Saathay is a young and growing company going back to its roots.
From a very early age having visited Gujarat on several occasions, I found myself being drawn to and fascinated by the wealth of traditional skills and techniques that were still being practised by the local villagers.
I have worked in Sales and Marketing in the UK for over a decade promoting and selling mass produced and throw away products, although making a good living, money alone was no longer reward enough. Like most people the fear of losing the security of a job prevented me from discovering other possibilities.
Then at the age of 32 I was faced with a life threatening illness which made me realise there had to be more to life then the daily grind. Having survived the trauma my previous fears of job security seemed trivial and the rewards I now searched for were about self worth, bringing out my own creative nature and giving back to society.
I realised the answer lay at my grass roots and I decided to travel back to India and explore the local arts and traditions of Kutch in Gujarat. I discovered that the work produced by the artisans represented beliefs and even told stories, and these traditions are passed down from generation to generation. The vibrant colours, detailed embroidery and rich mirror work seem to be an expression and celebration of the local villager’s content and happy nature, despite their humble and basic existence.
I wanted to share my discovery and draw the attention of the modern urban customer to the values of traditional arts and the creative expressions of these simple people, and in so doing, help keep their craft alive and give the artisans recognition and value they deserve.
During my trip I came across some local cooperatives and artisans and was impressed by the work they did and what they are trying to achieve. Encouraged by their visions and goals I formed Saathay.
We strongly believe that the uniqueness and authenticity of the handmade products that we bring to you represent the values, vision and purpose of the artisans.
Historically, handmade crafts are legacies of cultural traditions. We will look to work with artisans who aim to preserve the cultural heritage of Indian crafts.
Our mission is to provide artisans with the opportunity to expand beyond their local market while striving for the development of artisan communities and their environment.
We will concentrate on developing trusting relationships with the artisans in order to understand the skill and passion that goes into their craft and work together with them to select unique, beautiful and high quality handcrafted products to bring to you.
In India handicrafts continue to provide an important source of income, especially for women many of whom are the main breadwinners of their household. Through the work of our suppliers they can bring in regular incomes as well as recognition for their skills.