Sunday, May 27, 2012

What we do- what to say??

Ohh for a while we have been on a roll with our workshop- actually ever since we bought our new place/our own place and had it blessed things have been developing very nicely.
We have been working at a frantic pace- we have a lot of bills, a lot of people relying on us, a lot of hopes of our own.
In between all the rushing, working, running around - India is a very good place to be if you want to imitate a headless chook [chicken for you non Aussies] nothing goes to plan, everything has to happen now and then once I [being Australian] start to respond to 'now' I realise this is India and that actually means sooner or later, not necessarily now at all.
In betwwen all this I have been agonizing- yes sometimes agaonizing definitely chewing it over and over. What to say about us.
We are labelling things, writing up our website showing off who we are.
We want to make good quality products, we want people to buy them because they are good quality products....we know almost everything about them from where the materials came from, to how they were coloured, stitched, completed. These are things that are very important to us. We like the people we work with, we are very careful to deal fairly, we love the story involved.
There is a part of me though that is very Australian I guess- nervous of the tall poppy syndrome, don't stand out, don't talk about yourself, perhaps you are not doing enough, I want people to like our work becasue it is good not in any type of charity way of OOHhh it is helping the poor people.
Does that make sense- Is it is me being weird?
Think it is just my childhood coming up and biting me on the bum- "always be careful of showing your true self, showing what you love" so I will put it aside.....strange how those old tapes do keep playing though.

ANYWAY- to help me work through things I have been having a look at what others have to say.
I found this on a website - love the way they put it.
We cherish quality and individuality. We aim to run our business in the kindest way possible, with the best quality of product and with the best treatment of the people involved in the provenance of the product; from beginning to end. Quality, uniqueness and fair prices paid to all our suppliers are reflected in our prices. WEBSITE Cabbages and Roses LOve it, love it love- what more can you say?

World Shibori Network Slow Fiber is a term we adapted from the popularized Slow Food movement to articulate similar concerns and philosophies as they apply specifically to cloth, fiber, and the craft of making — from awareness and knowledge to production, tradition, practice, commerce. Loosely, Slow Fiber describes a thoughtful approach to ‘the making of things’ – a philosophy that is most plainly explained as ‘being bound by an integrity of product.’Elaine Lipson's comments were also inspiring relating to SLOW CLOTH like the Slow Food movement a way of looking and knowing.

That is how we work and we want people to know it all. Not for the sympathy but for the story and the understanding that what you use does make an impact in the owrld- be it good or not so good. Everything you use was made by someone- a real live living person who has dreams, hopes, needs just like you. Just because they are poor does not mean they feel things any less vividly than you.

WE MAKE THINGS BY HAND, we don't just churn things out like a machine we imbue them with laughter, fairness and hope.

This morning I got this in an email from a mate- I have been talking a lot with her lately about all these things-

I think this is a really important part of the branding of your product, it makes it more special. I love the fact that you know who has made your products, it puts a face to the textile. It makes it more meaningful. It is also an amazing story that I know many people will appreciate.
When ***'s mum saw the stuff at first she didn't realise it was hand sewn, then I showed her the scarf that had the paper tag with Nettus name on it and I told her that that was the lady who stitched it, her whole perspective on the products changed and she bought the scarf. I don't think she would have previously as she would have just thought it was just another scarf that was machine made in china. So many people have lost perspective/touch on what a textile is and how they impact their lives - remove textiles and things would be pretty cold and miserable!
I think also a part of me wants to show that there is a face to the textile products they consume and to try and get them to realise that they are not disposable and just there to be taken for granted. (this is a bigger picture thing I want to tackle, sustainable textiles)[ Thanks Jen I really appreciate your words xx]

I have always made my own clothes and cooked and grown vegetables - except for underwear and Tshirts - all my own clothes and everything else in the house has been made by I often don't get how far most people are from the processes that do sustain and make their life more comfortable.

So it has taken a lot of mulling over, but I feel clearer and happier about how to show ourselves.
We own this business, Praveen and I have organized and sweated and argued over every little scarp of it. Learnt so much about the whole idea of making textiles, working with others, working in a Fair way, encouraging some who work for us to be fair to us as well,
we are really proud of our gang, most all interactions these days leave us feeling like we are part of a boat load of people all paddling in the same direction- it is wonderful.
It does make us happy and I think it is generally pleasing to those we work with and feedback from our customs is excellent as well .
Well now it is Sunday , a work day here in workshop land, the generator is running because of power out, I am under the fan and in a puddle of my own sweat at the same time- about time I got out there and did something useful for the day.
I hope you Sunday is a western style one where you have time to chill out or even just be cool :)
Love to ya.

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