Kalaghar is exquisite Indian crafts, gifts, decor shop, handmade stationery, furnishing, jewelry, art, and much more. It combines traditional arts and skills with modern sensibilities and needs. It is trying to achieve productive work and decent employment for women artists.
Goa Institute of Management
KalaGhar celebrates art, heritage, traditions, and centuries-old skills. The company specializes in producing a wide range of craft-based and handmade products for its customers, enabling them to access art forms, history, and legacy along with their contemporary/urban tastes. The idea here is it collaborates underpaid rural female artisans with new-age designers to make home decor products using natural fibers.
Their model supports SDG8 by providing productive employment and decent work for women artisans. Through the products, they are not just providing livelihood to women artisans but are also sustainable and eco-friendly. The products they use are 100% natural fiber and easily bio-degradable, along with innovative designs, products, and processes.
These handmade products include Dhokra artwork, Pattachitra, Screw pine handcrafted and hand-painted works, Studio pottery art forms, and Saura art forms. The team works with many artists starting from grass root level and many other self-help groups to create authentic designs and artifacts that fit into today’s modern world.
One of the most unique ideas from KalaGhar comes in the form of Corporate Gifting. This includes a different set of desk accessories that can blend into your office environment and make you stand out in an authentic way. The tribal and brass casted paper weights give an antique look to your desk or cubicle and can make a great royal gift for your clients. These are symbols of good luck and fortune and help foster positive energy in the work place. Elephant candle stand, Fish pen stand, Royal King paperweight, Tribal head pen stand are a few examples of the Corporate Gifting product range from KalaGhar Store.
Innovation always sprouts from necessity and the concept of necessity is ever-changing. In this rapidly evolving world, there are still places and people who are deprived of their basic necessities. The idea of Kalaghar is to fill that gap and provide the basic necessities along with reviving the endangering arts. It is a craft based social enterprise by creating dignified livelihood opportunities for women artists in two districts of Odisha, India. The aim of the enterprise is to build a sustainable world of handicrafts by creating value for both customers and employed artists.
The women from rural locations in India are not financially independent and looking at the wage structure followed in villages especially in the craft and art industry never really helped them. There came the idea of the Kalaghar (meaning House of Art) store, an enterprise producing 100% sustainable home decor products from natural fibers. It started with a social cause but later realized the importance of natural fiber and developed various product categories.
In their own words, "We all love art; beautiful, breathtaking and absolutely engrossing. These beautiful crafts have mesmerizing tales; it almost speaks to you about their history. So, we are finding more and better ways to make these art pieces part of your home and your life." (Taken from the description of their facebook page)
The Kalaghar store is founded by two sisters with the social cause of improving the livelihoods of rural woman artisans who make craftworks. Economic freedom is the main problem the enterprise identified which is faced by women in villages and they solved it by providing a market in which they can utilize their skills and sell their products for reasonable prices. They also conduct workshops for improving their skills
Also, the founder says that "Before we started our work, the women artisans used to supply their crafts to some local traders. These local traders used to pay the artisans petty low wages and hold their payments up to 45-60 days. The artisans hardly used to negotiate on the prices for the products with us or any other trader. They also didn’t participate in local fairs, as due to extremely infrequent orders, they felt underconfident about the marketability of their products.
We started working them, we paid them 2.5-3x times the wages for making the same product. Also, our payment policy for artisans is to make the payments within 7-10 days of production.
After working with them for six months, they negotiate confidently with us and others. Now, they have made small groups to sell their products in local fairs. Our greatest accomplishment to date is their confidence that their products can sell in the market and that their skillset has a financial value.”
The Kalaghar store was a small startup, started its journey in a small village in Balasore district of Odhisa in India with 6 artisans, now they have expanded to 2 districts with 200+ artists. The main source of their revenue is sales of art and craftwork. Interestingly the demand for the sustainable craft has raised significantly. Revenue growth has increased drastically during covid as people were sitting at home and buying such products online. The enterprise is looking on expanding its work in eastern and some of the southern parts of India concentrating more on natural fibers along with endangering arts.
• The idea behind the Kalaghar store is initially for a social cause to improve the lifestyle of rural women artisans. The store is now working with 200+ female artists.
• Working with prisoners. They are involved in recreational activities and to improve their skillsets and confidence Kalaghar took a workshop for them.
• Spreading awareness about the financial value of the product and making them sell and expand the market for the same was the most satisfying moment in this whole journey.
• Their work on natural fiber has been very extensive and they are trying to spread awareness about the usage of natural fiber.
Shipra Agarwal, Founder
Keep this story going! Share below!
Bhubaneshwar, Odhisa, IN
Business Website: https://kalagharstore.com/collections
Year Founded: 2019
Number of Employees: 11 to 50