One x One is an inspirational interview series that tells the stories of the bold and daring individuals creating a beautiful world. Much like our jewelry, this series is designed to bring attention and awareness to amazing women and the contributions they make on this world. One by one, they inspire us all to live our best life.
Priya Verma is a transactional entertainment talent lawyer who represents writers, producers, filmmakers, actors and comedians in film, television and new media. A graduate of the University of Southern California and Southwestern Law School, she became the youngest partner at Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Rubenstein Kohner Endlich and Gellman in 2017. In addition to her legal work, Priya is actively involved as a mentor for The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Mentorship Program. Priya is also featured in “The Hollywood Reporter’s Next Gen 2019: 35 under 35” issue.
Describe Yourself In One Word.
Tell me about a beautiful experience you had recently.
I recently took an evening for myself to recalibrate and reflect. I drove out to Point Dume, sat on the beach and watched the sunset. With life being as busy as it is, it’s easy to feel like you’re losing your footing at times. It is nice to find moments to be present and get grounded.
Can you think of an early experience or person that helped shape your life? What was it that made this so meaningful to you?
Awhile back, I had a very difficult personal experience, well two of them, simultaneously. It was a tough time but also a pivotal moment for me and has really shaped who I am today. I realized that I had to take control of my life, and I embraced it as a journey into figuring out who I was and what I wanted. I’ve shed a lot of layers in the last few years.
How do you experience joy in your work? Can you tell me about a recent time that work was really fun?
I chose to work in an industry/profession that I am passionate about. If you love what you do and really give it your all with a strong intention, everything else will line up accordingly. Of course, there are days where I feel extremely stressed, overwhelmed and not as steady, but that’s life, and I am grateful that I love what I do. I really do enjoy going into work every day!
What about a time that it was really a struggle? How did you overcome the struggle?
There are many struggles that come in different forms and at different times. I would say work/life balance is something I’m constantly trying to find. However, I don’t see it as something to overcome. It’s something to just accept. Achieving the goals we want is not going to come easily and it requires prioritizing certain things over others. It shouldn’t be easy. It is more about being aware that there will be days where you know you have your shit together, and days where you will feel lost. It is a process. I just try to remember to find moments to take a step back and pat myself on the back for what I’ve accomplished thus far. I have a great group of people in my life who remind me to do that.
I know contribution and giving back are so important to you. How do you choose to give back?
By mentoring young women.
I was a mentor for The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in Entertainment Program. It involves not just the personal mentorship, but also guiding these amazing women through the entire college admission process. For many of the mentees, attending college is something they never thought possible. My mentee, Yessenia, is an extraordinary individual with an incredible story. She is now attending UCLA on a scholarship and we’re still very much connected. I also love volunteering with animals!
What drew you to this?
I’ve always been involved to some level in giving back and volunteering. I try to incorporate it into my travels as well. It’s a way to connect with other people with different backgrounds and experiences. Not only do you help others, you learn from the people you meet, and you grow as an individual.
Let’s talk about power. For me, jewelry has a way of making me feel powerful and radiant. I love seeing my clients awaken to their beauty when they try on pieces for the first time. Obviously, jewelry just illuminates the power that already exists in each woman. How do you define an empowered woman?
A woman who is in control of her life. Life doesn’t happen to her. She happens to life! She’s a woman who embraces her strengths, weakness, and insecurities (we all have them). She has a strong character, is ambitious, independent, classy, and kind. An empowered woman is inspirational.
Speaking from your life’s experience, what advice can you give to others?
In order to reach great heights, you have to be willing to sacrifice and suffer a bit. I know that sounds intense, but I truly believe that in order to really know who you are as a person and have the life you want, you have to be open to challenges and work through them with conviction. It makes you stronger and gives you a clear picture of who you are and what you want for yourself. You also have to be willing to accept that no one can do this…meaning life…on one’s own. So, surround yourself with people who are like-minded and share the same core values as you. We all need that support. Last, but certainly not least, don’t take yourself or life too seriously. Life is supposed to be an adventure, so be yourself, unapologetically, and have fun with it!
What is a true luxury to you?
Being absolutely present in a moment.
It began with my Mom! I started buying more day to night jewelry and now I am gravitating towards bolder pieces. Whatever I end up buying always makes me feel like a badass. You know the feeling as soon as you put a piece on.
Do you have any favorite pieces?
The citrine One Collection ring and earrings with the diamond halo.
And, how do your Bhansali pieces make you feel?
Elegant and powerful.
Interviewed By: Anar Bhansali
Photographed By: Lea Rossi