A Word With Coomi: Behind The Uncensored Collection | Coomi
19 Feb 2019

A Word With Coomi: Behind The Uncensored Collection



What emotion did you feel when you just read that word? If you are a woman, were you angered? Surprised? Does the term offend you? How about you, men? Did it make you uncomfortable? And if so, why?

As the youngest of three children growing up - and the only girl in my immediate family - I learned at an early age how to handle being around boys. I could throw a football better than most of my male friends and could shoot the crosshairs in a target that was 10 yards away using a 9mm handgun by the time I was thirteen. I was not to be messed around with and because of this, I was often called a bitch whenever I used my resources and abilities to the extent they were intended.

For men who do the same, they’re referred to as “confident” and “assertive,” and yet for women, there has historically been a negative connotation associated with these traits. In my lifetime, however, the term “bitch” has undergone a paradigm shift. It has become associated with women who show they’re not afraid to use their intellect, education, status, or power.

Coomi embraces this counterculture definition in her new UNCENSORED collection, using it to empower women. I recently sat down with COOMI to hear her own experiences with the word and where she feels women stand in today’s society.

Uncensored collection, $2,300-6,000. collection:uncensored

BP: “Coomi, your customers who know your brand or who “think” they know you might be surprised by some of the pieces in the Uncensored collection. How do you feel about showing people this lesser-known side of you?”

COOMI: “I think the people who really know me won’t think of it as a lesser-known side of my personality. They already know my back story and that I worked with men, as their boss, when I was in construction management. You see, I personally don’t think it’s a bad thing to be called a ‘bitch’ in today’s society because coming from the world I came from, and from the construction sites at which I worked, I took it as a compliment when the guys would call me that name. It’s very much a part of who I am because these men knew I could stand my ground with them. And I knew that when they called me that name it was because they were intimidated by me. Men in the ‘80s didn’t know how to deal with a woman boss, and these men especially didn’t because back then you didn’t see many women in the construction business. I was in my 30s at the time. I was young. But it didn’t anger me and it didn’t bother me. Honestly, I used to laugh about it. I thought it was fabulous because coming from India where at the time, women weren’t supposed to do what I was doing or be seen or heard, and yet here I was, a young woman running a team of male construction workers. My husband always said he was very proud of me for being a bitch.”

20K "Warrior," "Pussy Power," and "Bitch" diamond rings, $4,800. collection:uncensored

BP: “Tell us why you felt it was important to emphasize certain terms or symbols that might be seen as inappropriate in this collection.”

COOMI: “Oh, you know, as women we are always told we’re not supposed to do certain things because they’re not ‘ladylike’. That it’s ‘inappropriate’ to use the ‘F’ word or other swear words when we speak. Well, you know what? F*ck the people who think that way; I can say whatever I want. I don’t want to live my life on someone else’s terms or by what others deem as ‘appropriate’. I don’t care about being ‘ladylike’, and believe me, I know a lot of ‘ladylike’ women who would love to express themselves in an inappropriate manner and say the ‘F’ word. One of the primary shapes in this collection is that of a hand giving the middle finger. It was a natural symbol to use for this collection because I have given the finger to people over the course of my life more times than I could count.”

Sterling silver Uncensored collection pendants and ring, $300-700. collection:uncensored

BP: “You were often the only woman on any given project when you were working as a construction manager in the late 1970s and early 1980s. How do you feel the professional landscape has changed to help women progress in the last 40 years? And what do you think still needs to be done in order for women to be seen as equals in their own eyes as well as the eyes of others?”

COOMI: “You know, when I attended NYU to get my construction management degree, I was only one of two women in the class at the time, and eventually, the other woman dropped out, leaving me as the only one. But I finished. I stayed. And then fifteen years later I was in a meeting and there was a woman there who’d also attended NYU and gotten her degree in the same subject. It made me feel like change was happening. And it has. Big change. Now you see women managing construction sites like never before, which makes me really happy, and quite proud. I’m proud to see women fight for what they want and not be intimidated by men. It has to start there because if a woman is intimidated, she won’t survive in that world. There’s no way she can survive. Strong women can do this. Women still have a long way to go but teaching them to be strong has to happen at an early age. Unfortunately, we’re prone to bring up our sons and our daughters in different ways, and we have to change that. We need to make sure girls understand that they can be equal and be whatever they want to be. There are fields, to this day, we rarely if ever see women in. Girls need to be taught that they deserve equal rights, equal pay and that they can speak their minds in the same way men do.”

