By Mushtaq Bhat
Srinagar, September 18: To revive the traditional art of Kashmir and to acquaint the world with what Kashmir has to offer, Haaika Ghalib Shah (26), a Marketing and Finance graduate has established a brand “Myôn” (means “My”) in Kashmir.
With this brand Haaika aims to take the customers on a unique journey where they will experience the rich and luxurious heritage of Kashmir through their carefully hand-picked products.
“I started this venture a year ago in mid-2020 after seeing the plight of our artisans and how many of them were leaving it that has been generationally running in their families due to lack of market opportunities,” she said.
Haaika’s venture deals with most of the Kashmiri crafts including copperware, rugs, carpets, shawls, papier machie, Tilla/Sozni/Aari work, and wicker work.
“All our products are made by local artisans who are veterans in their fields and have won various accolades on national and international level for their work,” she said.
Haaika wants to connect these artisans to her customers while ensuring she pays fair wages to them and maintains the quality of the products.
Since Haaika is running an online business, according to her, it is difficult for her to showcase the premium quality of the products.
“It is difficult to make the customers understand how the products are different from the counterfeits readily available in the market,” she said.
She said during the Covid-19 lockdown, it became very difficult for her to be physically present with the artisans while working.
“Thankfully, both these problems have been solved with time as we have earned the trust and loyalty of our customers and are also able to work closely with the artisans.”
Haaika’s family has always been supportive in whatever she does and the same has been the case when she started this venture.
“My parents have always been my biggest cheerleaders and also my biggest critics,” she said.
The response to her venture has been great as she was able to sell most of her inventory in the first month after launch.
“We have been repeatedly getting orders from our customers,” she said
Myôn plans to launch a unique winter collection soon.
Haaika’s interest in culture and tradition grew when she was studying in France.
“We understand that the world is changing and so are the needs of our customers; thus, we aim to bring a modern/more contemporary touch to our products, while keeping the traditional craftsmanship intact,” she said.
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