Shashikala’s Weaving Success: Reviving Indian Heritage through Handloom Sarees

The Business Press
3 min readMar 17, 2023

Handloom sarees have been an integral part of Indian culture and tradition for centuries. The intricacy and beauty of these hand-woven fabrics are unmatched, making them the perfect choice for special occasions and everyday wear. However, the popularity of synthetic and powerloom sarees has left handloom sarees in the shadows, leading to the decline of the artisans and weavers who create them. It was this realization that led Shashikala, a 75-year-old entrepreneur, to start her brand, Shashikala.

Shashikala is a punny name that reflects both the founder’s name and the quality of the products offered. The brand offers handloom sarees made from traditional fabrics like Chanderi, Ajrakh, Bengal cotton, and Paithani, among others. The brand’s signature products are the Chanderi, Paithani, Bengal cotton and Ikat sarees, which are affordable without compromising on quality.

A Family Affair: How a Mother-in-Law and Daughter-in-Law Duo Launched the Business

Co-founded by Pramila, Shashikala’s daughter-in-law, the brand was launched on February 4th, 2020. Since then, it has become a platform for artisans and weavers to showcase their skills and promote their craft. Shashikala’s products fall under categories like Manglagiri, Maheshwari, Paithani, South Indian Cotton, Jamdani, Ikat, Chanderi, Banarasi, Ajrakh Blouse, and Ajrakh Saree.

One of the pain points that Shashikala solves is making handloom sarees accessible and affordable to everyone. The brand’s mission is to promote sustainable clothing and spread the rich heritage of handloom sarees to younger generations. The brand’s founder, Shashikala, started the business with just two lakhs at the age of 75, a testament to her passion for promoting the handloom industry.

The brand’s story began when Shashikala and her family went shopping for her 50th wedding anniversary. They stumbled upon handloom sarees and were immediately drawn to the beauty and tradition of the fabrics. Shashikala decided to purchase a Paithani saree and was surprised to learn that it was hand-woven by weavers in the nearby location. After further research, she realized that handloom sarees were becoming a dying art, and it was time to take action. She began working with 50 weavers, and their collaboration resulted in the creation of the brand’s signature Chanderi sarees.

From Local to Global: How the Handloom Saree Startup is Taking Indian Craftsmanship to the World

With more than 800 orders completed, Shashikala has already made a mark in the handloom saree industry. The brand has spread its services to countries like the USA, Abu Dhabi, Malaysia, and more. The brand’s products have also gained popularity among Marathi celebrities. The brand is also actively involved in giving back to the society. 5% of their profits go to an NGO VOPA working on the education of underprivileged students in rural areas of Maharashtra.

Looking ahead, Shashikala plans to expand its brand further by exploring more traditional fabrics and expanding the product range. The brand’s vision is to continue promoting sustainable clothing while making handloom sarees accessible to everyone.

In conclusion, Shashikala is a brand that is dedicated to promoting the handloom industry and making traditional hand-woven sarees accessible to everyone. The brand’s products reflect the beauty and intricacy of Indian culture and tradition, and their affordable pricing makes them accessible to all. As the brand continues to grow and expand, it remains committed to promoting sustainable clothing and preserving the rich heritage of handloom sarees.

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