***Written by event coordinator Susie Helton (right side)***
Working at the warehouse in Chattanooga, TN, each week gives me the opportunity to quietly reflect on all that is happening at Dekko Trading. As I open shipments of freshly-arrived inventory from our artisans in northern India, I notice the vibrant colors of our sari products, the intricate carving of our wood products, and the expert beading of our jewelry. Each item is unique and beautiful, but my gaze always seems to drift toward the colorful upcycled sari scarves with their rows of kantha stitching.
Somehow I feel a connection to the women who cut and sewed each scarf, who painstakingly hand-stitched row upon row of colorful kantha embroidery, and then added the twisted silk thread fringe to the ends of each one. I wonder how they chose each sari, how they made sure their rows of stitching were straight, and how long it took to make each scarf.
Were they pleased with their handiwork as they finished each scarf and packaged it to be sent on its way somewhere across the globe? Did they imagine who might purchase and wear the scarf they had just finished? I think about the long journey each scarf has traveled to finally reach its destination, and I am reminded of the impact that our customers’ purchases can make in the lives of the artisans who work for us.
I am very proud and thankful to be a part of Dekko Trading, a company which is making a difference in the lives of artisans in India. By giving them the opportunity to create something with their own hands and to earn fair wages for their work, Dekko has given these women a new sense of their own dignity and purpose. We are showing them the importance of sound financial management, promoting education for their children, and raising awareness of preventive healthcare.
The connection I feel with these beautiful artisans is stronger each time I share the story of Dekko at home parties and other events. How the purchase of one of our colorful Kantha Sari Scarves gives hope and brings real change to the one who made it.
It is my dream that I can one day meet our artisans and to see first-hand the transformation that is taking place. Global sisterhood is a beautiful and real thing!
Photo credit: Susie Helton