Through the founding of Chakraas Jewels, Jag Klair has discovered a way to fuse her life’s passions into a one-of-a-kind ecommerce business: With her love of the earth’s precious stones and her appreciation for global artisans, Jag is dedicated to seeking out not only precious gems and jewelry for her clients, but precious causes to benefit women and children around the globe.
Jag holds a degree in economics and works as a manager and ombudsman in the public sector; however, her true calling is all about fusing her two loves: jewelry (specifically precious and semi-precious gemstones and crystals) and pro-active philanthropy. Jag has designed a jewelry business that directly contributes to bettering the life conditions of women and children throughout North America, North Africa and Asia.
Where did the name Chakraas Jewels come from?
“Chakraas refers to the seven energy centers in the body. When all seven centers are in alignment, you are in balance. Chakraas is the balance between material gains and philanthropy. For Chakraas Jewels, each material success–the sale of a piece of jewelry–also makes a contribution towards a cause benefiting women and children in the world.”
What causes are benefiting from Chakraas’ jewelry?
“Proceeds from each sale go towards a charity that supports health and well being in children and women through education, skills training, and the provision of food and medicine. We helped furnish a south Indian orphanage with cots and other furniture. Right now I’m trying to make contact with a Darjeeling woman in need of assistance raising 5 boys, but so far I’ve had no luck getting a hold of her. …We’ve also supported larger charities, like the Half the Sky Movement, Kiva, and FEED, and we’ve contributed to local causes here in Vancouver, like the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. Through Chakraas we’ve made a commitment to provide a means for this help to reach as many people as is possible. It started with the founding of the company and will grow and develop as Chakraas does.”
Tell us about one of your most rewarding experiences.
“We helped a lady born to a poor family in a Punjab village, who did not have the use of her legs. She had been handicapped for either her whole life or most of her life. She had never left the house. We helped in buying a wheelchair and getting her home chair outfitted with straps and wheels so she could move about freely. Her story is so inspirational because after she received the wheelchair, she has gained so much independence. She has visited many temples and other landmarks that she had only heard about before… shows you how giving just a little really can change a person’s life.”
So when did you know you wanted to start a jewelry business?
“Even as a young girl, I always wanted to start my own company. I used to dream about opening a proper tea shop, but at the time I didn’t think anyone would pay for proper tea in Vancouver – obviously I was wrong! As I got older, jewellery became another huge passion of mine, and it ties in nicely with my love of travel.”
Do you travel to find your collection each year?
“I travel all over the world meeting with local artists and jewellery makers. I love meeting artists who create with passion. That passion shines through in the items they create and I sincerely enjoy supporting local artists. …This also means we rarely carry more than one or two pieces of any item. Chakraas jewels are truly bespoke.”
What inspires you when you design or seek out pieces for your jewelry collection?
“I love stones! Many times I will see a magnificent stone and then work with the artist to create a piece of jewellery that will highlight that stone. On a recent trip to Istanbul–a city I just love to visit–I saw these beautiful rose quartz stones. They were perfectly faceted in a teardrop shape…large and magnificent! And the colour was this deep, rich pink. I worked with the artist and together we designed a beautiful set. Still one of my favourite designs.”
Describe your typical Chakraas client…what are they looking for?
“My jewellery is not costume jewellery. Many pieces I note as heirloom quality, so my target is the woman who won’t compromise on quality. She knows she is worth more than coloured plastics and questionable metals. I tag some of my Instagram pieces with ‘wear the real thing.”
Do you always design or handpick each piece in person?
“Yes, it’s what I’ve come to be known for with my clients. I am meticulous about details and the cut of the stones. I have a good knowledge of stones and I keep abreast of trends. From the quality craftsmanship to the cut and clarity of the stones, nothing is overlooked.”
Is it hard to translate the fine detail and quality to the online market now that you’re showcasing these handpicked pieces on the Internet?
“I wanted my shop to reflect Chakraas’ philosophy and showcase the way in which each one of our jewels is handpicked with careful attention to detail. I display each piece in a unique way, and I have a mix of trendy, lower priced items as well as the more classic, ornate pieces.”
What’s your ultimate mission with this jewelry?
“My desire is to provide that finishing touch that takes a woman from merely well-dressed to something truly spectacular. I also wanted to give back, so that’s why my company mandate is that a portion of every sale goes to women and children in need.”
What are your future goals for Chakraas’ charitable aims?
“I want to continue to expand, working on bigger projects, but I also want to able to see all Chakraas’ contributions going directly to the people who need them – so that causes and lives are instantly and directly benefited from what we have to give.”