What is Hathkargha Stores
I am Jaya. Hathkargha Stores is a result of years of how one senses and responds to the flow of things. I am sharing with you my own joy of handweaves, the connection I feel with the threads and lives of humans who are involved in these magical creations.
Each handwoven saree has a feeling, a season, situation and circumstances of another human that got woven with it. Here's to the weavers who have been keeping the art alive through centuries.
Something about what I am sharing with you
Curated, not bulk ordered. I handpick only those fabrics that I would like to see myself in, which I love the feel of, and I can imagine the place, event or occasion I would wear it to. I am a compulsive collector of beautiful fabric, so while I cannot have every fabric I love (I would love to, but there’s a wardrobe constraint), I take pleasure in finding, selecting and bringing to you the handlooms I have fallen in love with.
I do not bulk order, or get multiple sets of the same saree because I want as large a variety as possible within the limited stock that I keep. It is my effort that each Saree or dress material at Hathkargha is unique. This is possible because handloom is very different from machine production, and after 7-10 days of making one saree or fabric, the artist feels like creating something new, and not just another copy of what he has already created.
I started this endeavor in 2010 with my sister. We both love handwoven fabrics from MP, their bright colours, intricate patterns and work in Zari, Kosa, Khadi and Mulberry. We would spend entire days discussing, selecting and sorting, participating in exhibitions and events and built a local community of handweave lovers. My sister has since moved on to her next life (where I hope she again has beautiful fabrics surrounding her), while I have decided to take forward the passion we shared to a platform where it is easily accessible to everyone.
I am so far a one person crew. I travel to meet the artisans every couple of months to unearth new designs, advice them on what my customers would like to dress in, and understand the art and their lives of the artisans themselves. I select the sarees, sort them, shoot them and write descriptions for them, and finally I take delight in putting them up on Hathkargha website to bring to you a new collection. My objective is to stay small enough to be able to personally curate the collection, and give individual attention to my customers, like you would get at a physical handloom store. I have support from my husband (who doubles up as my driver on the long travels to Maheshwar) and my daughter (my photoshoot assistant).
The other- and more crucial- objective of Hathkargha is to improve the lives of the artisans who have preserved this art, and who still earn their livelihood from it. A few hundred families actively earn their livelihood from this craft. Although they have sustained a little better in the last decade that I have worked with them, their lives continue to be plagued with poor health, lack of education opportunities for their children failing eyesight of the weavers. Hathkargha is working with NGO’s in these handloom hubs of MP to improve their lives, and to make their craft financially viable so that the coming generations see a future in it. We have pledged to invest 10% of our profits towards improving the lives of the weavers.