Why I chased my passion
While I was at school I would draw and sketch designs I thought could be made into fabric for my father’s business. He was a pioneer of handloom exports from India. He set up his company in 1968 and was a man of great ethics who valued people over money, creativity over mass-merchandise and artistry over machine-made.
I remember when my mum would buy a saree and show it to him, he would flip it over and look at the reverse to see the effort the weaver had put in.
The fine threads and knots on the handloom are all visible there. To him that was the real story of the saree.
Today when I pick up a piece of fabric, I find myself doing the same, flipping it over to admire the handiwork - the hours of toil - just as my father would have done.
After high school, I started working with my father in his business and did a design diploma part time.
I was always more interested in the creative aspect of the business – creating new designs, meeting the designers and buyers from all over the world. So you could say I started out as a designer/ merchandiser.
Before long I was looking after all the product development, as well as the accounts, of most of our major US and Japanese customers.
I moved to Sydney and started my business, Indotex Australia, in 2000 - primarily as an overseas office for the family business.
I established our Australian market and we were supplying to many majors like David Jones, Myer, Freedom, Kmart , KAS, and some other wholesalers.
Business was doing really well, but then my husband got posted to Spain in 2008. My God!! It was a difficult choice to wrap up here, but the lure of living in Spain and the opportunity for our family to experience life in Europe was too good to be missed.
When we returned to our Aussie home in 2010 the market was very conservative. Buying had reduced quite a bit, but this gave me a chance to really think about what I wanted to do.
Indian textiles have such a rich history and diversity and I wanted to make them accessible to as many people as possible.
I wanted to connect passionate creatives in Australia with equally passionate craftsmen/women in India.
I have a wonderful network of suppliers and artisan groups in different parts of India. People that I worked with in my previous incarnation and new contacts I establish every time I visit.
There are so many businesses here in Australia – established and new start-ups – who want to buy from India but who have their hands full with the day-to-day activities of running a business. I make India available to them.
Travelling to source from India is time consuming and expensive. Sure, anyone can hop on a plane and meet manufacturers but whether the first, or the second or even the third supplier you meet is the right fit for you, is another matter.
I bridge that gap. I do all the behind the scenes work to deliver your product to your door.
Quality of material and fair trade is very important to me.
Trust is also very important to me. I understand the sensitive nature of design and ensure any designs, sketches, mood boards etc. are carefully guarded.
I work with weavers and craftsmen/women who put their heart and soul into what they create.
They need all the support they can get to sustain themselves and continue in their traditional work of generations. I also work with many large companies who operate ethically to industry best practices.
The amazing Indian handcrafted textiles are part of my fabric (pun intended!) I cannot see myself separate from them. But more importantly, I believe handcrafted goods are the stories of our people – the craftsmen and artisans are the true historians.
That’s why I chased my passion.
Work with me, enquire here: firstname.lastname@example.org.