Daisy Tanwani used to work as a marketing specialist at Danone (a food company in Paris) and never had any formal training or experience in design. However, her passion for building a brand that worked with a strong artisan community and promoted gender equality at the grassroots was stronger.
After leaving her job in 2015, she not only gave up a high-paying steady income, but also the opportunity to work in one of the leading cities in the world.
Tanwani then invested all her life savings and self-funded her business to launch Pinklay – a local lifestyle brand focused on bringing Indian handicrafts to the fore. The Mumbai-based brand works with local artisans to fuse traditional and modern designs in unexpected ways to create stunning products.
Pinklay was created to harness the incredible elegance of Indian craftsmanship. It is a brand that is “Made in India” and is accessible to both Indian and global consumers. It prides itself on reinventing traditional craftsmanship through modern sensibility with a premium feel for its products. The brand prides itself on authentic and original pieces with brilliant quality and craftsmanship. They are size dependent in their clothing and are divided into different genres – women’s clothing, children’s clothing, home and furniture.
Employs over 400 artisans
For Tanwani, however, Pinklay’s journey has not always been easy. She created a brand that had “Designed In India” next to “Made In India”. Today, Pinklay takes 3,000 orders a month and works with over 400 artisans, 200 of whom are women. Not only did she empower her artisans, but she also made them proud of their work and gave them the recognition and recognition they deserve.
“India has an unparalleled heritage of handicrafts and a declining population of artisans. These are too precious to be forgotten. Pinklay is a medium to preserve our heritage of craftsmanship,” said Daisy Tanwani, Pinklay Founder and CEO The logical Indian.
Tanwani believes that if India can strengthen its craft heritage into more than just a ‘cheap manufacturing hub’ and bring it to its rightful place as a design and craft hub, industry can be a source of soft energy worldwide.
However, being an entrepreneur has not been an easy journey. People often questioned her judgment as a woman, her ability to hold her own in a male-dominated world, and her determination to quit her job and start fresh at 30. “You don’t even have a degree in design, you’re just a graduate”, “You’ll have children soon, how are you going to manage that?”, “Why don’t you just buy your products and open a boutique like other women do? “, “How will you grow without funding?” were just a few of the many questions thrown at her when all she needed was, “You got that.”
Today she runs a company that has established itself as a lifestyle design brand to be reckoned with worldwide. Pinklay has hired more staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has proven to be a period of high unemployment and has seen the company grow 400% over the past two years.
Empowers all genders
“Pinklay works with 500 artisans and pays them fairly, often above market rates. There is no place for gender claims in my organization, so we hire and pay equally based on ability and not gender,” Tanwani said.
The entrepreneur believes that as a woman you are wired differently. But different doesn’t mean inappropriate. On her journey with Pinklay, she challenges women to stay connected and lead with their gender. She wants women to realize that mindsets only change when they believe in what they want to achieve.
“Almost 50% of our artisanal workforce are women. In socio-culturally disadvantaged clusters where women cannot drive to work, we bring them the work. All of our quilt, embroidery and tassel making is done remotely in clusters where women cannot leave their homes,” she added.
Real families have been given a second chance through their will to make a difference, female artisans are now viewed through the same lens as male artisans and a brand that was initially written off now competes as a leading Indian design brand on the global top.
The brand strives to be a sustainable company and pays close attention to its environmental impact. This is not only reflected in their products, but in the entire value chain from production to packaging. Pinklay only works with natural materials, but stays away from plastic, leather, synthetic fabrics, etc.
“We source everything locally, from talent to materials. We only use pure materials and have a strict policy, no plastics, no cruelty. We are currently 85% plastic free. We work very hard to maximize the use of raw materials and dispose of residues responsibly,” she added.
With a notable brand presence in India, Pinklay has made a name for itself on the world map with its unique product offering. The brand uses traditional crafts, such as hand block printing, dab printing, metal etching, hand painting, hand quilting, wood carving, furniture making, hand-woven carpet making, etc. – all of which require great skill and perseverance.
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