|* * * * * JOURNEY ON THE WOVEN PATH: AN UPDATE * * * * *|
~|~ YEAR 2010 ~|~ YEAR 2011 ~|~ Year 2012 ~|~
YEAR 2010: BEGINNING AND FOUNDATION
Year 2010 witnessed a memorable journey for the Touch of Class that begun with launching our website in Jan 2010, www.touchofclass.co.in and Rashmi Tapadia being conferred with ASSOCHAM WOMEN ENTREPRENEUR HERITAGE AWARD 2010 in Feb 2010. These were landmark achievements paved the path that we embarked on through the year and made us stronger every day to follow our dreams.
These achievements were nothing but due to our eminent clients & friends those do not stop at the conclusion of business but extend their support for the very cause we are working for. Ideas, energy, support and trust from you made us to believe in ourselves, to set higher goals and broader dreams. It is all of you who made our existence worth and we are proud to have you with us.
Looking back at 2010 and Welcoming 2011 we take this opportunity to review our journey.
Jan, 2010 Launch of www.touchofclass.co.in
Feb, 2010 Rashmi Tapadia was conferred by ASSOCHAM WOMAN ENTREPRENEUR AWARD 2010 for her work in revival of Paithani Art.
Fifty weavers those worked as team for Touch of Class were Covered with Savings account and a recurring account for consistent savings from their income and to build base for growing children.
New Designs, Patterns and procedures were set for quality control and highest standards.
A standardized return per working hour was established which assured artisans a sustainable yearly income protecting them from sudden changes in market, loss, damage or unknown events such as illness.
Several Corporate houses, Government Institutions, NGO's, Individuals, Designers and Embassy's recognized Rashmi's work and extended their support for her work.
Many new areas were explored where the Synonym of Paithani as Saree was broken and Paithani as ART prevailed. It was most challenging part as it begun with the training of weavers and applying Industry Standards of precision, consistency, repeatability to create the highest quality.
Since February raw materials (Silver, Gold and Silk) saw a exponential value rise which caused increased prices. It was difficult time to balance the prices and yet to make each paithani unique, affordable. We are proud to note that despite the increasing prices we managed to keep the them at nominal change. Our weavers and clients were understanding and supportive at each step which made it possible.
Another 25 weavers have begun working for us since July 2010. In coming year they will be adapting savings and healthcare practices that our each weaver enjoy.
We have made each of our weaver and worker to ensure that each children especially girls go to school and college. When necessary we provide them financial as well as other support. The pre-condition for each weaver to work with us is ensuring their child's future. If they disagree they don't work with us. It is future that we wish to build and that remains our top priority.
Dec, 2010 Over thousand individual clients spanned in 40 countries cherished their possession of a Touch of Class Paithani and wished us success for entering into New Year.
Some bad times ran parallel where cartels of businesses tried to create hurdles as they do not wish to see independent weavers. The fair return is against several vested interests as it means their loss in exorbitant profits. With support from all of you, we survived all such times and became more dedicated to our work.
We are proud that in our journey, we did not took a penny from anyone as donation, loan or subsidy while keeping selling prices always to that of cost of making.
! Year 2011 !
We welcomed New Year (On 1st Jan, 2011) with presenting (see PowerPoint Presentation here) our Paithani Art and New Creations to 50 Harvard Business School, Harvard, USA Graduate Student those will be Leader of Tomorrow. It was fulfilling experience to interact with finest talent that will shape future of the World. It is also a recognition to our quest of revival and bringing rich Indian culture and tradition to the new definition.
THANK YOU !
Clients Served in December 2010
Updated: January 15th, 2011
YEAR 2011 : ON THE WOVEN PATH: ANOTHER MILESTONE OF TOUCH OF CLASS!
After a successful Year 2010, the journey of Touch of Class brought more joy and reason to celebrate. Many new innovations and process optimization steps were implemented from the experience of year 2010. Supportive and encouraging clientele made each creation, a memorable journey and their involvement a joyful experience.
* As on July 2011, over 40 looms and artisans are busy on customized orders that will run till 2014. This reflect our very commitment to the artisans for a sustainable work and income for building their future. The success is again of our clienteles who extend trust and support for the cause with kindness and generosity.
* Encounters with devil's mind remained an unfortunate time but it almost became inevitable when one embark on such path. The strength of support from our clients and trust from our artisans made it a non-issue although legal battles are in process.
