“One of the common things about dentistry and jewelry design is making someone feel beautiful.” – Mrs. Kajal Naina.
In the Her Journey session with Mrs. Kajal Naina, an award-winning jewelry designer, we not only had time to know more about her but got motivation on a deeper level by listening to a really inspiring life experience.
Mrs. Naina was born and raised in KTM Nepal. She was a bright and active student. Since her childhood, she was fond of both science and arts. She even used to save money given by relatives to buy art materials and was fond of reading books of various artists. Because of this intense passion for art, she became a dentist, which beautifully manifested her love for both science and art.
She was raised in an educated family that never discriminated against her for being a daughter. Surrounded by elite doctors, who kindled in her similar interests in science and doctorate, she went to India for her higher studies and started studying dentistry after completing her SLC from Nepal.
But her journey was not rose-tinted at all. She went through some tough moments, some devastating ones. She lost both of her parents at a very young age. She mentioned that losing her parents was like losing the rock of her family.
Being the eldest daughter, she decided to go back to Nepal to take care of her brother, but her supportive family members propelled her to continue her study without being distressed by the unfortunate life events. Despite everything she had to endure, she held herself together and didn’t let her career falter.
Professional Career Life
Her Journey as a Dentist
After finishing her degree in dentistry, she practiced her profession in some most reputed hospitals like the Kathmandu Medical College And Teaching Hospital (KMC), Bir Hospital, and Om Hospital & Research Center, all in Kathmandu Nepal. She also owned her own dental clinic run and managed completely by females.
Mrs. Naina was also lucky in terms of love. She found the love of her life in her late twenties and got married to him. She went to Japan with her supportive, hardworking, and loving husband who works in the Technological sector. In Japan, she had a comparatively hard time learning the language and adapting to Japanese culture.
While she was in Japan, she and her husband were blessed with a baby daughter. Mrs. Naina wanted to continue her dentistry in Japan as well, but unaware of the situation, she faced a backlash in her career because the university she had applied to didn’t accept her as she was a mother of a young child. They told her she won’t be able to meet the pace of other students and can affect her grades.
Amidst those struggles, her husband had to go to Singapore for his work. Mrs. Naina went with him, and later they permanently moved there. She joined National University Hospital (NUH) in Singapore and continued her practice as a dentist.
But after a while, a desire to follow an artistic pursuit sparked within her during her time in NUH. It was as if there was a calling from her hidden aspiration, which was coming to the surface after decades. She could not resist it and went all in recreating her career in arts. And there was no looking back from then on. She is now a prominent, award-winning jewelry designer who creates one-of-a-kind collections and bespoke items of jewelry for clients around the globe.
“Sometimes life throws you the curve-ball. In that situation, you should be fully prepared by learning
- to create a flexible plan.
- to improvise in order to avoid stress and frustration.”
~ Mrs. Kajal Naina
Her Journey as a Jewelry Designer
She says she never thought to become a jewelry designer. She just wanted to try something that she enjoys doing and in that process, she found that her passion lay in jewelry designing. In the process, she enjoyed jewelry designing and took many designing courses.
She reached where she is today with relentless practice and hard work. Her jewelry represents the beauty of Nepal through her stylish and sophisticated designs. Most of her designs are inspired by nature, celestially inspired, or traditionally symbolic- even the simple pieces are often a reminder of something special.
We find Beauty and Meaning in her designs. She is designing such jewelry so that people can wear their stories as a form of art. Mrs. Kajal Naina further added that because of her work, she travels to different corners of the world, which helps her broaden her way to see the world from a fresh perspective.
For her, the most exciting part is to turn that experience into a piece of wearable jewelry. She passionately explained whether as a dentist or a designer, making someone feel beautiful is what matters the most for her. As a Nepalese jewelry designer, she has been promoting Nepal with her story full jewelry designing.
She shared that “Lotus in a Pond” is one of her first designs. Lotus is a symbol of purity that blooms gracefully above the muddy water. Mrs. Naina explained, with hard work and a positive attitude, a human can always shine regardless of where s/he is from.
Similarly, Mrs. Naina has won Hong Kong Living Magazine Influencers Awards, A’Design Award 2018 Bronze, and SAUL BELL DESIGN AWARD 2018. Also, her designs were featured in Liv, Vogue, ELLE blog, Macau Lifestyle, Party Nepal, and many more.
Mrs. Naina addressed how technology today is helping her to expand the business globally. With different platforms, her designs are being shared with people around the globe.
Inspiring Life Lessons from Mrs. Kajal Naina
Mrs. Kajal Naina shared that exploring yourself is an interesting journey to know what you truly want. From being a certified dentist to an award-winning jewelry designer and owning a business, Mrs. Kajal Naina shared how she finds herself growing through all those challenges. Mrs. Naina did not have any specific business knowledge but her never-ending learning attitude helped her to become a successful female entrepreneur today.
Mrs. Kajal Naina strongly believes in giving back to the community. She values the importance of education and self-sufficiency. She is an active member of Subhadra Madan Foundation: An Environmental Conservation Organization. Her company, Kajal Naina Fine Jewelry, makes a donation to the organization with a portion of the profit from their sales.
She explained choosing jewelry designing over dentistry was really a tough decision. Starting a completely different career in her 30s, she was aware of the challenges and consequences that may affect the different aspects of her family life. But her positive attitude and support from family was her strength. She is now an award-winning jewelry designer and entrepreneur, who has been a role model for many women out there.
Mrs. Kajal Naina never felt spending her youth in dentistry was a waste of time. Instead, she encourages all the women out there to keep learning and exploring new things in life. No one knows where and when you would find the missing puzzle of your life. And now her journey of defying all the fears and challenges she encountered to get where she is now has become a source of encouragement and inspiration for many of us.
About Her Journey
Her Journey is an initiative by Girls in Tech Nepal. We help the younger generation find the role model they didn’t know they were looking for. We are bringing real-life stories with the Her Journey Series.
Shequal foundation is a non-profit organization with an aim to eradicate the gender gap prevalent in most career fields by ensuring equal involvement and leadership. Shequal foundation in association with Girls in Tech Nepal and Women in Big Data has conducted various programs and training in order to empower females from different sectors. They are providing a community where women can learn, grow, and inspire others as well.
Girls in Tech Nepal is a Nepalese chapter of the global non-profit organization Girls in Tech, working to bridge the gap between women and technology by engaging, educating, and empowering females of all ages in achieving their personal and professional development goals. GIT has coordinated diverse programs and training in order to inspire and educate women who are passionate about technology.