“To get to where I am, you have to go back to where I came from.”
For designer Stella Simona, Haati Chai has been a narration of her heritage, culture, and her journey to self discovery. As the daughter of East Indian immigrants, Stella realized at a young age that her background was unique. Being Bangladeshi and American, she constantly felt caught between both her worlds. Although Stella lived in the US for her entire life, she was constantly connected to her native roots by her grandmother, Annie. Her grandmother travelled back to Bangladesh and India regularly, and brought Stella pieces of their heritage to hold dear forever. Eventually, Stella illustrated her own designs and gave them to her Grandmother who would help bring them to life. Through this intimate project they shared, Annie and Stella taught each other how to embrace both their worlds together. From here, the essence of Haati Chai was born, the connection of people from all walks of life, stemming from a single design.
Haati Chai was established in 2011 from designer Stella Simona’s desire to fill a void for heirloom jewelry.
Inspired by a woman’s beauty and form, her designs incorporate hints of East meets West and pays homage to the past while constantly looking forward. The Haati Chai woman is the epitome of a muse. To her a woman is most beautiful when she is comfortable in her own skin. She lives her life indulging in her passions and self discovery - through travels, philanthropy, and romance. She is always effortlessly accessorized and makes every moment matter by telling her journey and story in her style. Each piece is designed to play a symbolic role in the wearer’s life— everyday heirlooms to be passed down between generations, carrying on the stories of those it has touched. Haati Chai’s influence from different cultures and moments in history is reflected in its design down to the naming of the pieces. Apart from the jewelry, Haati Chai places great importance on partnering with different organizations to consciously shed light on issues close to the designer’s heart.
In 2014, the line was rebirthed, as Ali Heiss and Stella Simona became partners and joined forces while working on a Haati Chai x Amarilo Capsule collection. They immediately realized their mutual affinity for design, art, beauty, and more importantly, serving a bigger purpose.