Handicraft Sector Insight:
One of the biggest issues in India is that our markets do not recognize the true value of craft. When this value is recognized, and if people are willing to pay a higher price for craft-based products, this should translate into higher wages for weavers and craftspeople and act as a boost to millions of rural-based livelihood opportunities associated with this sector.
The economics however is not as simple, as finally it comes down to the conflict between pricing and sales. If you out-price goods, you sell only a limited number. If you don't give crafts people enough work, it kills the craft.
These craftspeople or artisans are the backbone of the non-farm rural economy, with an estimated 7 million artisans according to official figures (and upto 200 million artisans according to unofficial sources) engaged in craft production to earn a livelihood.1tely depend on finding a fine balance between the two.
Hand for Handmade:
Harnessing the potential of this sector requires different types of investments to preserve traditional crafts, strengthen the sector, and improve the incomes of artisans and hence Tisser came on the canvas. Tisser in French means ‘to weave’.
The vision of Tisser India is to weave together the stories of successfully empowered women in rural communities and the spread of products of varied art communities to more and more customers. Tisser promotes rural livelihood. Tisser encourages weavers and craftsmen who make products using traditional techniques, skills, and hand processes that are the core of Incredible India!
The artisans found an unmatched expression of our splendid culture through the cherished legacy of handmade products. One of the key aims of Tisser community development work is to identify and help revive local traditional arts and crafts that were dying because of industrialization and market forces. This resurgence has a systemic impact on multiple levels in the community, from cultural to economic.
The Tisser Artisan Trust works towards empowering women artisans across India Through its outreach program, Tisser aims to build fruitful partnerships and undertake a variety of projects to uplift and support women artisans at the grassroot level. While providing them industry exposure, its activities also ensure that the artisans are connected to bigger and inclusive value chains.
Once we started digging in the sector, we realized investment should focus on building the four cornerstones of artisans’ sustainability:
Handholding the Artisan through the Value Chain.
Strengthening the Decentralized Production Model.
Increasing Demand for Crafts and Strengthening Market Linkages.
Building a Multi-Stakeholder Approach.
Tisser’s solution included both mobilisation of artisans empowering local supply as well as creating demand by getting rid of middlemen and creating a seamless value chain for
Consumers to buy into.
Networking with regional artisans and groups to create producer enterprises across South Asia is one example of how Tisser aims to empower artisans and producer enterprise groups to be partners in the value chain. By harnessing the transformative power of rural clusters.
Tisser ensures every artisan gets social incubation support for the creation of sustainable and scalable livelihood generation. Through its professional support, artisans can curate innovative and unique products and be upskilled in both design and product diversification.
Tisser also strengthened the handicraft/handloom value chain through its ICT innovations (Digital Interventions) in the form of its web portal and mobile application which give consumers direct access to eco-friendly, sustainable, and professionally designed products.
Peace of women:
One of the main ripple effects of women being trained at the centre is that they become a motivation factor for several women in the community who wish to break out of societal conditions. This cyclic impact is of great value in bringing about long term change as women here are getting approachable role models, which encourages them to aspire and engage in their self-development.
Women coming to learn, this centre has become a place of emotional solace. Sometimes, a woman-learner will just go, sit quietly and leave. They get a much-needed rest, quietude, and a breathing space where nobody judges them or tells them what to do. However, they are completely focused while training.
From the perspective of sustaining the community, it documents the plural stories of women and their strength, builds financial infrastructures to stop women from falling into debt traps, builds artisan clusters from the tourism perspective so they open opportunities for our artisans, helps the artisans at each stage so that they can function independently, soon enough.
These educated and upcoming artisans in turn train more artisans.
Today, with a pan-India presence, Tisser is working with artisans and weavers in different clusters/states of this vast country, for products that derive from traditional crafts and knowledge. All products are skillfully made and crafted from villages across India where the company works closely with the artisans, providing various inputs including design and quality control. Tisser is slow fashion and realises that with the changing of time-old art of handloom & handicraft are getting old and due to lack of innovation, are becoming redundant making the lives of these artists and weavers difficult.
Seeing the need of the hour, Tisser aimed to bring a new wave of innovation and seek a unique model by supporting product design & diversification, bringing IT innovations for improving artisan connectivity, and working on end-to-end cluster development.
Behind the scenes
Our Team makes sure that everything Tisser does is in line with the big picture, our vision and our mission. We are a team of 50 now with 3 offices and 2 shops in physical format plus 50 plus community professionals and regional coordinators and 10000 plus artisans. Our founder is an Urban Regional Planner with an experience of 20 years in the development sector, Dr.Megha Phansalkar specializes in community-led development in rural water supply, rural-urban sanitation, and rural development with a focus on livelihoods.
Lend a Hand:
We welcome creative minds to be part of our missions; locate Tisser on social media to know more on:
Har Dil Main Bharat
Creative Craft Collaboration