There is a house in a quiet village in India where women meet on average once per week. They gather to sort fabrics, quilt, patch, stitch, sew and most importantly, for fellowship. Some women live nearby, and some walk a mile or more to go there. They are a spirited bunch led by a spirited woman named Sushmita. At this house, with these women, we had our first face-to-face visit with our artisans.
I struggle to describe those first moments. Everyone was excited, and I’d say we all were acting uncomfortably proper. It was like we all were on our best behavior. It seemed that until we drank some tea and ate a bit of food all together did we all really settle in. Then, from there on out we were like old familiar friends meeting for the first time after ages had passed. They sat and quilted as we exchanged stories and talked business.
The women in this cooperative are very entrepreneurial! They showed us samples and prototypes of designs they had created. They were proud (and rightly so!) of their designs and creations. (That’s Sushmita on the left in the orange shirt!) It was remarkable to see them so engaged in the process and to genuinely be enjoying themselves in their work. I do believe that creation is one of the healing arts.
They are currently working on an order for us and it will include some brand-new products. Check out the handcrafted sari-bead jewelry below. These are pictures of the prototypes. The finished products are a little different, but you get the idea. We posted them on our Facebook page and got some good feedback that was used in the final design!
Over the next couple of months we’ll be receiving lots of new products that we found during our adventure in Southeast Asia last month. Stay tuned to the blog and sign up for our newsletter for more stories from our trip and new product announcements.
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