Total loan: $10,000


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Naperville, IL, United States / Retail

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A loan helped me to support women artisans in India to continue their handmade traditional crafts with dignity.

Manvee's story

I relocated to the United States from Mumbai, India, to start a family and for love; I was a newlywed moving lock, stock, and barrel to a country I had never seen or visited. Coming from a different culture and settling in a foreign country as an immigrant was difficult. With a formal education in Fine Arts from Mumbai University in India, I had previously worked with folk and tribal artist communities in rural India to gain a thorough understanding of indigenous arts and crafts. As an art student, I'd met several inspiring craftspeople and artisan groups with rich and diverse traditional practices. After several years of moving around Chicago with my husband for his work, including Australia, and starting a family, I decided to reconnect with the artisan groups and work with them again. It was something I was passionate about, and it tied me back to my birthplace. My husband and I were both invested in growing and supporting talented women's home-based artisan groups so that they could showcase their traditional crafts and become independent craftpreneurs to support their dreams and families. We were fascinated by how each product had a story to tell, and if you listen carefully enough, it will tell you about the hands that held and crafted it with soul and love. Instead of closing shop in 2020, it provided me with the opportunity to rethink and rebrand my business, as well as collaborate with select artisan groups to curate a collection of beautiful things for the home—products that are simple, enjoyable, and responsible. The pandemic demonstrated how we are all interconnected, and how quickly life can change. Many artisans' industries around the world have been severely impacted. I hope we can gradually but steadily rebuild this community.