Women’s empowerment is not just about single-mindedly focussing on our own achievements and successes. It also implies reaching out to other women and lending a helping hand to uplift them and push them towards being successful in their lives. It’s only when we uplift each other that we can truly progress as gender and leverage the #PowerOfThePack. Well into the year 2022, it’s time to not solely talk about empowerment, but it’s time to walk the talk.
On this International Women’s Day, we’re spotlighting 5 brands that are walking the talk and actively doing their part in uplifting women by providing them financial and social opportunities.
1. Soul Palette
Soul Palette offers feel-good products like mindful journals, affirmation cards, and self-care hampers for women. While the journals and affirmation cards help their audience to take out time for themselves, the workshops help them to become a better version of themselves!
Soul Palette is a self-care platform that inspires women to become more enriched with their soulful content, mindful products and feel-good workshops. This platform serves as a help, a friend, and a guide for women. The brand discovers new ways of being, shedding away the old you, as they talk about issues that matter and fill womens’ lives with colours of happiness. They believe that, along with their female audience, they are on a journey to create a life that is more meaningful, and satisfying. With real-life stories, thoughtful insights, practical tips, and advice from experts, the brand is a melting pot for all things that nourish the mind, body, and soul.
Soul Palette features real women and their stories on self-care, has journaling challenges and prompts, and also hosts live interviews with wellness industry experts through their brand campaigns, charitable organisations they are associated with, and the women that they employ.
Get in touch with Soul Palette
2. The Blue Pond
Blue Pond, founded by Sakshi Malhotra, is a holistic skincare and wellness brand that was born out of her inward journey for a mindful lifestyle. The pandemic led her to recognise the need for sustainable daily skincare products, made from the goodness of natural ingredients. She now makes ready-to-use essential oils-based organic skincare and therapy products. The idea behind pure, natural, organic, chemical-free, and guilt-free skincare solutions is the result of her inspiration from positive affirmations, yoga, and meditation.
Being mindful of women’s wellness, the brand is a concoction of stories derived from ancient practices and philosophies from around the world—Ayurveda, Greco-Roman Herbal Medicine, Egyptian Civilisation, Middle East Arabia, and Europe. Armed with various certifications in aromatherapy and natural healing courses, the founder is sharing her knowledge with her clients across the world through her natural elixirs.
The brand strongly believes in in-depth research for coming up with their essential oils that are a pure blend of extremely potent, ever-intriguing, multi-faceted, natural ingredients. As Sakshi accurately points out, “We become what we think. We are what we eat and consume.”
Check out The Blue Pond website and Instagram
3. One ‘O’ Eight Knots
Initiated by Happy Faces Foundation and founded by Mrs Reeta Bhagat, One ‘O’ Eight Knots is a social enterprise from Ahmedabad, Gujarat. The brand aims to empower women and artisans by providing them with a platform where they are encouraged to utilise craft-based skills and create handmade products. All their products are crafted meticulously with an everlasting sense of love and warmth. At their very core, they believe in inclusivity and holistic growth. The brand strives to keep artistic skills and handicrafts alive while spreading the love for handmade production. Their mission is to build confidence and create sustainable employment opportunities for women of diverse socio-economic strata, specifically those from regressive and poor economic backgrounds. The objective is to empower them and bring them up to a respectable standard, socially and economically. They are dedicated to offering their customers well-crafted, artisanal outcomes that are environmentally and socially sustainable. We ensure responsible consumption of natural resources from procurement and production to packaging.
At One ‘O’ Eight Knots, they create handcrafted macrame products that require careful concentration and an artistic rhythm to create wonderful patterns that can adorn any modern, contemporary home. These macrame products include placemats, coasters, trivets, table runners, bells, cushion covers, candle jars, plant hangers, bags, etc. Apart from the designs that are on offer, they also customise their products to reach out to art lovers like the founder herself. Each piece is individually crafted by their talented women artisans. The brand collaborates with creative individuals from diverse backgrounds and interests in lifestyle product development. They also offer customisations for handmade and art enthusiasts like us.
The brand celebrates hands that weave, knot, tie, cut, stitch, dye, design, organise and create.
