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    Connecting NGOs and artisans, Pretty Sunny presents a showcase for forgotten crafts

    Pretty_Backdrop-(1)Chennai-based Pretty Sunny wanted to start a kids’ clothing line. But when she approached a popular e-commerce website, and was put on a long waiting list, she decided to start her own online portal. Handcrafted products made better sense, she thought. “I had worked extensively with a number of NGOs in my college days,” recalls Sunny, who runs the two-month-old website with her husband. “I have seen talented people make products with no way to promote their skill,” she adds.
    The big idea
    Sunny’s all-women team travels across the country searching for authentic sellers, and once they are on board, keeps them updated on current market trends. The sellers are also asked to price their products. “The aim is not to earn the highest commission, but to ensure that the sellers and the customers are happy,” she says. With orders from all over the country, Desihands is in demand for their handmade jewellery, bags, saris and wall-hangings. “Bamboo sling bags by the Tripura Bamboo Mission and antique coin jewellery from Dhaka-based Shoilee, are a huge hit,” says Sunny, whose site has 80 registered sellers, some of whom are associations that promote local artiste. “We stress that at least a part of each product has to be made by a specific individual,” says Sunny.
    Skill sharing
    So any plans for the future? “We start shipping internationally in three months and are planning to hold skill exchange workshops for weavers to learn the different types of artwork and designs in other states,” she says. The site is also trying to recruit volunteers to help illiterate artiste in rural areas. “They can assist them in setting up an online store through us. We are trying to get NGOs that work alongside people with disabilities and government co-op societies to tie-up with us,” she concludes.

    From Rs 180. Details: desihands.com

    —Team Indulge

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