Good things come in threes? As I sit down to write on the eve of Masala My Life’s third anniversary, I’m thinking so.
We’re so excited to celebrate three wonderful years, especially given the three years in question. We’re so pleased to now have three shopping options for you:
- Online at masalamylife.com as we began
- In person in Cary, NC, in the Painted Tree Boutique
- In person and with great food at the fabulous Cheeni restaurant in North Raleigh, NC
Indeed, most of 2022 has been spent getting the two physical shops ready, which has been a very different process than building an online store! Each step we take teaches us something. For example, clothing has done so well in person that we are adding fair trade kaftans and tops to the online store this week.
One of the things that I love about Masala My Life is that we have directly supported so many vendors who practice sustainable and ethical approaches to production — with tens of thousands spent. The Aasha Project, for example, provides fair wages for women in North India and helps empower their community as they create casual jewelry. Similarly, Madhu Chocolate and Elements Truffles use fair trade cacao, in addition to many other ways they use their businesses for the greater good.
As we begin our fourth year, we are excited to add these wonderful vendors:
- 700 Rivers, which was founded by NCSU alum Cathy Gomes, provides training and employment to artisans in Bangladesh who were victims of human trafficking. Their soaps and candles are stunning.
- Conscious Steps, which was founded by Prashant Mehta. provides ethical and empowering employment, sustainable production methods and uses fair trade organic cotton to create their comfy socks in India. In addition, every purchase is connected directly to a donation to a social cause.
- Aid Through Trade, founded by Peace Corps alum Damien Jones, empowers women in Nepal with ethical, fair and sustainable employment as they create gorgeous glass bead bracelets and earrings.
- Sevya, which features apparel and accessories handmade by artisan groups throughout India. Each piece is a work of art and is the culmination of centuries-old craft traditions involving many intricate steps. Sevya ensures that these artisan communities are able to earn a sustainable livelihood from their craft and pass the traditions on to the next generation.
When we add vendors, we are looking not only for such sustainable practices but also the types of products that speak to our blended South Asian American lives. As we’ve said before, so many of our products only exist because we as South Asian Americans exist.
And that’s what has us excited to begin the fourth year — staying true to our original mission of celebrating the South Asian American voice and connecting lives across cultures.
— Anu Mannar