“What will I make today”? It’s a sign that hangs over my home office desk and reminds me to hop into creative activities when all the “real” work of business is completed.
For me “making” with my hands is a luxury, a way of getting in touch with myself, creating beauty and “developing myself”… when I can get the time.
Recently, on my last trip to India, I discovered an inspired creative collective of women, the Disha Shekawati, led by Amrita Chaudhary who had a completely different motivation for “making with their hands.”Amrita founded Disha Collective to allow women in her area of India, Sujangarch, to become financially independent through their skill in bandhani, a characteristic tie and dye process with textiles. These women had been abandoned with their children when their husbands left for greater economic opportunities elsewhere.
Amrita decided to work with the crafts women to build on their skills and knowledge and rejuvenated traditional crafts, thereby creating a sustainable lifestyle for the women and their children.
We met Amrita at the Dastkar market in Delhi. Dastkar is a society created in 1981 by 6 women to promote the survival of traditional crafts and hand skills in this era of technology.
At the time, when we met Amrita, we didn’t know the backstory, we just loved her shawls which we thought would be amazing as runners on our catering tables. When we found out what she had accomplished in leading women in her community out of poverty and into a sustainable livelihood through creating beautiful textiles, we were smitten.
Beauty in creation and making a living, making something of oneself and making something oneself…A lot to learn and we are inspired.
So inspired by Amrita and Disha’s story that we put in a large order and are excited to share the beautiful handicraft textiles on our soon to be launched The Storied Table e-commerce site.
As time goes on, we are looking forward to becoming more closely involved in the growth of Disha Shekawati and the amazing creative developments going forward.