Namlo Launches Etsy Site to Sell Scarves from Women’s Co-op

Three Namlo Volunteer 02

Sunitha Yadav, Lauren Rejvani and Annie Smith Start the Namlo Artisans Etsy Site

Namlo has launched “NamloArtisans” to support the dhaka weavers of the Sabhung Women’s Microenterprise Cooperative.  The Etsy site was the brainchild of Namlo volunteer Sunitha Yadav, supported by Executive Assistant Lauren Rejvani, and volunteers Annie Smith and Anusha Gurung.

The Sabhung Women’s Microenterprise Cooperative was formed years ago, and involved many steps, even prior to learning how to weave.  It started with Namlo providing classes in basic adult literacy to women interested in improving their lives, and the lives of their families.  Namlo then searched for a teacher, and found it in Mr. Vivek Mishra, an award-winning textile expert who provided assistance in the construction of looms and the teaching of basic weaving skills.  Later, the challenge focussed on identifying a site on which to build a women’s business center, since the number of women and looms outgrew the space available in local buildings.  After finding land, negotiating with landowners, being trained in cooperative practices so they could be certified by local government, the Sabhung Women’s Microenterprise Cooperative opened last year.

Dhaka Weaver

Dhaka Weaver

The most recent challenge has focussed on how Namlo International can sell to a broader audience, thereby supporting the weavers, supporting the organization and increasing the women’s cooperative self-sufficiency.  Namlo staff, board members and volunteers have been selling dhaka scarves made at the women’s cooperative through private parties, and at craft sales, but this created a growing inventory of dhakas, which also began to be a financial burden on Namlo since Namlo covers the costs of all the materials used by the women’s co-op, and buys the dhakas up-front.

Luckily, an enterprising woman named Sunitha Yadav, and decided she wanted to create a business plan and take action to increase the exposure of the women’s co-op.  After analyzing the cost of production, similar products and retail opportunities, Sunitha decided to test the waters by opening an Etsy shop.  Supported by Lauren Rejvani, Annie Smith and Anusha Gurung, the four women spent hours inventorying the dhakas, taking photos and setting prices.dhaka weaving

Then, last week, they opened the Etsy store.  We hope you visit the store and make a purchase, knowing each purchase goes to support the Women’s Microenterprise Cooperative, the weavers, and our ability to continue to provide support the the efforts of the cooperative, and Namlo Nepal’s ongoing activities.  You can also visit the site from our Facebook page.  Help spread the word!

red dhaka