PSQUARE - When one plus one makes more than two: How special sisters are mixing the past and the present to novel effect.


Priya and Priyanka are twins from Dhaliara, a village in the Kangra district of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Himachal—meaning ‘abode of snow’ in Sanskrit—lies in one of the northernmost parts of India, bordered by Punjab, Kashmir, and Tibet to the east. The Kangra valley has a rich and tumultuous history, and is a region famous not only for its natural beauty, hill stations, and tea plantations, but also, with its numerous shrines and temples—many of outstanding architectural detail—as a land of pilgrimage, infused with ritual and mysticism. Himachal has a rich heritage of handicrafts, from textiles, jewelry, and woodwork, to household utensils and paintings. While demand for many of these goods withered with the advent of machine manufacture, demand is now increasing again, both in India, and beyond.

priya3

It is in this environment—an artist’s nirvana, with its layered hills, jagged mountain contours, atmospheric mists, and breathtaking color—that Priya and Priyanka grew up with a shared passion for beautiful jewelry and accessories and a deep-rooted respect for traditional craftsmanship. “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together becomes reality" is Priyanka’s line, and it has driven everything the sisters have done. There is a tangible glamour to their dream. Both women have worked tirelessly, at different stages of their lives and with differing commitments, to make their dream come true, not easy given the remoteness of where they come from, and the sorts of challenges they have faced along the way. Theirs is a journey that has led them from a small village in the Himalayas to a studio in Mumbai, with reaches far beyond the Indian subcontinent.

How does such a journey unfold? Both girls are passionate about design. Priyanka graduated from NIFT, India’s foremost design school, while Priya’s career as a flight attendant enabled her to spend a few years globetrotting, which exposed her to a diversity of tastes. The sisters would collaborate however they could on any artistic project, from designing their own couture wardrobe to customizing clothes and accessories for friends. When they could not be together, they would email each other designs and colors. Once Priya got married, the sisters finally had the opportunity to share a studio, where they were able to hold their first jewelry showing, obtain their first order, and along with it, the confidence needed to push on with new designs and production. Their order book has grown from there.

Today, Priya and Priyanka reside with their extended family of aunts and uncles in Mumbai, so the tradition is one that is truly lived on a day-to-day basis as well as being perpetuated through their business. Their aim is to promote traditional Indian hand embroidery in a way that resonates with contemporary tastes and audiences irrespective of geography. Their handcrafted jewelry includes Indian embroidery styles such as aari, zardozi and patwa, with stones and crystals on fabric. They are proud of the fact that there are no machines involved at any stage of the production process. They work with artisans skilled in the basic elements of jewelry crafting. Critical is the fact that they do more than provide a job; they also support their artisans by providing education and basic healthcare. In doing so, they are honoring their heritage.   

priya4

The names Priya and Priyanka mean ‘beloved’ in Sanskrit. Both sisters share a love of fashion, finding it a perfect channel through which to express their passion and creativity. The P Square tagline ‘From our hand to your heart’ is very much a representation of the soul of the business. Priya and Priyanka are equally committed to the goal of touching people–touching their hearts–through the medium of their jewelry.

priya5

The uniqueness of their products reflects an unconventional melding of inspirations. What is it that their Indian heritage brings specifically to the mix? Surprisingly, innovation. The twins are heavily influenced by nature, acknowledging their debt to a region rich in beauty, lush with the jewel-like colors of the changing seasons, the intense green expanses of the tea estates, the intricate carvings of the world-famous rock cut temples. But they are equally influenced by contemporary trends in fashion and communication. It is this fusing of past and present, innovation and tradition, ancient techniques and modern vision, that has enabled them to create something distinctive, rooted in the history of their region, deeply respectful of the heritage that informs their creativity.

It is natural to assume that being twins must have added something even more profound and intangible to their undertaking. As with any team, they both bring respective strengths to the design and production process, but as twins, they have a unique connection and acute sensitivity to each other’s sensibilities. While for the time being their business is conducted online, they do have longer-term plans to open a store. Their shared goal is to establish P Square as an international, fashion accessories label: created with love, motivated by the idea of sharing something treasured and inspiring for a lifetime.  

