Namita holds her scarf high, carefully inspecting her handiwork. Each earth-tone stripe tells a part of Namita’s story.
The daughter of a skilled weaver and married to a master weaver, she is part of an artisan legacy.
Raised in a culture where women are rarely encouraged to pursue any identity beyond cooking and household chores, many women in India never have the opportunity to explore their unique gifts and abilities. But Namita’s father encouraged her to nurture her artistic talents and shared his knowledge of weaving with her.
Like the stripes in her scarf, Namita’s story has many layers.
Namita learned the art of weaving from her father. Later, when her husband experienced a high demand for his woven craftsmanship, Namita wanted to help. Working alongside her husband, she learned the business of weaving. Namita has earned a reputation of her own, both as a skilled artisan and as a business woman.
“I get a lot of respect from the community as I am able to contribute to the family income.”
Namita’s self-esteem has also grown through her work as an artisan. Saving money for her children’s education and future marriages is the hope of most mothers in India. Namita’s work as an artisan has allowed her to realize this dream and invest in the futures of her two children. She has also been able to provide a sense of security for her family by saving part of her income for an emergency fund. This is quite an accomplishment in a country that is home to almost one-fourth of the world’s population considered to be living in poverty.*
Weaving is more than a source of income for Namita. She enjoys exploring and expressing her creativity. As Namita begins her day with household chores, she looks forward to her weaving time. It gives her an opportunity to use her artistic talents to create beautiful woven works of art.
“I get immersed in the world of weaving.”
Both beautiful and timely, her weaving skills bring her a sense of satisfaction each time she completes a skillfully crafted scarf on time. She also enjoys opportunities to challenge herself and experiment with new designs. Namita shares one of her greatest sources of inspiration, “…the satisfaction I get from completing orders on time or being able to conceive a new design on the loom.”
Both beautiful and timely, her weaving skills bring her a sense of satisfaction each time she completes a skillfully crafted scarf on time.
Namita carefully folds her completed Sand Dune Scarf. It has met her approval. She looks forward to starting her next creation and immersing herself once again into the world of weaving. She looks forward to the satisfaction of completing another beautiful scarf.
Namita also looks forward to the security her family will feel when there is an emergency because she knows they will be financially prepared. She looks forward to the greater opportunities her children will enjoy because they can afford an education. She looks forward to celebrating her children’s weddings, because their mother has carefully saved and invested in their future joy.
The respect Namita earns as a Trades of Hope artisan boosts her self-esteem which fuels her self-expression and deepens her satisfaction with her craftsmanship. Woven together, these layers of Namita’s story create a unique and beautiful pattern of hope.