"So I really wish to create awareness and make sure we help karigaars get their due in the market, so that new generations won't hesitate in adopting the same profession as their parents."
"Hi I'm Seetu from the mesmerizing city of Ajmer, in Rajasthan - a state that can boost of having a rich crafting tradition, as well as amazing textiles and prints which have been preserved for many centuries. I feel so proud to have come from this beautiful and colorful state.
"I have always been attracted to the vibrant colors and rich embroidery of traditional Rajasthani clothes, so after I graduated in science I did a course in designing at a polytechnic college. Here I learned old printing and dyeing techniques, embroidery, and stitching. This experience really helped me building my own design brand, which I have been always keen on.
"The journey has not been easy, it may sound cliché but it's true, it's hard for a young lady to succeed in a male-dominant business culture. From managing karigaars (craftsmen) for all the garment process-related work, to dealing with printers, dyers, embroidery workers and of course, at the same time, dealing with customers. These were not easy jobs for a 25 year old woman (that's when I started on my own) and with no family background in this business. But overall it has been a learning experience to this date.
"For me, I would say, it has been mostly a hands-on experience that has helped me get where I am today. And I would surely like to pass on my experience to new generations that are coming up. Unfortunately, these days I see many youngsters who are not interested in the traditional form of art. I see that most of the karigaars' children are not interested in taking up this profession as they feel this craft does not have value and money. And this has resulted in a shortage of specialized artisans.
"So I really wish to create awareness and make sure we help karigaars get their due in the market, so that new generations won't hesitate in adopting the same profession as their parents.
"I work together with my husband. I look after the product development and research, and my husband looks after the administration and management of the company.
"We use a lot of natural processes. In block vegetable prints we extract the color from wheat chalk, katha, turmeric, iron and so on, which are then soaked in water for days to arrive the right color.
"Every day is a learning process. I teach a lot but I also learn as much from my karigaars. One interesting aspect that I have learned from them is the dabbu printing, where it takes weeks inside the mud before it's ready for printing or the block printing, and one can't work in very high temperatures as the platform on which the fabric is placed for printing has a coating of wax. It's such an interesting process!"