Priya and Priyanka are twins from Dhaliara, a village in the Kangra district of the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. Himachal—meaning ‘abode of snow’ in Sanskrit—lies in one of the northernmost parts of India, bordered by Punjab, Kashmir, and Tibet to the east. The Kangra valley has a rich and tumultuous history, and is a region famous not only for its natural beauty, hill stations, and tea plantations, but also, with its numerous shrines and temples—many of outstanding architectural detail—as a land of pilgrimage, infused with ritual and mysticism. Himachal has a rich heritage of handicrafts, from textiles, jewelry, and woodwork, to household utensils and paintings. While demand for many of these goods withered with the advent of machine manufacture, demand is now increasing again, both in India, and beyond.

It is in this environment—an artist’s nirvana, with its layered hills, jagged mountain contours, atmospheric mists, and breathtaking color—that Priya and Priyaka grew up with a shared passion for beautiful jewelry and accessories and a deep-rooted respect for traditional craftsmanship. “A dream you dream alone is only a dream. A dream you dream together becomes reality" is Priyanka’s line, and it has driven everything the sisters have done. There is a tangible glamour to their dream. Both women have worked tirelessly, at different stages of their lives and with differing commitments, to make their dream come true, not easy given the remoteness of where they come from, and the sorts of challenges they have faced along the way. Theirs is a journey that has led them from a small village in the Himalayas to a studio in Mumbai, with reaches far beyond the Indian subcontinent.

How does such a journey unfold? Both girls are passionate about design. Priyanka graduated from NIFT, India’s foremost design school, while Priya’s career as a flight attendant enabled her to spend a few years globetrotting, which exposed her to a diversity of tastes. The sisters would collaborate however they could on any artistic project, from designing their own couture wardrobe to customizing clothes and accessories for friends. When they could not be together, they would email each other designs and colors. Once Priya got married, the sisters finally had the opportunity to share a studio, where they were able to hold their first jewelry showing, obtain their first order, and along with it, the confidence needed to push on with new designs and production. Their order book has grown from there.

Today, Priya and Priyanka reside with their extended family of aunts and uncles in Mumbai, so the tradition is one that is truly lived on a day-to-day basis as well as being perpetuated through their business. Their aim is to promote traditional Indian hand embroidery in a way that resonates with contemporary tastes and audiences irrespective of geography. Their handcrafted jewelry includes Indian embroidery styles such as aari, zardozi and patwa, with stones and crystals on fabric. They are proud of the fact that there are no machines involved at any stage of the production process. They work with artisans skilled in the basic elements of jewelry crafting. Critical is the fact that they do more than provide a job; they also support their artisans by providing education and basic healthcare. In doing so, they are honoring their heritage.   

The names Priya and Priyanka mean ‘beloved’ in Sanskrit. Both sisters share a love of fashion, finding it a perfect channel through which to express their passion and creativity. The P Square tagline ‘From our hand to your heart’ is very much a representation of the soul of the business. Priya and Priyanka are equally committed to the goal of touching people–touching their hearts–through the medium of their jewelry.

The uniqueness of their products reflects an unconventional melding of inspirations. What is it that their Indian heritage brings specifically to the mix? Surprisingly, innovation. The twins are heavily influenced by nature, acknowledging their debt to a region rich in beauty, lush with the jewel-like colors of the changing seasons, the intense green expanses of the tea estates, the intricate carvings of the world-famous rock cut temples. But they are equally influenced by contemporary trends in fashion and communication. It is this fusing of past and present, innovation and tradition, ancient techniques and modern vision, that has enabled them to create something distinctive, rooted in the history of their region, deeply respectful of the heritage that informs their creativity.

It is natural to assume that being twins must have added something even more profound and intangible to their undertaking. As with any team, they both bring respective strengths to the design and production process, but as twins, they have a unique connection and acute sensitivity to each other’s sensibilities. While for the time being their business is conducted online, they do have longer-term plans to open a store. Their shared goal is to establish P Square as an international, fashion accessories label: created with love, motivated by the idea of sharing something treasured and inspiring for a lifetime.  

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