Our journey started during the pandemic, when we were approached by an NGO to provide livelihood-training to 40 women from an urban slum in Delhi. In the search for a skillset that could both: be rapidly adopted by the ladies and be valued in the market; we chanced upon crochet.
At a time when the world around us was crumbling, we gained solace in craft, community and camaraderie. Our group of 40 women would get together for the training program to practice crochet, macrame and knitting and we’d fill the room with laughter and gupshup over garam chai. Us women, through our collective strength and compassion leaned on each other during the pandemic and made something beautiful - products that people loved!
We tested the market through exhibitions and instagram sales and got glorious responses. As the formal training ended, the women were declared equipped to design, make and sell their products in the market. This group is now organized as a Self-Help-Group equipped to earn and save, and we came to call ourselves Kalaa Sakhis, literally ‘friends of craft’.
As the training program ended, the Kalaa Sakhis had to leave their homes to sell their products to wholesalers and at exhibitions. The opportunity cost of leaving their children coupled with wholesalers undercutting their prices left them finding it hard to sustain their newly acquired occupation.
The Kalaa Store (rebranded), was born on the belief that differentiated design is the link between the discerning, conscious consumer and the true value of Kalaa Sakhi’s handicraft.
We are on a mission to ensure every Kalaa Sakhi can continue creating magic from the comfort of her home, and has a platform to get her asking price for her creations. In doing so, we hope to add a flair to the spring season in India, with our collection of crochet designs