Texas – Rajasthan, India is known for its vast deserts and startling architecture. Cities, palaces, and forts are etched in the history of the land; and the strong structural background of the land infiltrates everyone that calls it their home. Growing up, our family would travel back to Rajasthan to visit our ancestral residence, known as a “Haveli”. It has stood for over 200 hundred years and seen the birthing of our father, his father and the rest of our paternal ancestors. The Haveli has stood through a number of different rulers and eras, and captures the rich history and cultural traditions of India. It is a place enchanted by history, mysticism and beauty. Most stunning were the frescos that lined the open-air courtyard in the center of the grand house. As children, our grandfather would recount tales of ancient Indian mythology that were painted in the frescoes dotting the meticulously detailed archways that connected one edifice to another. Each edifice was carved with the most skilled hand; to tell stories of long ago. The carvings were adorned with inlaid stones; and it seemed the jewelers truly did the detailing in the building. Those trips to India created a foundation of appreciation for minute details, beautiful stones, handwork and curved lines. We learned that together, those elements told a story in themselves. Some 15 years later, after a long trip through India, we came together from opposite ends of the country to create ILA in hopes of capturing a part of our family’s heritage that we saw and imagined together.
Ila Sodhani has the eye and flair for style. She grew up close to her mother, an F.I.T. graduate, and was wrapped in textiles and jewelry from a very young age. Ila spent 8 years designing high-end diamond jewelry with her mother and father, whose roots in jewelry trace back to India. Vikas Sodhani, has the eye for form and design. His fascination with design started at MIT where he studied engineering. After MIT it wasn’t long before Vikas left engineering and headed to India where he spent a year training in Indian design houses and hand fabrication shops.