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Artisan Spotlight: India

Our brand was founded on the intention to be more than just a company. We sought to become a group of like-minded individuals that would always be on a mission to do good and to share our stories along the way. Such a mission could not be possible without the people behind our products. From our staff to our Curators to our artisans, we are real people who are living day-by-day to make our dreams reality.

Meet The Makers.
We regularly feature blog posts that highlight our team of Curators who represent our brand. We're excited to also shine the spotlight on our artisans to tell their stories about how their lives are being changed while working for a company that is opening doors they never dreamed possible.

Meet Kamla, Girija, and Kusum.

These women each were born and raised in India and have found their passion handcrafting jewelry from natural resources. The villages in which they live are small, about 60-120 families each, and most of the available work lies within the farming of their lands. These women decided to take the path less traveled and aspired to benefit their community in a different way than what was expected of them. While they each come from different backgrounds and have their own aspirations for themselves and their families, they all share a love for their neighbors and the opportunity to create better futures for generations to come.

Kamla is 40 years old (don’t worry, our artisans permitted us to reveal their ages!) and, along with her husband, has a gorgeous family of two children – her son, Rinku, and her daughter, Pinki. Rinku and Pinki love anything related to fúbol, a popular pastime in India, and have grown up with amazing, inspiring parents. They are Kamla’s first priority and she spends time with her family at every chance.

The value of equal opportunity between genders can be overlooked in some cultures. Kamla and her husband find it important to give equal opportunity to each member in their household. They made it a priority that both Rinku and Pinki attended all of their schooling and are overjoyed that both are now enrolled in college. These values are what is changing the communities in which we work for the better. Her and her husband’s dedication to ensuring their children have the building blocks needed to create their own prosperous lives is one of the many reasons Kamla perfectly embodies our mission.

Because we work directly with our artisan groups to craft and design new pieces, Kamla has been involved with much of that work. She loves working with metals and fabrics and recently designed a new piece for our collection that she and the rest of the team will be producing. She enjoys that our partnership allows her the freedom of creativity to design on her own, and is exceptionally proud when her pieces are chosen for her designs to become styles loved by customers.

As she continues to pursue her dreams as an artisan, she is also striving to one day purchase her own home. She’s excited about what her future holds and works diligently toward that future every day.

Girija is 27 years old and is loving life with her 10-year-old son, Atul. He loves math and has recently enrolled in an English class. Girija enjoys spending time with him as they play indoor games and puzzles, such as ludo, a strategy board game that’s similar to Parcheesi.

With the many amazing natural resources we use from India, Girija’s specialties include working with string, beads, and making metal jewelry. She excels at working efficiently and producing the highest quality of products (just one more reason that we love her). Girija also frequently finishes her projects ahead of schedule because she focuses so diligently on her work and is just so organized!

Within her village, Girija stresses that they live as a community—they support one another and value each other’s contributions to bettering their lives as a whole. They believe in passing these values down to their children so that their communal qualities continue to thrive. Seeing all that Girija embraces, we know, without a doubt, she’s living out those values as a positive influence for her son.

Kusum is 55 and has been crafting with I Thought of You for several years. She has two sons, Puneet and Sunil. Like Kamla and Girija, spending time with family is very important. She loves seeing her sons excited about science and watching them play outdoor sports like cricket.

Throughout her time with I Thought of You, Kusum has been working toward the goal of purchasing her own home in her birthplace of Uttar Pradesh. She always puts family first and hopes to instill the importance of family and valuing family in her children. Her village takes special care to involve children in their traditions and celebrations to instill pride in their heritage. Culture is such a significant part of life in India and we love artisans like Kusum who respect and cherish where they come from and the beauty their country offers.

Here’s to the Present and the Future.
We want to end this post giving a huge thank you to these women, along with the entire teams they work alongside. They are the reason we do what we do and why our mission is so important to us. Here’s to all they have accomplished through their determination, diligence, and hard work, and all of the amazing opportunities that lie ahead.