“My friend Malti was a part of Craftkari and she would always be quilling on the metro when we travelled together. One day, I tried my hand at it, and found it interesting. Soon enough, my interest in it increased, and I joined Craftkari. I used to have another job but last year, I decided to turn Craftkari into a full-time job. The best part about this is that I can do things based on my own ideas and make new things. We feel very happy when people compliment and appreciate our creations. That’s why I am so committed to this venture. It has also helped me financially support my brother. He is studying hotel management and I pay a portion of his fees; it makes me very happy. My colleagues have also supported me immensely. My confidence has gone up, and I don’t feel intimidated by presenting to large corporates anymore. In the future, I hope our enterprise gains more recognition because it is entirely run by hard-working women”.
“I used to do paper quilling before I joined Craftkari. My aunt, who has been with Manzil for 10 years, saw my work and encouraged me to join Craftkari. I didn’t know that my future lay here until then. Craftkari is like my family, it is very important to me. I am the youngest member of the team – I am only 21. Everyone here treats me like their little sister. I have grown in so many ways – learned new things, improved my communication skills and started earning. I got my first paycheck two years ago from Craftkari.
In the future, I hope our enterprise goes global. It is a women’s empowerment group, and 6 core members are from different backgrounds. I hope that more people start valuing our art and we build a reputation for this enterprise”.
“I am from Nepal, I came to Delhi when I was 7 years old. I have been a part of this organization for 10 years now. The best part about working in Craftkari is that it gives me an easy working environment. Since we are an all-women’s group working together, my parents find it comfortable for me to stay here working long hours. Everyone is so understanding here, we help each other, and we listen to each other. There is an understanding and a collective sense of ownership for our work here.”
“I can’t believe I am an independent woman. I do all the house chores, I come to Craftkari for work, I go out to buy supplies and I go to deliver products alone. It feels surreal that I have come so far but I still wish that Craftkari gets known for its work, because I truly feel that our work and our products are unique are made utmost love and care”.
“I first saw a friend wearing a necklace made of paper quilling, and I absolutely loved it, it was so unique because I had never seen jewelry made of paper before. I used to work part time at Craftkari, and I did several other jobs as well. I did a course in hotel management, a job in a bakery, a corporate job, but none of these made me enjoy what I did, it felt more like a mechanical 12 hours a day job. What made me join Craftkari full time was its free environment. I could plan my day myself and deliver as well. It gives me immense satisfaction when I see people appreciating our work for both its beauty and use, and my contribution holding a value. I hope that I improve my skills at this art of paper quilling technique, to create better designs to expand our business”.
Once from my classes at Manzil, I had brought home earrings made of paper from used wedding cards. My family members loved it and started using it. I found the idea − of turning paper quilling into usable products, very attractive and I soon joined the Craftkari team. We started out with exhibiting our products in stalls to eventually opening a business. It has been 10 years now, but I have never thought about switching jobs. I tried my hand at parlor work and did a job as well, but I realized that I didn’t enjoy working under a boss. At Craftkari, I am my own boss. I can take a leave in urgency and compensate for that in due time. The effort we put clearly shows results when our products are liked by many and that our individual contribution makes a difference. But I sometimes also feel apprehensive about our enterprise. I feel like our products should not be undervalued in the market and we should get rewarded appropriately for our hard work”.
“Based on the advice given to me by Indira Gulati Ma’am (the founder of Manzil), I joined the art and craft classes at Manzil. The group involved was very interested in doing paper quilling, as it was unique and caught everyone’s attention. Gradually, friends of Manzil started buying our products and recommended that we set up a formal business.
Being the oldest member of the team, I feel that I must set an example for the other girls. This is why I will always be involved, as it is my responsibility to stick by it and do what I enjoy doing most. I respect my job and the enterprise has reached where it is today because we have worked towards this as a team. It has played a major role in empowering us. I never imagined that I would be able to financially support my family with my earnings. We are a big family and with my income, I have been able to buy a house in Delhi, and we no longer need to pay rent.