also offers a wedding concierge service, where guests receive a dedicated email address to send questions or call for help about what to give as a gift or what to wear. “If you’ve never been to an Indian wedding before, the styling, fashions and traditions can be quite daunting,” says Narra. “For example, it’s ok to wear white to an Indian wedding, but red is a no-no.”
Jewelry ranges for purchase from $28 to $358.
The site also offers convenience. Those who don’t want to purchase items can rent them for a fee from the “borrow closet.” In fact, the site’s tagline is “Buy the one you want forever; borrow the one you want right now.”
The stock offered for sale and rent is separate, however, so consumers who make purchases don’t have to worry about buying previously used items. Luxemi also gifts shoppers with a complimentary Luxe Pack that includes bindis, safety pins and a sari bag.