Shahiba is your typical 23 year old; except that she’s not - she has arisen, on her own, from the shackles of the environment around her and made her place in the world. Not easy for all, but a few barriers did not stop this committed young girl. The grit and determination Shahiba harnessed to become an entrepreneur makes for an incredibly inspiring story.
When our team first ran into her, she was at her father’s glass trading shop. Despite being a Political Science post-graduate, her sociocultural circumstances did not allow her to work outside her home. She worked from home, weaving lifestyle products and doing intricate embroidery on clothes. When she was offered a work-from-home opportunity to leverage and develop the weaving skills she already had, Shahiba jumped at it.
Now she dons multiple hats at Sirohi - of an artisan, a Cluster Head (managing the work of several other Sirohi artisans), and also a designer! She helped us develop our weaving catalogue including over 20 different patterns. Despite her existing social barriers, she continues to find creative ways to empower herself - making her own creations, earning up to 15,000 rupees per month and even taking on leadership positions within our organization. She learns, she leads, she inspires. When the team wanted to launch macramé planters and Shahiba wasn’t skilled or experienced in the craft, she worked hard to scour through YouTube to find tutorials and work with the team to create the product. Now, she overlooks the construction of the macrame products by other artisans in her cluster and uses Pinterest to look for new designs.
At the start of her Sirohi journey, a shy Shahiba was very hesitant to join video calls with the team; but now, in a stark contrast, gives interviews to share her story with the world. In a recent interview she said she hoped all young girls and women are inspired to learn that “you must work.” Incredibly, she has her own Instagram account now and is so proud that her work reaches so many people. To help her along her upward journey, we are teaching her the ropes of online channels such as Facebook Marketplace and Instagram to sell her products independently, beyond Sirohi. Her ultimate goal is to open her own boutique at home, and through Sirohi, we hope to bring her closer to this dream one step at a time.
As Shahiba earns through her craft and makes a name for herself, she continues to inspire a positive shift in women everywhere around her. From her community, facing the same barriers she did, they are now stepping up to work-from-home with Sirohi and are leveraging technology to make new well-designed products. Through craft, Shahiba hopes to design a future of financial independence for herself and many many more women!