Our recent trip to Kutch was a lot different than our previous trips.
How? When we first went to Kutch, we had no clue of whom to meet and where. How to start the conversation and how to convince them. We were literally scared but motivated.
We first and foremost had visited Khamir. We loved their work and would have loved to keep their products on our site which was then not even live. But we still went there and meet Mr. Ghatit. We tell them about our long term plans on water harvesting and food security and how handloom e-Commerce will be the means to achieve this.
We are not sure what he felt then but he generously shared a list of 300 artisans engaged in different arts. We were amazed and still clueless. So Ghatitjee patiently shortlisted medium size artisans who might give products on consignment. We were there for 6 days. We would pick one village and call all the relevant artisans in that village. Kutch being Kutch, everyone without any reference would still invite us to their homes. We would sit and talk for hours. Sometimes we got products on consignment and sometimes just a long lasting friendship. But it was all worth. It gave us such confidence in our motives and initiatives.
We made 3 trips in 5 months from November to April. Then in May 2016 we decided to stop consignment business and start purchasing. It has 2 benefits we could buy products we like for our store and there were no apprehensions amongst the artisans of stocks being blocked for few months and losing the opportunity.
We made trips to several other regions. We started knowing several artisans from different regions. Though, we kept meeting new artisans from Kutch at exhibitions.
So when we made a trip to Kutch during 5th-9th of August'17 it something else. We met so many artisans. With many, we are now friends. We sat for hours and talked but did not talk about business. And the most beautiful part of this journey is we started with Kutch for consignment work and after 1.5 years we went there to make purchases and develop our own designs. It's a long journey, though, in a very short time. We are so proud that so many artisans support us and believe in us. Thank you all the buyers, artisans, NGOs, and people for sharing interesting information. We hope to connect with more and more people.