About Our Artisans
Like it or not, we are all part of the global economy. And in order to succeed in this environment, I believe, one needs to embrace Globalism with sound economic and ethical principles. I am proud that our line of jewelry from Nepal has been crafted by the same artisans for 11+ years, and from India for 3+ years.
My Nepali friend, Prithbi, and I met by chance in a small village called Lamidanda in 1993. I was finishing up my time with the Peace Corps, packing up my belongings for the last time and getting ready to head home. Prithbi was on his way back to Kathmandu after visiting his family, who lived in a small village near my post. I cannot remember exactly how it happened, but we became friends and somehow decided to start an import/ export business. Prithbi has been my business partner ever since. Prithbi lives in Kathmandu with his wife Chie, who is Japenese, and their four children. Chie runs a tea shop and Prithbi manages our business in Nepal.
All of our jewelry from Nepal is made in a type of "cottage industry". Meaning it is crafted by artisans in their homes. They are not required to work in a big, dirty factory and are able to spend more time with their families while making a fair wage. The workers range in age from 20-50 years old. I don't kid myself - this is not a dream job by any means; the work is challenging and many of the artisans probably have higher aspirations, but they make a decent wage in a country where jobs are scarce and are treated well. Prithbi checks on the artisans conditiions to be sure they are not exploited. This is important to me - of course I want to get good prices, but I also feel that I have a responsibility to understand the perspective of our suppliers and make a positive impact as I am able. p>
Our Indian jewlery is made by a family business in Rajasthan, India. It is a beautiful, peaceful desert area. I was there 10 years ago and fell in love with the place. The culture and scenery are spectacular. Our partners in Rajasthan employ about 20 artisans, aged 18 to about 50 years old. They work in a comfortable environment and are treated well. I have been working with Hitesh and Ankit (who manage the family business) for about 3 years and have been impressed with their integrity, character and work ethic.
Could I get comparible jewelry from other sources without knowing much about the people I am connecting myself with? Probably, but that is not the kind of world I want to live in!