Shibani Shinde-Patil

Curriculum Vitae Q&A with the founder of Ri Noor jewelry. Designed with the modern woman in mind, the curated collection of rings, bracelets, necklaces, and earrings offers attainable luxury that is designed to seamlessly integrate into the wearer's everyday life.

Astrological sign?
Leo

Lucky number?
9

Favorite color?
Green

Morning, Noon, or Night?
Morning

Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner?
Dinner

Football, Baseball, or Basketball?
Basketball (if soccer was an option that would be my pick)

Green Tea, Black Tea, or Herbal Tea?
Black Tea

Sugar, Splenda, or Stevia?
Sugar/Honey

Red, White, or Rosé?
Red

Spicy, Salty, or Sweet?
Salty

Sandwich, Soup, or Salad?
Soup

Cashmere, Silk, or Linen?
Silk

Black, white or color?
Black

Is your closet messy or neat?
Neat

What’s your favorite room in your home?
Our formal dining room in our new home in Houston, Texas. Half the walls in the room have floor to ceiling windows and it reminds me of our previous home in NYC, where every room was bright with similar windows and gorgeous views. I love having a lot of natural light and while I miss my previous spectacular views of the Hudson River and the Statue of Liberty, we enjoy looking out at the greenery and flowers in our garden. Meal times are very important in my family, and we host a lot as well, so we end up spending a lot of time there.

What do you collect?
I have always collected art and have fond memories going back to my childhood days looking for art with my parents. Rather than buy souvenirs during all our trips, we would buy art and our home is filled with paintings and sculptures from around the world, each one serving as a reminder of the good times we had during those trips. In additions to art, I also became a gem collector, starting way back, during my childhood trips with my parents. It continues to be a “problem” as I cannot resist acquiring a unique and beautiful natural gemstone.

Dream dinner guest?
It would have to be Elon Musk. He continues to be a source of inspiration for me. Like me and many others, he moved to the US to pursue his college/graduate education and has accomplished so much in a relatively short period of time, especially if you consider that he has disrupted so many old/legacy industries – automotive, transportation, space, and energy, all of which are significant contributions to the field of science, technology, and our daily lives.

Sunday ritual?
Making crepes and blueberry sauce from scratch with my 5-year-old. He is the best mixer and despite his tiny hands, he won’t stop until we get a perfectly lump free batter. The rest of the day is mostly family time and I usually try and make a nice elaborate dinner that the whole family enjoys, one that I don’t have time to put together during the busy work week.

Favorite flower?
Orchid

Favorite scent?
I am currently using The Revenge of Lady Blanche by Penhaligon’s but I am on the hunt for a new scent and so I will go with a home scent. For my home I have three favorites and hard to shortlist – Roja Parfums – London candle, Oh L’armore diffusers by Acqua Di Parma throughout the house and several Fornasetti candles.

Cheat meal?
Ramen noodles. I will try and feel less guilty by throwing in extra veggies.

Favorite place to escape to when you need a moment of respite?
I love to be on a nice beach and can think of nothing more relaxing. With two little ones – 5yrs and 3yrs, travel time is important, and we tend to escape to Miami quite often as it is a 2-hour flight and great food. If travel logistics and time were not an issue, we loved our trips to Bali, Hawaii, and Costa Rica.

Talent you’d like to have?
I tend to speak my mind and at times that leads to unfavorable outcomes. I would love to be able to “turn that off” more effectively in appropriate situations, especially in current times as there is growing intolerance to opposing viewpoints.

Quality you want to be remembered by?
I am a perfectionist and while that can be incredibly frustrating for my family and my team, they reap the benefits of that as well. I will do and give the best of anything within a given set of parameters.

Best thing about where you are from?
I grew up in India and came to the US for graduate studies, at this point though I have spent 50 percent of my life outside of India. Of note thought is a fact that not too many people are aware of – India has a hugely diverse population, with many subcultures, religions, languages, scripts, cuisines and even art forms and ways of dressing. I was fortunate to live in various cities during my time in India and then did the same in the US. This exposed me to so many different cultures and viewpoints and has shaped me in a way that I continue to seek diversity in all aspects of my life.

What does Considered Luxury mean to you?
Ri Noor jewelry is Considered Luxury and is meant for the discerning client who always opts for something precious, rare, yet timeless. Our clients are proud to wear our jewelry through everyday life and not just special occasions, understanding the quality and the painstaking craftsmanship that has gone into each product, and not to mention the hours spent searching for unique scintillating natural gems for the one-of-a-kind pieces. Our clients have choices, yet they opt for rare and unique luxury every time.

What was the inspiration behind starting your brand?
I have a graduate degree in finance and started and spent my entire career in the energy industry, in the Power Trading business unit. While I was always drawn to entrepreneurship, I didn’t consider it feasible for a complete jewelry outsider to be the founder of a jewelry brand, given that it has traditionally been a very closed and multigenerational type of business, creating significant barriers to entry for a newcomer. Unknown to me at the time, the foundation for starting my jewelry brand was laid almost 20 years prior, when my mother introduced me to a gemologist to foster my early interest in jewelry, whom I studied under for a few months, while getting my undergraduate degree in finance and business.

One of the main triggers for finally launching a jewelry business was receiving a pair of beautiful earrings with yellow diamond solitaires and white diamonds from my husband shortly after our son was born. This was something my husband had never done before because I preferred to buy and commission my own jewelry. The earrings were from one of the most famous and historic jewelry houses. I loved the earrings but was shocked when I learned what he paid for them. It was no wonder many people considered jewelry different from other luxury accessories like handbags, shoes, etc. and considering buying jewelry for loved ones or themselves as unattainable, ostentatious or reserved for special occasions. All the viewpoints I wish to help change and I set out to create something that balanced all aspects of price, wearability, luxury and quality. Ri Noor Jewelry is meant to be worn seamlessly from casual to formal occasions.

Ri Noor was launched a few months after my son was born – Ri is for my son, Rishi, and Noor is for light – he is the light of my life. The company name also references the historical Koh-I-Noor diamond, known for its spectacular beauty and size, and its meaning ‘mountain of light’.

We have since welcomed a daughter, Eva, and her arrival heralded the development and launch in 2021 of our new line Evaness by Ri Noor. I wanted to give Eva pieces of fine jewelry that she can wear as a young girl, grow with, and collect as she celebrates milestones in her life. Woven throughout the Evaness by Ri Noor line, therefore is the idea of the connection and collaboration between a mother and her daughter and other important relationships and mutual love for jewelry. The covid-19 pandemic played a significant role in the development of the brands ethos. The change in the pace of life during this period not only gave me the time to really focus on developing the concept and the designs but also highlighted how important our relationships are, our need for togetherness. Evaness by Ri Noor therefore reflects the idea of closeness, togetherness and cherishing the special and often fleeting moments with all our loved ones, and marking these events with treasured mementos, keeping them close, always.

Give three words that describe your brand?
Bold, Luxurious, Timeless