Sterling silver Uncensored collection pendants and bracelet, $300-700. collection:uncensored

BP: “Even though you raised two sons, you have a granddaughter now. Has this made you think differently about the future at all? What will you do to help empower her to become a strong female figure in today’s society?”

COOMI: “You know, before even my granddaughter came along, I received the gift of two ‘daughters’… my daughters-in-law, who in my eyes, are my daughters now. I’m so blessed to have these two women in my life and I love them like they are my own children. I see them as my children. So I’m trying to teach them, first, to be strong, and to be themselves and who they are, and to not be intimidated by a man even if that man is their husband. I tell them that their husband is their equal and that he is to walk beside them, that they are to walk side by side together in this life, so if I can teach them, then I feel confident that they will teach their own daughters the same lessons. But, to answer your question, I’m going to teach my granddaughter to be the biggest bitch in the world, because if a woman grows up strong, and she wants more in life, and fights for what she wants, she’ll likely be called a bitch anyway, so every girl should be empowered to be a bitch because that means people see her as someone who goes out and fights for what she wants.”

20K Uncensored collection, $2,300-16,000. collection:uncensored

BP: “How do you think younger generations will identify with the Uncensored collection in comparison to the typical COOMI collector?”

COOMI: “I definitely think it will resonate with the younger audience, especially once the silver pieces are available, but I have to tell you, the majority of the women who purchased the pieces (which, by the way, have sold out for now but will be replenished very soon) were my clients who were aged 60 or older! The pendants were a hit with these women who were largely in their 60s and 70s because they are at an age when they can remember not being able to express themselves in their younger years, which I feel is why these pieces have appealed to them so much. I was surprised because the generation I assumed would be shocked by the collection are the ones that absolutely went crazy for it. I even had requests for customizations for pieces. One woman wanted the “FOH” pendant to be bigger because she wanted people to be able to see it. Another wanted the “Bitch” pendant three times as big for the same reason: to flash in people’s faces! This is what I never expected. I did expect it to be the younger people who would be taken by it, and part of me thought that was going to be the audience I’d reach most, but it turns out it was the exact opposite. But just wait until you see the next pieces that are coming out over the next couple of weeks.”

Sterling silver Uncensored collection, $300-700. collection:uncensored

BP: “There are currently nine pieces in this capsule collection, do you see this being a collection that can be added to over time?”

COOMI: “Oh yes. We will absolutely be adding to this collection. It’s a really exciting collection and the pieces that are coming out in the next couple of weeks are going to cause even more excitement. We also have the silver versions coming out soon, which should appeal to both the younger audience as well as clients who maybe are new to the brand.”

Thank you, COOMI, for reminding me why I raise my daughter the way I do, and why it’s okay for her to play on the all-boys soccer squad, or wear pants instead of skirts to school, and why we let her take part in any activity in which she feels she can excel. I hope she grows up to be a bitch like her momma.



 20K Diamond "Bitch" Ring, $4,800. product:20k-diamond-bitch-ring

Sterling Silver "I Am" Pendant, $650. product:sterling-silver-i-am-pendant

20K "I Love Myself" Heart Pendant, $2,900. product:20k-i-love-myself-heart-pendant

Sterling Silver "Censored" Pendant, $450. product:sterling-silver-censored-pendant

20K "I Am" Diamond Pendant, $2,300. product:20k-i-am-diamond-pendant

Sterling Silver "Whatever" Ring, $480. product:sterling-silver-whatever-ring

20K "Whatever" Question Mark Pendant, $4,900. product:20k-whatever-question-mark-pendant

The Uncensored collection is available in 20K yellow gold and sterling silver. collection:uncensored


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