Amelia and Alnasir Khan, the founder-owners of Kaarigar have been married for over three decades. Amelia grew up in the Philippines and Alnasir in India. Both countries are known for their excellent handcrafted items in wood, fabric, metal and stone. A significant number of people, unfortunately, barely manage to eke out a living from their meagre earnings in this industry.
On one of his trips to India, Alnasir witnessed an exchange between an artisan and a retailer over pricing. He was shocked at the very low price the retailer squeezed out of the poor artisan. This incident had a serious impact on Alnasir and got him thinking on how to help such artisans and their families. He met with artisans in several other regions of the country to assuage their needs and wants and came to the obvious conclusion, that these artisans need to be paid a fair value for the handiwork and how to expose their high quality, labour intensive and beautiful work to the international consumer.
Amelia and Alnasir have a profound appreciation for handcrafted items and the artisans that create them. They thus set up their business ‘Kaarigar’ (means ‘artisan’ in Hindi). The name reflects their mission to promote the handiwork of artisans in India, globally.