Way back in 2009 we started a grassroot-based, social movement that was both inclusive and sustainable with no thought of immediate financial returns. It was about generating livelihood for a few economically-deprived rural women in Gaya (Bihar, India) — home to the legendary Gautama Buddha. The idea was to create everyday accessories using the one-needle yarn knitting art of crochet (derived from French ‘croc’ or ‘croche’, which means ‘small hook’). Our design blueprint was clear and minimal — to dish out products that are useable and cost-effective.
It has remained as humble and earthy as ever for over ten years, and we thank our Gaya and New Delhi team for inspiring us to keep it so. Over the years, our planning, training, co-ordination, collation, manufacturing and retail in turn has resulted in each woman in our network becoming self-reliant enough to earn her own buck and supporting her family financially. Now, apart from making them economically sound, we also try to up their personal confidence by providing them with basic training in English language-learning and Computer-handling in their free time. In fact, a few ladies, besides becoming skilled artisans, have been branching out into budding, local entrepreneurs, too. THIS reality for us is our ‘modest mission’ accomplished!
We are inspired by Nature and everyday items to narrate our design stories. Our team of rural women handcrafts multi-colour crochet yarns into interesting shapes. We use these elements (birds, animals, flowers, whorls, fruits, emojis, cords, tassels, laces and more) singularly or bunch them up to make utility products for women, kids, home, travel, and stationery. For instance, there can be a set of bird-and-wood earrings that do a tiny Indian jig; a long-winding, multi-colour neckpiece that can be wrapped at your neck or worn on your wrist; a gossamer-thin scarf with tiny floral ‘tikkis’ (whorls) suspended at its ends; a fabric-covered notebook with a dreamy cat lazing on it; a basket bag with geometric charm dangling merrily on it; a hair bun pin with a bunch of dainty flowers; a pair of hairclips with animated stars; and what have you. We also make these products topical (for Valentine, Holi, Hindu New Year Days, Raksha Bandhan, Ganesh Chaturthi, Durga Puja, Navrathri, Diwali, or Christmas).
Our tie-ups with leading Indian brands like Jaypore (https://www.jaypore.com/), FabIndia (https://www.fabindia.com/), GoodEarth (https://www.goodearth.in/) and Upasana (https://www.upasana.in/), and embassies in India (American, French, German) have churned out aesthetic and quality-centric products under their design specifications. This economically sustains and empowers our rural women artisans on a month-on-month basis.