My interest in the craft sector started while I was studying to become a textile designer at the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad, India.
During the course of my stay at NID, we met a terracotta mural worker in a little village called Molela. This man had traveled abroad as part of the Festival of India, but couldn't find sufficient clients to sustain his craft and make a living. That really had an impact on me and I decided that my future would be in working with various craftsmen and use design to connect them to bigger markets so that their craft becomes sustainable.
After Graduating, I applied to a few organisations that worked closely with the craft sector. I worked at Fabindia for 14 years, working very closely with weavers, printers, embroiderers, and handicraft artisans, making their craft available to global markets. Mr. John Bissell, a visionary in the textile and craft sector taught me how to keep the integrity of the craft and the artisan when opening up new avenues for them. After working for Fabindia for 14 years, I established a little store called Pappu (the little Indian), that sells special children's clothes from the ages of 3 months to 12 years and a small line of womens and mens clothes under the label - SONG.
I continue to work with various artisan groups through different organisations.
Shilpa and I know each other from the time we worked together at Fabindia. When she threw the idea of textile tourism at me, I was very excited as textiles and traditional crafts of India is my passion. Taking different people, sometimes from different cultures and communities thru' this experience is something that helps me share my knowledge and gain so much from the interaction.
We share a common interest for the crafts from India. With her ability to conceptualise and put together a great experience, and my ability to provide the creative direction, and technical inputs and a textile design perspective, we look forward to giving our travelers a very unique experience.