A bunch of women entrepreneurs are reviving the love for Indian craftsmanship while empowering more women along the way. Some are redefining wellbeing and home aesthetics too. They are shepherding brands that are directly or indirectly supporting handcrafting communities and spotlighting traditional art forms. These trailblazing brands are associated with Amazon Saheli and Amazon Karigar, programs designed to support female entrepreneurs and artisans. These women-led brands are not just selling differentiated products but also creating grassroot level impact. Read on.
Repurposing used textiles and plastics with traditional Indian techniques.
Sirohi Furniture, led by Gauri Malik, blends sustainability and artisan empowerment with design innovation. This home décor and furnishing brand works closely with women artisans from underprivileged communities, training them to repurpose used textiles and plastics using traditional Indian techniques.
“From home décor, gifting, furniture and seating, each product tells a compelling story inspired by nature and India’s cultural heritage. Our innovative tech-based approach ensures our products are of the highest quality and are globally competitive,” says Malik.
However, Sirohi did face challenges, especially in maintaining consistency and meeting timelines during peak shopping seasons. Malik addressed these partly by centralising raw materials and and decentralising quality checks by trained master artisans. Post-pandemic, Sirohi’s shipping costs were reduced by designing collapsible or DIY products and reducing package size. Since joining Amazon Saheli, Sirohi has witnessed a commendable surge with 10-15 orders per day. The program has helped Sirohi with cataloguing and improved product listings.
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“Amazon is the lone e-commerce platform that not only enables business establishment but also facilitates seamless scalability."
Astitva Homes is a testament to resilience, adaptability, and the pursuit of dreams. Founder Minal Pareek’s journey, veering from engineering to architecture and planning, found its true calling in design and creativity.
Astitva Homes’ collection includes table linens, table runners, tablecloths, and coasters. “I feel design is my USP and they make our brand unique. I am inspired by the vibrant and celebratory spirit of Indian culture; so, celebration is the key concept behind my designs,” says Pareek.
However, the association with the Amazon Saheli program was a game-changer for Astitva Homes, as it helped tackle challenges in production planning and scaling. “Amazon is the lone e-commerce platform that not only enables business establishment but also facilitates seamless scalability. With a dedicated account manager and a supportive Amazon team guiding at every step, Astitva Homes stands today as a shining example of how passion, creativity, and strategic partnership can pave the way for success in the competitive world of e-commerce,” says Pareek.
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100% handmade products by 5,000 women artisans
Founded by Geetanjali Gupta, Geetanjali Crafts has a 25-year legacy of specially curated handicrafts, handloom, wedding accessories, and more. In 2019, the brand embarked on a global journey with Amazon with 40 curated products. Since then, under the name OneStoreIndia, it has expanded its product line to 4,000 stock-keeping units (SKU).
“What sets Geetanjali Crafts apart is not just the extensive range of products, but also our unwavering dedication to female empowerment. All our products are 100% handmade by a team of 5,000 skilled women artisans from Delhi. The uniqueness lies is in our products’ distinctive design aesthetics, craftsmanship quality, use of sustainable materials, and a compelling story behind the creation process,” says Gupta.
Amazon's Karigar program has played a pivotal role in supporting the growth of Geetanjali Crafts on the Amazon platform. The association has not only broadened the brand's reach but also provided a platform for female artisans to showcase their skills and contribute to the success of the business. The brand's participation in Amazon's Prime Day 2023 has been particularly noteworthy, with sales soaring threefold during this period.
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DIY kits to help kids learn about Indian culture
Art Bunker, a brainchild of Pooja Ratnakar, is on a mission to kindle a profound appreciation for India's cultural heritage among children through their unique Potli DIY kits. These kits take children on an adventure, immersing them in the wonders of India's diverse traditions, arts and crafts.
A standout feature of the brand is its commitment to fair trade, as exemplified by its membership in the Fair-Trade Forum – India. “Potli not only bridges the gap between learning about India's cultural heritage while having fun but also contributes to sustaining artisan communities,” says Ratnakar.
Amazon's Karigar program proved instrumental for Art Bunker in overcoming obstacles such as marketing and scaling up of handmade products, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. “The Potli DIY kits have reached over 150,000 young learners and helped more than 150 artisans. Amazon's Karigar platform has played a crucial role in facilitating this outreach and growth,” Pooja adds. Art Bunker plans to expand the range of DIY kits, explore new themes, and continue reaching young learners globally.
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An all-natural multivitamins maker that’s also championing gender diversity
Rahee Ambani, a London School of Economics alumna, identified a significant gap in addressing the nutrition deficiencies in India while conducting research on health and nutrition. Driven by a passion for health equity, she founded Terravtia, a health supplement brand. Collaborating with top ingredient suppliers, scientists and manufacturers, Terravita offers products featuring globally sourced patented powders.
“What makes Terravita truly unique is not just our commitment to premium quality, but also our dedication to empowering women across the entire value chain. With a team comprising 60% women, spanning roles from scientists to graphic designers and logistics specialists, we are championing gender diversity at every step,” says Ambani.
Ambani says the Amazon Saheli team havs emerged as a pivotal ally in overcoming production, marketing and scaling up challenges common to the health and nutrition space. She praises Amazon’s ease, efficiency and straightforward processes that enhance product visibility and customer accessibility across the country.
“Amazon has been phenomenal in helping Terravita grow from day one. It’s so easy and systemic. We don’t need huge business investment, like staff constantly attending to small problems,” she says.
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