Sashka Co. Empowers Nepalese Women Entrepreneurs
Sashka Co. was founded by Chris Knipp and Anya Artapova in early 2013. Anya, Chris’s wife had a passion for creating colorful thread bracelets. Chris took notice to her skill and the style of bracelets she was creating. He knew they would be popular if he could share her passion with the world. All they needed was a name for their new business.
In 2009 Anya and Chris had a beautiful baby boy named Sasha. Sasha was born with a Tracheoesophageal fistula. Sasha’s esophagus wasn’t connected to his stomach. Sasha was rushed to Children’s Hospital in Washington D.C where he had a successful surgery. After witnessing the results of the TEF and what Sasha has had to endure they knew they had to dedicate the business to him. Sashka Co. was born.
After months of hard work and long nights handcrafting thousands of thread bracelets, The team quickly realized this was not a sustainable business that was improving anyone’s life. They knew they wanted to produce a bracelet that made a difference and improved the lives of others.
Chris attended a fair-trade function where he was introduced to Suren, his now Manager in Nepal.
Suren runs a fair-trade organization based in Kathmandu, Nepal. The training program provides women in need with the training to create their own sustainable business, earn an above fair wage and work from the comfort of their homes. The couple quickly traveled to Nepal to learn more about the program and the women involved.
They fell in love with the culture, people and art forms. While in Nepal they took notice to the century old handicrafts. One in particular, the art of crocheting glass beaded bracelets. Chris knew that if he could bring the bright colors of the original Sashka Co. bracelets to the century old art form of Nepal they would be able to create more sustainable jobs for the women in need. Since then Sashka Co. has helped to train and empower over 107 women.
Today, Sashka Co. glass beaded bracelets are handcrafted with love by artisans in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. Each bracelet is carefully handmade bead by bead. Skill, passion, and some of the world's finest glass and sterling silver beads go into each one. Proceeds from your purchase empower Nepali artisans to rise above poverty through fair trade, employing hundreds of artisans in rural communities.
One woman in-particular was Muna Tamag. Muna moved from the nearby villages of the Kabhre districts to Kathmandu soon after she got married. Her husband works as a driver in one of the Schools in Kathmandu. When Muna moved to Kathmandu she had no skills and being just a little literate it did not give her much opportunity for work. Muna is a mother of two daughters - 4 and 1 year old).
With two young daughters, it became very tough to find work in Kathamndu. Muna needed to find a way to earn a sustainable income while still being able to take care of her young children. She had heard about a glass beaded bracelet training program from a friend in the Lalitpur district. She decided to visit the training program and speak with Suren, Sashka Co. team manager in Nepal. Suren explained to Muna that she can earn an above fair wage, build a sustainable small business and work from the comfort of her home.
Muna attended the training program and quickly learned the art of crocheting. Muna finished the training program in early August of 2016. Since finishing the program Muna has been able to work from home, earn a good fair wage and spend time with her children. She has since trained her auntie, sisters and other neighbors. Muna is now a group leader and manages 25 women. She now earns more than her husband and is the main source of income for their household.
Once her children grow a bit older, Muna wants to move back to her village in the Kabhre district. She plans to train and provide work to the village women who have no economic opportunity. Muna is very happy that she can now work at home and take care of her one year old daughter. Her four-year-old daughter now goes to pre-primary school and is doing well.
Our goal at Sashka Co. Bracelets is to change as many lives as possible. We can’t do this without our loyal customers and fan base. We’re continually working to grow our company to enable us to train and help as many women in need as we can. Every bracelet purchased helps provide women in need with a sustainable income and the ability to work from the safety of their home.
Visit https://sashkaco.com to learn more & get your bracelet today!
Contributed by Sashka Co.