Partners since 2019
Karma Shilpa is an all-women tailoring workshop founded by Sukla S, a hard-working entrepreneur with a heart for her community. After mastering her craft as a seamstress in her own right, Sukla decided to strike out on her own by founding her very own workshop in 2004. As the workshop’s leader, she has paved the way for women in her community to become empowered through dignified employment.
The women of Karma Shilpa manage their entire production process, from procuring raw materials to stitching, finishing, and carefully quality-checking each piece. The workshop is committed to meeting every fair trade standard, with a special emphasis on the health and safety of the women who work there. In addition to fair wages, the workshop provides a group savings program to help the Artisans and their families thrive not just today, but for years to come.
In 2023, India surpassed China to become the most populous country in the world, with 1.4 billion people. Its people represent incredible cultural, linguistic, and religious diversity, as do the country’s 28 states. India has made great contributions to higher math, is the home of chess, and boasts the world's largest film industry (Bollywood). The country has a rich history of handcrafts dating back to 5000 BC, including techniques like weaving, pottery, jewelry-making, and metalworking.
Stories of Flourishing
Sukla SarkaWhen she was young, Sukla S. dreamed of becoming a theater actress – but sadly, her family’s financial situation never gave her the opportunity. Sukla’s mother was a seamstress, and eventually Sukla mastered this craft herself. Her work as an Artisan has allowed her to improve her family’s financial situation and empowered her to start her own workshop, which now empowers other women. Circumstances may have prevented Sukla from realizing her childhood dream – but today, she is proud to be paving the way for the dreams of other women in her community.
Sukla ChowdhurySukla C. has been a valuable member of the workshop from its very inception over 20 years ago. She says that she always loved stitching, and learned the skill from watching her mother create beautiful traditional kantha embroidery. Today, she is the main breadwinner for her family. Her earnings support her daughters’ educations and her family’s medical expenses. Sukla shares that this work has given her a sense of dignity in her life, and she takes immense pride in her work.