Each year brings its own personal and professional milestones. I would like to share a beautiful part of my journey with Laboni. It has happened because of all of you out there who have believed in me and those that have bought my prodcuts. As 2011 rolls out, I am looking forward to growing with Laboni and succeeding in the way that Laboni stands for: bringing avante garde sustainable fashion and sharing the success with its craftsmen in Kashmir, India.
2010 was a year that saw Laboni go through low times, and unexpected successes; which gave me the boost to persist onwards with the motto, “you never know what lies next.” Out of this year long journey I have managed to fulfill my commitment of providing micro aid to two master craftsmen that embroider my shawls/scarves.
Micro aid from Laboni is focused on craftsmen that are extremely talented, with a rich experience that can be used to guide the younger generation of talented youth to becoming exceptional craftsmen. Laboni is supporting them consistently to enable them to work less and spend more time in tutoring groups of young craftsmen into the techniques and intricacies of embroidering. So here’s something about them:
MOHAMMAD YUSUF ZARGAR
Mohammad Zargar is another gem that has remained tucked away in the valleys. In his late sixties, he is a craftsman with decades of experience and an exceptional eye for colors. The motifs come to life in his hands and the shawls he make are pieces of art. He specializes in a style of embroidery called “Ariwork”
Economic necessities saw him take to it from an early age he missed out on a chance to education. Though always struggling to overcome poverty, he remains committed to his work with a quite dignity and indomitable spirit.
GHULAM MOHAMMAD DAR
Ghulam Mohammad Dar is a master craftsman in the embroidery style of “Papier Machie” What sets him apart was his decision to take on this demanding way of earning a living even though he had a choice of a more profitable career. With a college degree he could have made a lucrative career for himself, but Ghulam Dar chose to live the life of a carftsman and nurture the traditional career of his fore fathers and has passed on the skills to all of his five children. He not only heads the joint family set up but is also the backbone of this art in his village. His house is often the gathering place. The receiving room has a coterie of craftsmen working under his able guidance.
An expert in the paper machie style of embroidery, today he has a rich experience of over 40 years. He is at a point in his life where he knows the hardships that a craftsman goes through in his career and is in a constant struggle to provide for his family. This knowledge saddens him, but for a moment. With a sense of purpose, he looks forward with hope and works on guiding the young craftsman under him. He wants to do his bit to secure a vibrant and optimistic future for the art of embroidery.