Four years ago, two young entrepreneurs decided to embark on a journey that would prove to be a blessing for numerous artisans working in the valley of Kashmir. KashmirBox was born with an aim to uplift the community of Kashmiri artisans, and help them get paid fair wages for their skilled labour, in addition to keeping their skills alive and maintaining the rich tradition of Kashmiri arts and crafts. This might sound simple on paper but has had a positive social impact on a vast majority of artists, weavers, aari workers and other artisans in Kashmir who can now sell their wares directly to the customers, without any middlemen eating into their profits.
This marriage of technology and a great idea has resulted in over 10000 artisans coming together to make this business model a resounding success. Apart from the financial aspect, KashmirBox also donates a percentage of its profits for the well being of this community of skilled workers. Here’s an excerpt from their site:
“At Kashmir Box, we are a community, a family of local artisans, craftsmen, producers and creative from different arts and crafts of Kashmir. We work together in creating the Brand Kashmir, we strive together to take Kashmir, its rich tradition to the outside world. Our mission is to make the Local Artisan of Kashmir, a proud, economically sound Artist, who is valued for his hard work and efforts and acknowledged by the world as he deserves to be. We strive to unveil the Artisan who has been hiding behind the retailer, hiding behind the distributor and those long intermediary chains. We want the world to know him, the artist behind the masterpiece. Kashmir Box is a community with more than 10,000 artisan families involved and we are still growing to reach them all over our valley.”
You can read more about them here.
We are seeing a growing number of similar sites being launched all over India on the same lines. It’s not a novel concept but one that has been executed well and has shown consistent growth over the years. It has proven to be a sustainable model that can be replicated in other states with rich handloom and handicraft cultures.
And as is customary on our site, here’s a selection of their wares for your perusal:
Kashmiri Sozni Embroidered Sarees
Kashmiri Paisley Bordered Jacquard Stoles
Kashmiri Phirans and Jackets
Kashmiri Pure Weave Abstract Print Stoles
Kashmiri Aari Embroidered Suits
Pure Pashmina Coloured Stoles
Kashmiri Katan Silk Stoles
Khudrang Handmade Pashmina Shawls
You can browse their entire inventory of Pashmina shawls, Aari work suits, sarees, phirans, jackets, ponchos, bags, jewellery and more here.