Jaypore’s Karigar Kahaniyan focuses on the crafts of Gujarat
The Khatris and the Derawalas of the country maybe doing their bit to give Indian crafts an opportunity to shine, but Shilpa Sharma co-founder of online store Jaypore.com, is interested in offering the unknown names of craft and weaving clusters a chance to be seen and noticed. “The first name that comes to mind, when you say Ajrakh prints is Ismail Mohammad Khatri, and the same goes for Ram Kishore Derawala and Bagru prints. There are scores of talented artisans, besides these big names who deserve to be in the spotlight,” she begins. With this in mind, the online curator of handmade Indian products launched the initiative Karigar Kahaniyan about two years ago. “We focus on a new craft cluster every three months by selling their products, designed exclusively for us, on our site,” she explains.
This time around, Jaypore turns to the craft-rich region of Gujarat. The e-commerce site has teamed up with Somaiya Kala Vidya (SKV), a design institute for artisans, set up in 2014 by Judy Frater, an American national, who has worked in the craft sector for over 25 years. “Expect Bhujodi weaves, Ajrakh and Dhamadka prints and Kutch embroidery,” shares Shilpa.
The artisans featured include young and seasoned names — from embroiderer Laxmiben Kalyanji Puvar, a 7th grade dropout who currently trains students at SKV to Dayalal Atmaram Kudecha a renowned weaver, who will present his line of saris, stoles and dupattas inspired by jharmar, a necklace worn by the women of the Ahir community, a nomadic tribe. “The website is also a reference point for people looking for artisans whom they can commission or buy from for their business. If we are able to get them more business, then our job is done,” says Shilpa, signing off.