Jammu and Kashmir is often referred to as Heaven on Earth because of its extravagant beauty, picturesque landscapes and natural grandeur. Over the years, it has come to be identified world over as the troubled state of Jammu and Kashmir, owing to the violence it’s subject to; but how much do we know about the handloom and handicraft industries that have assisted the state government to earn huge revenues? Meet Mehak, a budding entrepreneur who is determined to change the way the world perceives Jammu and Kashmir by shifting the focus from terrorism to its beautiful, traditional arts and crafts.
Mehak, chirpy and full of life, was born and bought up in Jammu. Having worked for some of the corporate giants in Bangalore, she soon realized that wasn’t her cup of tea.
I received so many promotions throughout my corporate career and yet none of them gave me the satisfaction I had thought they would. Sure, my job was paying my bills and keeping me happy, but I had reached a point where I felt like I needed to do something that fed my soul. That’s when I quit my job and decided to start Bouuin.
Did you know?
Jammu and Kashmir manufactures Lovat, commonly known as tweed. This fabric is loved by the British, Irish and Scottish as it’s perfect for the weather in those regions.Very few people are aware of the fact that tweed is one of the major handlooms of Jammu and Kashmir.
‘This is the story of a Ladhaki artisan I had the privilege of meeting at the Pravasi Bharat Divas in Bangalore- an entrepreneur who also teaches the girls of her village the art of weaving in her spare time. She lives in a very remote area and just to get to the city, she has to travel down mountains by foot for 4 days,due to the lack of other modes of travel. Enduring this hardship is business as usual for the tough lady, who sells Pashmina shawls for a living.’says Mehak.
From the valleys of Jammu and Kashmir, with love
Through Bouuin, Mehak hopes to ensure that the arts and crafts of Jammu and Kashmir are celebrated throughout the world, while working at the grass root level with artisans, helping them sustain and grow their businesses. When someone purchases Bouuin products, majority of the profits go back to the artisan. ‘In the era of bargains, huge discounts and factory made products, we all want a “steal” on every product we purchase. It’s difficult for handmade products to fetch the respect they deserve. I wish to see people experience the products at Bouuin, instead of caving in to the “brand culture”. The best thing we can do for the artisans is to set up a reliable market for their handloom, help them make a living and motivate them to teach their children the skills to keep the craft forms alive.’ says Mehak.
After a soft launch at Soul Sante, Mehak is now actively working to make her products available online. When you look at her leather bags, you can’t help but fall in love with the product. A perfect fusion of age old embroidery and leather, these stunners are something we definitely haven’t seen before!
Facebook link: https://www.facebook.com/bouuin