I was a Fashion Editor at a great publication, working with a great team and having the time of my life reporting fashion, lifestyle and allied spaces. I noticed that even though Home Decor has been a part of our everyday since forever, it was badly underrepresented and not talked about at all.
Early days and physical meetings
Further more, my co founder, Pratima and I researched on where all of this home decor was getting made, and to our surprise, it was all made in India. Designs you'd never seen, products you'd only imagine to be in the US or on a foreign trip... if you could afford to travel and bring back a keepsake. We realised that Indian handicraft products had huge potential abroad but were deeply underrepresented, marketed and unavailable in India, the source of their manufacturing.
With that thought, in 2018, we started Nurture India. The aim was clear, it was to Nurture India. To be the one stop shop for all things Indian. We started by travelling through the length and breadth of the country. We went to Kolkata, Karnataka, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan to name a few states, then narrowed down on what material we should gain our expertise in. We selected wood, designed the first set of our samples and then participated in an export fair which was nothing but an eye opener.
Our stall at our first international exhibition in Madrid, Spain
We gained some traction and started exporting our goods across the globe. It was then after passing hurdles that are most unknown, eg, being a woman in the handicrafts space was tough and even gaining material knowledge was really tough but giving up was never an option. It was make it work till we know no other way around.
While it all seemed like one big problem, we addressed them like tinier ones, that had to be solved everyday. It wasn't easy at all, in fact it qualifies as one of the hardest things I've ever done. It was particularly even more difficult because my co-founder and I were in separate states and running a business in long distance. It was naive of us to think building a foundation while we were in a long distance wouldn't be 100x challenging as it was. But we had to work with what we had and we did.
It's been close to four years to the journey of starting Nurture India and running it successfully. From product development, sampling, sourcing, production to everything else... it's been a whirlwind journey doing this ever since and each time I think of quitting, I find enough reasons not to. While self doubt, self loathing and self criticism are the biggest roadblocks, not achieving targets are even worse but what keeps me going is to know the people we employ, the impact we have on their lives and the artisans whose lives, in a tiny way we have made better! There is no other force stronger than working harder each day than the one that passed.
We impact about 100 artisans currently and want to grow this number significantly. We want to work with more women and audaciously employ them over the entire supply chain process of ours so we can grow together. That's our aim and that's what we're building. For that, your support is critical and integral to us. We want you to feel assured that every product that you buy from us, has a two fold mission and two fold problem that it solves. The first is it warrants sustainable consumption and disposal of these goods, ensuring that what we produce, what you buy and what you discard, ultimately is all good for the planet when it lands in the landfill.
The second is employment and impact. It gives employment to rural artisans and lets handcrafts of our country live on. With this we solve several problems like migration to urban areas, better per capita income in villages, and giving better opportunity to women to achieve financial independence.