Learning Story – Pallavi
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves”.
That’s how my life changed after leaving my corporate job to embrace motherhood and raising my two children. During this phase, I tried my hands at things that I like the most.
I revisited my hobbies of gardening and designing, which resulted in the creation of my own venture. I believe that there is room for recycling the fabric waste to a new and innovative product. I follow the same principle in my work too. I put effort to design materials, art pieces, trays, coasters, and other stuff out of the waste fabric rather than throwing them into the landfills. Creating something sustainable and zero waste is my way of giving respect to the hardworking weavers and our earth. This also gave me the opportunity to promote handlooms and encourage the weavers in my home state, Odisha.
I started working with few local weavers in western Odisha and I found that their craftsmanship is highly undervalued. They work in a very challenging environment and get very little of the actual selling price in the market. This is because they are not connected to the market, which puts the whole control in the hands of the brands or the designers. Besides, for small scale entrepreneurs, one of the biggest roadblocks is the inability to tap the mass market. I try to market my products through word of mouth reference and by using social media networks, but I feel it is not enough for a sustainable business model.
One thing that I have observed in the past few years is that people embrace handmade and handcrafted products. This is what keeps me motivated to push my boundaries for myself and my weaver friends. I am also sharing a picture of one of the weavers I work with. He works only during the day time as he doesn’t have electricity at his home. Despite facing several challenges, his work is as good as any renowned weaver.
PS: If you are looking for a personal gift, handcrafted with love, maybe drop by at @pallavi__m_ and choose a handmade saree for your lovely ladies.
Pallavi is a Delhi-based businesswoman and sustainability practitioner. You can reach out to her and see her work on her Instagram handle.
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