We started journey started in October 2020 with my husband and during lockdown we started exploring how we could realistically make it happen. We fell in love with the vibrance and unconditional skill that artist showed, how enthusiastic they were about when making the products. We want to collaborate with local and international artisan’s to promote and build and grow together.
We are the joint owners of Chamak - Art N Craft and Décor business. We have hand-picked our artisans who make the product themselves. We did this as we wanted to support them in achieving their life goals, whether it be contributing to their child’s education to allow them opportunities they did not have, extra source of income, pay for bills.
In Feb 2021 we travelled to india and absolutely fell in love with the exquisite unique products and turned around to my husband and said” we should sell this at home and represent the local Artisans. In April 2022 my husband went on a 3-month trip to India to have the conversation with the individuals in how we could collaborate together and still maintain highest quality and how to manage supply and demand chain so that we could provide them time to create the products
My husband travelled all over india there were so many concepts that we came across along the way, but our focus was that whatever we sell should be made by hand. Our artisans have provided certifications of authenticity to ensure that quality will be maintained.
We have started working with Sidraj which is charitable organisation which is supported by the Gujarat government and we are their first UK distributor to sell their hand made naturally flavoured soap on their behalf. We were introduced to them by close friend Mrs. Nidhi Dave who is a Class 1 Officer in Civil Service who works effortlessly to educate and rescue’s animals and then releases them into their safe natural environment.
We have chosen to promote their skills and to showcase their talent. The artisans are small businesses owners either working from their home or small workshops to make a living.
We wanted to inspire and nurture their skills in order to support them on their journey to success. We sell their products via a website which allows them to have a regular income and us to support them locally to enrich their lives.
I believe that you are never too old to learn a new skill, I myself studied BA Hons in Business at university and have worked in a number of industries over the last 20 years. My husband has over 20 year experience within the Travel and Tourism industry and has been has made his mission to help on this journey that we have undertaken.
I had a vision of what I wanted to do when I retired so that I could give back. I have always been surrounded by family and they always made a point to have dinner together and this would be our opportunity to talk and share experiences.
During covid I came across many more people that did not have any interaction with family or friends and they missed it dearly. I recall telling my husband that all I want to do is open a café where people can get together and maybe share a recipe or small activities (Over a free cup of tea/coffee) In return they could choose to make a small contribution but not mandatory.
Thank you taking the time to read our journey!
Bhagirath & Mina Thakkar