They employ various clusters of women working with us from places far away from Ahmedabad. Till now, they have empowered over 300 artisans in the course of 3 years. With no formal training in textile or crafts, their eagerness and enthusiasm build the foundation to what it is today. Each of their artisans participates in the regular functioning of their workshops by understanding the materials, costs and design methods. This practice and the joy of creating handmade products nurture a nascent feeling of empowerment that each of these women had but didn’t know how to use. Women are not employed in the conventional sense – they come here with joy, they connect, share, exchange and bond, while working together. They have a good time over various social gatherings and events like movie days, birthday parties, one-day trips, pooja, yoga sessions, etc. organised by the team.
One ‘O’ Eight Knots believes that “Everyone is Special” and makes each member at the Foundation feel rightly so through various personality development, knowledge dissemination and soft skills programmes hosted at the workshop. Their ideology is rooted in the wholesomeness of life. They believe that the social upliftment of women encompasses their physical, mental, material and spiritual contentment – which will lead to an empowered society.
The artisans at the foundation are their strength and thus, are at the centre of the brand. They introduce their artisans on their social media platforms and offer them the opportunity to share their journeys, create fun Instagram trends with them and frequently share their work in progress. On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2022, their social media team has planned a campaign, wherein artisans have been photographed and will be featured along with the bags they have handcrafted.
4. Krishne Tassels
A Science graduate in Microbiology, a Ground Staff Agent at Kingfisher Airlines in 2008, and Service Centre Manager for Nokia, the entrepreneurial bug did not hit Amitha Raghu until she conceived. She wanted to take a career break and be a stay-at-home mom to see her child grow up and to be an integral part of the process. However, soon after, she realised the importance of being financially independent. She came up with the idea of saree tasselling that she had picked up from her mother to suit the contemporary sensibilities. Later, she turned this idea into an entrepreneurial venture.
The brand employs women artisans, offering them the flexibility to work from their homes or in groups. The aim was to enable them to make a decent income and support their financial needs. Amitha has trained more than 800 women across age groups to pass on the craft of saree tasselling to her artisans. She has shipped over 500 tassel laces worldwide to women artisans from far away districts of Karnataka and neighbouring states. They attended her workshops and are now training other neighbourhood women in the craft. The art startup is proud of the fact that whoever they work with, whether artisans or clients are invariably women. This makes space for women to empower other women and make headway towards a financially independent community and a better society.
The seeds of Prayas were sown when Priyanka Shetye, the Godmother of the brand, realized that the Indian market lacked sufficient options for breathable fabrics for the fusion wear segment. Besides, the prices in the existing market are not affordable for everyday women. With the growing consciousness among Indian women and the rising demand for sustainable fashion choices, Priyanka wanted to do more for women looking out for this product category.
She found out that today’s women have a penchant for dressing up in western wear in pure cotton or handloom fabrics that are comfortable throughout the day. Not just comfort, women also prefer their clothes to have an effortlessly chic look. The brand caters to college-going girls and women across industries and designations. In fact, the brand motto is ‘For Women, By Women’. With the objective to work on the upliftment of women, as many as 70% of the artisans and entrepreneurs that they work with are women.
A mom and entrepreneur, Priyanka has worked with leading Pharma & FMCG companies. Although she does not have a background in the fashion industry, her experience of working at corporates and a keen power of observation have made it possible for her to have a pulse on what new–age women prefer to wear. Besides, her experience with sourcing, supply chain, and contract manufacturing has imparted much-needed exposure for running a manufacturing company. Currently, Prayas offers outfit options like fusion tops, dresses, tunics, kurtis, kurta sets, and suits as well as accessories like hand-painted jewellery and pure cotton face masks.
With women supporting women and helping them find their ground, become a better version of themselves, and creating opportunities to ensure their financial independence, the future definitely seems bright. Although there is a long way ahead, women are making a conscious effort to uplift other women by employing them in their firms, training them in various disciplines, and focusing on women’s wellness products. The chain is in motion and will surely benefit more women in the decades to come. So, let’s raise a toast to fairer sex this International Women’s Day!