One moment it’s September and you are soaking in the post monsoon sultriness, next moment it’s October and the festivals are here already. Diwali is round the corner and remember you have to shop for an outfit…actually 3 outfits, your mom wants to buy new serving trays and lanterns for the house and your little sister wants gift hampers for her friends….So, what do you do? Well, for those like me who love handmade goods, I found out, years ago actually, this beautiful store at Hauz Khas that offers hand crafted products from traditions across the country, ranging from terracotta jewellery to lamps and diyas. Also you can make your own gift hamper!
I have been quite excited to write this piece having been an ardent fan of this beautiful store and may be one of their earliest customers. Tatsat established as a ‘Shop with a cause’ in South Delhi, offers most of the products sourced from either NGOs, self-help groups, green producers or budding entrepreneurs. Mere visit to places like this is like a therapy session, I get so inspired and rejuvenated by pretties and store displays.
I thought you might enjoy a little eye candy too (therapy, anyone?)
Tatsat believes in providing great quality goods while nurturing the environment and building on the strengths of marginalized rural communities to create sustainable livelihoods and overall prosperity. By providing a retail opportunity to remote artisans and weavers, Tatsat is also doing its bit towards empowering the not so well-off.
Tatsat means pure and true and that goes so well with the brand and its products. The store is owned by the Narang family. Their daughters Jyotsna and Hema look after the day to day affair of the store. I met Hema and she spoke to me how passionate she is about the concept of sustainable arts and eco-friendly products. She says “The aim of ‘tatsat’ has been to house only eco-friendly, handmade, handwoven and handcrafted products procured from non-governmental organizations, green producers and budding entrepreneurs. It’s a journey of sustaining thousands of livelihoods residing in the remotest of corners of the country and saving the dying art forms in many states. Having a typical customer base that values the craftsmanship and the story behind the maker of each product, we source products from various parts of India such as Westbengal, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and others. We also source from North East. The idea behind the store was to bridge the gap and provide effective market space to the marginalized producers.” she adds.
She believes times are changing and today there’s a growing awareness about organic and sustainable lifestyle. She says, ” We keep our product line limited to products that are genuinely natural or handmade. Some of our skincare products are even certified organic.”
She shared a story of the Tagon tribe in Arunachal Pradesh who are gifted crafstmen but they are situated in a remote village in the border area of Arunachal Pradesh. It is inhabitated by 14 families and to reach there you have to trek 2 days through the midst of dense forests. Their only resource is bamboo and they make beautiful bamboo products which are now a part of retail stores like Tatsat. Stories like these are really inspirational and I think more and more stores should promote these crafted people who are situated in remote parts of the country.
The shelves are laden with handmade jewellery, hand woven sarees, organic skin care, handmade natural soaps and much more- all sourced from over 50 NGOs and self help groups or procured directly from weavers and craftsmen. Jewellery is one the most popular product categories in the store.
As I walked out I thought, like many times before, that sometimes it does help to take a little detour from the usual shopping hubs and drop by at a handicraft store as you never know what you may find. The best part of it is that, you’re helping the indigenous art forms and our artisans to thrive and have a good livelihood. This Diwali could be a perfect occasion to encourage craftsmanship and art around you by choosing to do somewhat off beat Diwali shopping.
Please feel free to share your Diwali shopping stories…