I was introduced to this label by my little sister who is friendly to one of the brains behind the undertaking as she knew of my penchant for handcrafted products. Asya hand-embroiders Chikkankari t-shirts which make you Look Good while Doing Good. This is a social enterprise that works for the upliftment of the women at Jais Village in Uttar Pradesh. They are taught the ancient craft of Lucknow, Chikkankari embroidery, under the guidance of a National Award winning craftsman with the Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojana. This project gives a contemporary twist to Chikan work while keeping the finer aspects of the craft alive. These women strive hard by walking several kilometers each day just to reach the workshop. Asya very rightly so is proud to have set a precedence in paying them by the hours which doubles their income, as opposed to the regular market wages; changing their lives dramatically at all fronts.
These t-shirts are pure cotton with only 2% lycra making it a perfect choice for the long humid or dry summer months in India, being very soft, cool and comfortable. They are available in different sizes for kids between 1-6 yrs. and for women in S/M/L/XL. Easy care instructions like hand wash is recommended, with no bleaching. At present they are retailed at The Oak Tree in Mumbai, and the Kids Collection is at Pappadum in Chennai. Aysa is capable of offering them as party favours for birthdays, bridal showers, mehendi, corporate gifts etc. Just keep time on hands while placing large orders as they are hand-embroidered.
FB page: https://www.facebook.com/asyastore
The Brand: Masala Tee
Names of Founders: Sheikha MATTAR- JACOB & Noelline BESSON
Please tell us about yourselves – educational & professional background, cities you live(d) in.
Noelline: Born in Bangalore (India) and brought up in France. Graduated in Interior design in Paris, Decorative painting in Avignon & Beaux-Arts. Had been a decorative painter and designer in Bordeaux (France) and now in New Delhi since the past 6 yrs.
Sheikha: Have graduated from the National University of Singapore. With 16 years of advertising, marketing and creative experience; have worked with Saatchi & Saatchi, an advertising company, in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia for 11 years, as well as Publicis Group in Paris for a year and later in India for another year. For 4 years have been a freelance writer for lifestyle magazines and advertising agencies in Shanghai, China, also.
How did you two meet and become friends?
We’d actually met 3 years ago, whilst volunteering with the same Orphanage and chanced upon each other on an excursion at the Delhi Zoo with the children of that Orphanage.
What inspired you to create your collection?
To brew our very own Masala Tee from India and show our interpretation of India in all its beauty and extremities. We wanted to give back to the community that we live in (as a percentage of the sales proceeds go back to humanitarian organisations helping children and women). Basically to create something with a conscience. We wanted our customers to feel engaged while buying the tee and sharing this same with their friends & family, by ultimately creating a community around Masala Tee.
Masala Tee prides itself on being an Indo-centric quirky eco tee products that reach out to the world by focussing on a memorable tongue-in-cheek brand name and branding. It is 100% Organic Cotton ‘Green’ Tee which has encrusted jewelry on Women’s tee and embroidered with a flocking effect for Men & Children.’My personal favourites’ are the Masala tee Infusion and Masala tee Signature Sugarcube; fuss free for any body type, trendy or stylish depending on how you’d like carry it off.
Online shop for these t-shirts on www.masalateeboutique.com