Sona Home founder Priyanka Chopra Jonas would really like Americans to associate more than just paisley with India. While the teardrop-shaped motif—which AD editor Sydney Gore recently predicted is ripe for a comeback—is found on plenty of Indian textiles, its origins are Persian. What’s more, it was named by Europeans after a Scottish town that produced textiles. And above all perhaps, it is only a small fragment of what India has to offer when it comes to design
“India is so diverse,” Chopra Jonas tells AD. “I grew up in a timeless, luxurious India.” This is precisely what she has tried to convey with the menu and decor of her New York City restaurant, Sona, which she founded alongside her friend Maneesh K. Goyal. Not long after Sona opened in March of 2021, the pair had the idea to launch Sona Home, a line of dinnerware, table linens, barware, and other home accessories inspired by (and even lifted straight from) the Sona dining room.
“As soon as people would sit down, they would look down, smile, pick up the plate and turn it over. And they’d say, ‘Where’s this from? What is this plate?’” explains Goyal. The bone china was from William Edwards, a ceramics manufacturer located in Stoke-on-Trent, England, one of the most famous pottery destinations in the world. The green palm tree motif used on the plates at Sona had never been used outside of the U.K. before. “We ultimately partnered with them to launch Sona Home,” says Goyal.
To Chopra Jonas, who moved around India growing up, and Goyal, who was raised in Texas by Indian parents, the palm tree is emblematic of their beloved “Mother India” and its miles of coastline. Expect future Sona Home collections to lean into other motifs that Americans may not immediately associate with the peninsula, but that represent its diversity. If the decor of the Sona dining room is any indication, Mumbai’s art deco architecture is a contender, as are the palaces of Rajasthan.
One of those palaces, Umaid Bhawan, is where Chopra Jonas married Nick Jonas in 2018, and funnily enough, it was their cross-cultural union that led to the name Sona, which means gold in Hindi. “We were coming up with all these ideas and my husband goes, ‘Why not Sona?’” says Chopra Jonas. She knew he’d landed on something good, but first she had to ask him: “How do you know this word?” It turns out that around the time of their wedding, Jonas was picked out jewelry for his bride with his future mother-in-law, who told him, “Only diamonds for my daughter—no sona.” The memory stuck with the singer. “Now I know he’s always listening,” says Chopra Jonas.