Meet Laxmi Vishwakarma
"If they see my life and success it will give them hope."
Laxmi Vishwakarma - Sahara Collective Since 1996
Laxmi was introduced to MarketPlace when she
was a teenager tagging along to the collective with
her artisan mother. When she was 18 she learned
the stitches and was helping her mother with the
embroidery. For her mother, it was just work, but for
Laxmi it was a calling.
As a young wife and mother, Laxmi found her family of 4 sharing a small home with 9 in-laws. Her husband had no regular income, only small payments for occasional odd jobs. Laxmi reached out to Aburkani, leader of the Sahara Collective, and joined that group. That was 24 years ago, and her successes and confidence have grown, all with the support and encouragement of Sahara and MarketPlace.
Laxmi came up with the idea of making jewelry using chindis, leftover scraps. The pieces were a hit with MarketPlace customers and soon many artisans were working on their production. With Aburkani's blessing, she explored some options for making and selling accessories on her own at local markets. Researching government programs supporting local arts, she learned of a program that sponsors artisans to attend and show at exhibitions, and 3 years ago she joined the Indian Handicrafts group under the Ministry of Textile. Traveling on her own for the first time, she showed at exhibitions in Mumbai and Delhi. She plans to grow her business while continuing her work as supervisor at Sahara. She also dreams of someday opening a new cooperative with MarketPlace, using her experience to provide the same opportunity to other women. "If they see my life and success it will give them hope."