Meet the India Team
It's been a few weeks since I returned from this last trip to India! In this post, I'd love to introduce you to our 14 women strong team of amazing India talent. One thing people ask me all the time is, why India, why make yarn there??? A big part of it is because of what is possible there. The awe inspiring raw materials and skills the women have there make it the perfect place for the insane (it's a little insane right?!) product we are bringing to the world. It was so hard to figure out how to make the yarn that I can honestly say if I had to start from scratch today, I don't think I could do it. What's so incredible is how self sufficient our little 14 women unit is now, after ten years together. They do it all and this past year they also spun and knit about 1000 cold weather accessories and sweaters for Free People and Anthropologie. They are amazing! I hope you enjoy meeting them below. The majority have been with us all ten years.
Ok, so this is Monika aka the brains of the operation! My partner and just like family to me after ten years in business together. She can often be found on two phones. She manages the team, the raw materials, like the fiber and wildflower fabrics, labeling and shipping. I stay with her when I am there and feel so grateful to her partnership and friendship!
This is Beena! It's tricky to get Beena to smile but every once in a while I do! Beena manages the day to day yarn production. She makes sure what needs to be spun is spun. She also manages the raw materials and let's Monika know when we need more of something. She's been with us from the start (so for ten years!). She manages the production of our accessory orders to make sure they ship out on time which is no easy feat.
Meet Meera! Meera is the first woman I taught to spin when I had this harebrained idea. She taught all the other women and now is in charge of quality control. Her outfits are always so colorful and sparkly that I always think of her as the embodiment of the brand. She is a warm soul who is always gives hugs freely. Her daughter Rehka also works with us now.
Meet Bindu! Bindu cards all of the fibers you see in our yarns. Here she is holding a few fiber colors as an example of the work she does. She is also a master knitter and taught the team how to knit many of the Free People styles, including the Garden Party Sweater which is a pretty complicated one!
This is Reeta. Reeta handles the trims that you see in our yarns. She threads the little daisies in Daisy Chain. She crochets flowers for Dreamland and she also makes the Wildflower yarn when needed. Here she is holding her favorite yarns!
Meet Ranjeep! She is the one who weighs out all the fiber colors for each yarn recipe before carding. This is an important job and ensures that each colorway looks the same! Her favorite yarns are these - Dreamland and Spun Cloud!
Meet Rehka, the spinner! Rheka is newer to our operation. She is Meera's daughter. Here are her two favorites to spin - the yarns with trims, Dreamland!
This is Sungita! She is also a spinner. She specializes in the plied yarns we do like Bubblegum Twist and the Comet yarn we collaborated on with Purl Soho. I just love Sungita's warm smile.
Meet Bindu (another Bindu!). Bindu also works in carding. She preps and mixes the fiber colors before they are all spun together. These are her favorite yarns here :)
This is Rheka. She is always in pink! She is a master spinner and has been working with us from the start. She especially loves the new Purl Soho yarn Comet. She loves the plied yarns and excels at those. When I'm traveling to India, I count on Rheka to do most of the yarn sampling. This trip, I got to meet her brother via FaceTime, ha! No he did not speak any English and I have little Hindi but it was still fun.
Meet Lakshmi. Lakshmi is also a carder - here are the fibers she cards. She sometimes helps weigh the fiber colors out as well. She told me that purples and pinks are her favorites!
This is Balgeet! Balgeet is another spinner. She loves yellow and happy colors. Balgeet was out traveling for most of my trip so it was great to finally seeder on my last day. That smile!
Lastly, meet Pooja (left) and Bhagwanti (right) who insisted in taking a pic together. Pooja works on the Wildflower yarn and Bhagwanti works on the trims that are spun into our yarns, like threading daisies and creating the trim bundles the spinners use to create the Dreamland and Daisy Chain yarns.
Ok, so that is it! I am planning one more post on how the yarns are made - specifically the Wildflower cotton fabric yarn. I had a mind blowing trip to Jaipur where I got to see this process in person. It was incredible. Truly every element of each of our yarns is handmade. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this, meet these women and for supporting our small business.