Anika, Founder, Willow
As a 17-year-old student, I feel blessed to have been able to view the world through several different lenses- being a third culture kid, my life began in India, continued in China and Singapore. Now, I live and study in the US. When COVID-19 hit last year, I saw every country that I called “home” go through massive devastation. Overnight, the state of so many countries, families and individuals were left in jeopardy. The level of despair seemed unreal. I realized that many livelihoods would never remain the same and even if we as the world were to recover, it was going to take every bit of resilience we possess. I used my sense of resilience to dream of a better future for women artisans across the world, in order to grant them the autonomy to create and sustain their livelihood and that’s how Willow Fund began.
Archana Sahay, Coach & Mentor, Willow Fund
It is an absolute pleasure to be associated with a social enterprise that is so focused on creating and sustaining the livelihood of rural woman artisans across the world. Having worked in the impact space for about 2 decades’, I’m excited to be a part of this new chapter of lifelong learnings by being able to showcase the power of women-led impact through the eyes of our powerful women artisans! I particularly find it refreshing to be able to work with youth who exhibit such a great level of empathy, intelligence and persistence. As a coach & mentor, I work closely with Ms.Anika in establishing this social venture and supporting all the initiatives of the startup.
We are a social start up that seeks to restore normalcy in the lives of people after an intangible fallout of COVID 19, severely impacting large section of the skilled labours leaving behind many surviving wives and orphans. At Willow, we celebrate the rich legacy of global handicrafts by honouring the COVID warriors who have made it their life’s mission to sustain their living. We work closely with these COVID warriors especially women in various sectors across the world in order to empower them with the autonomy to sustain their livelihood.
As we continue to deal with the aftermath of the pandemic, Willow Fund was started as a means to raise the dignity of the women in all sectors across the country. We wanted to extend our support to continue the invaluable legacy of handicrafts by providing a platform for these women- be it single mothers or women who have no one to call family. Through Willow, we want to empower these women to reinvent themselves with resilience, comfort and love. We house lots of collections of products that span the length and the breadth of the world, allowing us to dazzle you with the timeless legacy of invaluable handicrafts!
To help women impacted by pandemic and other challenges to build a sustainable livelihood through their arts and handicrafts. All the proceeds would be donated to the women who have lost their husbands due to Covid-19
It is no secret that the world encapsulates an unparalleled and unimaginable level of diversity. Through our valuable contributions and dedicated efforts, we aim to reduce the suffering of the women and families who lost their husbands and breadwinners of their families.
The rural women take pride in enhancing the ordinary function of utility by fusing it with enchanting beauty and intricately aesthetic storytelling. We work closely with rural women and families especially artisans who suffered the devastating effects of COVID 19 and lost their loved ones. We aim to understand their aspirations for themselves. The reality of their working conditions and production methods are often laborious, with a single piece taking multiple hours of work at the very least. As single mothers and as women who are not part of conventional families, these women continue to endure undue stigma from society. Moreover, they are at the intersection of double marginalisation, often burdened with obligations in the households while also facing the wrath of the brutal economic aftermath of the pandemic wreaking havoc in their livelihoods.
We do not just work with the women, we would like to believe that we work with the extended community of their families, neighbourhoods and towns alike. We hope to provide a marketplace where they can grow their talent, intrigue and ideas to write into existence their own definition of what it means to be empowered.