A reputed and old outlet of Sarees in Karve Road Kasat Creations, Pune, posed and advertised Touch of Class Paithani as their own and created confusion among the clients and our workforce. Regretfully we had to take assistance of Police action and a civil suite for defamation was filed recently. Another retail outlet from Aurangabad which claims as manufacturer of Paithani used images of our creation as their own and boldly flashed them across their website. Again a copyright and defamation proceedings are on the way through Yahoo! which was hosting this website. Navlaee Paithani of Pune has done similar theft of our copyrighted images and once again we had to take assistance of Police Cyber cell and legal proceedings. Few more incidents in similarity were just ignored as it meant no role in our pursuit of revival of Art. Many fake clients and visitors is our routine now and we have leaned to ignore them while serve to the best for genuine supporters. We remained open and positive while displaying our creation, sharing information on our website and with our visitors but the nuisance created by such entity harm the purpose to serve. We had to take few measures with pain but we still believe that our purpose and cause is far above such encounters. If anything has caused by them is the boost to our determination and strength. Paithani dot com is another addition to the list who violated our copyrights.
* Since June 2010, several students of Art and Fashion discipline approached us for information and training. The successful implementation and journey of 2010 gave us confidence to contribute in academia and also exchanging ideas with fresh brains. Students from Germany (2), Australia (3), UK (2), USA (7), Canada (1), UAE (1) and India (9) have been supported with extensive research material, history and cultural aspects that we gathered over past 5 years. Each of these students are undergoing into different levels of education but their interest made us proud and exchanges a joyous time.
* Many new creations, designs and modifications were constantly implemented and tested. We are with moderate success designed a loom which will highly reduce the stress and back pain of the weaver who spends 8 hours a day on it. This design is being tested right now and with confidence we hope that this will be very important factor for wellness of our workforce.
* Series of designs are underway which are re-creations of 200 to 500 year old Paithani Sarees and Shela. These are specially made for displays in museums which have the original art but are too brittle to display and maintain. This is a challenging task as the colors and designs are inherited from era when individual artisan would create a masterpiece of his own and could have taken years to weave. This assignment is very close to our heart as it will test our abilities to the art of gone centuries. More than the test, it is opportunity to be showcased in some of worlds finest collections of textile and history.
THANK YOU !
Updated: July 15th 2011
YEAR 2012 : ON THE WOVEN PATH: CLIMBING UP!
Turning pages of time, passing through the Year 2011 and having so many of you standing alongside, made us dream higher and venture the uphill path. It was enjoyable...given the unconditional support of our clients, friends and artisans which made it possible with glory and satisfaction.
Following 2011, we further refined and redefined our work culture and attempted to innovations those were planned in preceding year. Outcome was amazing as each piece we made was picked before coming out of loom. Custom designs and following orders kept our aim of sustainable work for artisans working thus allowing us to try and implement new ideas. New combinations, material variations and out of box designs were instant hit.
Our innovations and research in 2012 were centered towards betterment of work atmosphere, health of our artisans and making our looms more adaptive for trying more intricate weaves. It is our pride to state that we succeeded in each beyond our own targets. While we treat each of our artisan as a gifted one, their health and mental stress (due to long hours of weaving) are our deep concerns. In this front we have achieved remarkable count. Our team understand and train them to keep good health and peaceful mind. Our commitment for a creation where Soul and Heart of artisan becomes one and weave each thread into blessings is possible due to our endless efforts in their understanding and pride as an Artisan. We are happy to say that our clients always find each creation a lively and beautiful for the very reason stated here.
For any institution, monetary profit is measure of success. At Touch of Class, measure of success is satisfaction of our clients, uplifting of our artisans' life and together the glory of this beautiful art. We made handsome profits in all three criterions. More and many clients added our list of art lovers and their support ensured the fulfilment of dreams of our artisans and their family. It is our honor to express our sincere gratitude for the support, trust and patronage each of you showered on Touch of Class.
Milestones in 2012:
Crossed 2000 mark of Finest Paithani we made
Two artisans were awarded prestigious President of India Award for workmanship.
One artisan was conferred by Sant Kabir Award which is the highest recognition in Arts and Crafts from Government of India.
TLC-Discovery Channels' (Television) coverage on Golden weave by Touch of Class took us to world stage and added a recognition of Golden weave at par to the Gold ornaments. Read complete story here..
15 Students across India, Europe and North America trained for their curriculum/short reports and on dissertations on History, Art and Cultural importance of Paithani.
Received special applause from Dean of Harvard Business School and many more people around the world.
Our path is long and difficult as our dream is not just for present but for coming 2000 years. It is our sincere effort to do everything that we can to ensure that the Glorious Legacy of Golden Weave that passed to us with immense richness of 2000 years must live beautifully for another two thousand years. Having you alongside it is no more a fancy but a joyous and memorable walk on the woven path.
So much is said and so much is done but yet the most is un-spoken and to be done....bless us to do more and challenge us to set higher goals.....that's the journey we seek....for one that makes us to walk farther with YOU!
THANK YOU !
Updated: Jan 1st, 2013