Village Artisan, North India

Village Artisan was born out of the passion to make a difference to struggling artisan communities in North India.

Dave and Natasha Cox set out from their native Canada in 1999, full of youthful enthusiasm and a spirit of adventure. Bound for the exotic sub-continent with two small kids in tow, they were driven by a dream to do something meaningful with their lives. They drank many cups of chai as they listened to the stories of locals who were hard working, loved their families yet were in dire poverty. Though many conversations it became clear, they were simply seeking a fair opportunity. Exploitation by employers meant that many men worked hard only to be enticed to work another month in hopes to be paid for the months gone by with out pay. Women and their children were undervalued simply without education or opportunity often leaving them vulnerable to being traded and mistreated. Profoundly moved, they developed a vision “to design great ethical products, train people in the skills to make them well and find a place for these treasures in the global market.” This was empowerment that would allow people to provide for their own families with dignity and prevent atrocities like human trafficking.

The dream was so much bigger than the two of them could ever be. Village Artisan spreads hope and opportunity, drawing like a magnet those who want to be part of something bigger than themselves. Dave and Tasha’s vision and passion touches hearts and attracts many people wanting to be involved. It’s a tribe of diverse members – from the Western mums who proudly wear their hand-stitched sari scarves, to the village youths embracing responsibility and earning respect, to the core team working onsite in India in three locations who come from 3 countries and 4 Indian states.

Village Artisan is about creating stories of change and transformation in the lives of a growing number of families and communities in North India by training artisans, designing great products and connecting their work to the global market. This empowerment allows people to provide for their own families with dignity and prevent atrocities like human trafficking.

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