Shashi started importing jewelry in 1964. As an employee of Eastern Airlines, he used $700 to source products overseas, import, and sell them. He made another trip a few weeks later on the pretense his mother was ill, and by the time he took a 3rd trip he was self-employed.
Within a year or two Shashi had turned his initial investment into about $100k in inventory. He spoke English, Malaysian, Hindi (Mandarin was added later) and was able to create unique relationships in Indonesia, China, Singapore, India and elsewhere - relationships that were used to source antiques, find gemstones, and to manufacture the Shashi Inc line. The Laurel Inc, Facets Inc, Thousand Flowers, Cingano and Museum of Jewelry lines were born later.
By 1978 things were in full swing. It was a banner year for the Museum of Jewelry. Our jewelry was prominently featured on the cover of Vogue magazine - not once but twice. Shashi humbly attributes it to "a fortuitous showroom location".
Vogue magazine covers from 1978. Photos: Conde Nast.
In February 1978, Patti Hansen wore our pink enamel earrings. In May 1978 blue drop earrings graced the ears of a second Patti Hanson cover.
We were featured inside the pages of Vogue many times over the years, both organically and after we released a retail catalog as an advertiser. But appearing on two covers in a few months time is pretty cool stuff.