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Shahnaz’s Story of Hope in India

by | Artisans, Stories of Hope

Read Time: 1 min.

A Different Kind of Workshop

In India, where vulnerable women are often exploited in sweatshops with unsafe working conditions and unfair pay, one leather crafting workshop in Jaipur is empowering women through skills training, equal opportunities, fair wages, a deep respect for their Artisans, and contagious hope.

Meet Shahnaz, Artisan in India

My name is Shahnaz. I live with my husband, my 5-year-old daughter and in-laws in a small community in India where most of our neighbors are relatives. I became an Artisan because I want to save enough money for my daughter’s education. My favorite part of my workday as an Artisan is teatime!

Life Changing Opportuntities

I learned my Artisan skills after my father died. All of us had to do something to keep our household running. I started as a helper. My first job as a stitching Artisan was here at this workshop. Now that I’m married, I use my income to maintain my home’s condition – getting doors and roofs repaired – and definitely saving for my daughter’s education!

Contagious Hope

Consistent work and not being worried about where my next month’s salary will come from is the greatest security for someone like me. During India’s lockdown, our workshop distributed food packets in our community. It wasn’t just for the Artisans. It was for the entire community! That’s what makes us feel proud being a part of the group where we have good companies like Trades of Hope that give us a sense of security.

“That’s what makes us feel proud being a part of the group where we have good companies like Trades of Hope that give us a sense of security.”
– Shahnaz, Leather Artisan in India

Click on the photos below to explore these ethically made artisanal products from Shahnaz’s Artisan community!

Trades of Hope is partnering with Artisans in areas of extreme poverty in India to empower women to lead their families out of poverty.
Every purchase of Trades of Hope designs from India empowers women to lead their families out of poverty.
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Kathy Thomas

Kathy Thomas

Kathy Thomas is an inspirational writer with a passion for helping women discover and celebrate their unique gifts and abilities. Kathy is part of the Communications Team at Trades of Hope focusing on Artisan advocacy.


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2. a blog by Trades of Hope

Trades of Hope is an ethical fashion and lifestyle brand that helps women around the world escape poverty and trafficking through our fair trade designs. Learn how you can partner with Artisans around the world here.