Kankana Handmade

By Kilana Chohan

“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. This saying by Confucius rings true in my life. I am fortunate to be able to do what I love every day.

From as far back as I can remember, I have diligently ‘saved’ every little pretty piece of string, bead, fabric, card, in fact, anything I could find in which I saw the potential to become something beautiful As a child, being creative with anything I could get my hands on brought me joy. This joy was further motivated by my family and friends, whose delight in receiving a handmade gift was reflected on their faces.

Over the years, I continued to make handmade jewellery that I wore. This sparked a lot of interest from people around me. It was during the Covid-19 lockdown in 2020, that I used my time to develop my passion further, creating the Kankana brand. The name “Kankana ” comes from a Gujarati word meaning bracelet. The “Keri” shaped symbol in the logo is in keeping with this traditional theme. It is an Asian design that has been used for hundreds of years. Much of my background and creativity has  stemmed from the gorgeous and vibrant colours and designs seen throughout my Gujarati heritage and I aim to keep this spirited and passionate nature alive in my designs, whilst intertwining it with my visions, simplicity, and chosen palettes

During this time, I established not only the brand but also set up an Instagram page where I advertised my products. The responses to my hand (and heart!) made pieces have been inspiring (more than I could have ever imagined!) and I now have my website where people can view and order Kankana products. I have also been privileged to supply a few small shops with wholesale orders of Kankana products!

In a bid to remain environmentally friendly and sustainable, I use natural or recyclable material wherever possible. All the gemstones used are authentic; I am particularly drawn towards the complimenting tones, colours, and shapes I see in the natural environment. Kankana has also sparked my interest in photography and videography. I have enjoyed creating my content through images and videos mostly in my garden! 

Kankana is involved in supporting various animal rescue initiatives. Some pieces have been designed with this in mind, such as the Paw Print range. 20% of the proceeds from this range go towards the “Dogs Deserve Better” rehabilitation centre and Kankana also supports animals through a foster kitten programme. Supporting those who don’t have a voice is paramount through my business as I have been fortunate enough to reach so many people and communities through Kankana. In saying this, I also support the creative community of Zimbabwe by reselling Copper bracelets made by crafters who might otherwise not get the exposure they deserve. 

I am a firm believer in embracing the freedom of expression and this is why making custom orders is one of my favourite aspects of the business. I do not want clients to have to conform to the commercial jewellery umbrella – I try to create what they imagine and it is rewarding to see a satisfied client watch their dreams come true.

Oprah Winfrey said, “Your job is not just to do what society says, but to figure out what your heart calling is and to be led by that.”

I try to follow this myself and I would encourage others to follow their hearts and passions and do the same!

How people can order – DM the Instagram page @kankana_handmade or email info@kankana.co.za 


Website: kankana.co.za

Email: info@kankana.co.za

Instagram: @kankana_handmade

Facebook: Kankana Handmade Bespoke Jewellery

Tiktok: @kankanahandmade

Images by Kankana Handmade

Originally published in the 120th Ndeipi Magazine

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