Tell us about yourself.
Our names are Omaira Qayoom Khan and Binish Bashir Khan.
Omaira: After doing my schooling from Netaji memorial School I went to Higher Secondary Kothi Bagh. I did my gradation from Women’s College M.A Road. It was during my B.Ed at
Sarfaraz College I met Binish.
Binish: I am an alumina of Shining Star School and Higher Secondary School Amira Kadal. I graduated from Women’s College M.A. Road. In year 2010 destiny took me to Sarfaraz College for my B.Ed. It was here where I met Omaira .After that we together went to KU for Masters in Sociology.
You can say we are two friends who met during normal course of life in college and stuck together ever since. May be we are together because we share similar degree of madness about what is close to our hearts and what is important to us. And the binding force between us is the honesty of friendship that we share.
Presently we both are working as teachers in The Tree House Preparatory School.
Apart from teaching you both have started a business, tell us about that?
We have started a business under the banner of Craftworld Kashmir. We both make stuff and sell it online through our Instagram and Facebook page.
Our business is basically our recognition of our own self grown, self-taught skills and talent, which was previously hidden and confined to our homes only.
Great! So what do you ladies make?
We make handmade stuff – CROCHET. This includes crochet booties, bags, hand pouches, mobile pouches, jewellery, wall hangings, baskets, rubber bands, headbands, ponchos, beanies any style, cowls, boot cuffs, hand warmers, shrugs, coasters, curtain tie backs and cushion covers.
We do FABRIC PAINTING. We do paint on bed covers, cushion covers, kurties, wall hangings and dresses.
We also do POT DESIGNING and MEHANDI designing.
Awesome! How did you start this?
It all started when we realized that we both have common skills which we follow with passion of equal intensity.
Before starting Craftworld Kashmir we were doing this at home and for home, but it was not giving us the excitement that we desired as our innovative ideas remained within ourselves only. But as our friends came to know about this, appreciations, one after the other poured in, then followed the unending chain of requests from friends and well-wishers. This triggered the idea. but we realized that the most difficult part was marketing and reaching out to people.
Finally one day while surfing some pages on Instagram a plan flashed across our minds, why not make use technology as marketing tool so thus we started this online business. and in Kashmir we are the first who started such type of multi-pronged multi-faceted business.
What about investment for this?
We didn’t require much financial investment, they only investment was our time. Our skills are self-sustained as of now. Let us see how the future works.
Did your teaching experience help you in anyway in this venture?
If our business adventure is the icing, then teaching is the cake. Be it in Kashmir or anywhere in the world, teaching gives a feeling similar to a master mason who is busy laying foundation on which a beautifully meaningful building called life will come. We are better placed because we have educated parents who understand, cooperate and share our efforts for the betterment of the child.
Does Craftworld add any value to Kashmir?
We aim to strengthen the old tradition where women were the strongest link in the chain of Kashmir handicrafts, they were the Pashmina spinners, the carpet weavers, the Sozni artists and more. Moreover we want to give people these handmade/ home products at affordable prices by removing all together the middleman between manufacture and the customer.
What advice can you give to someone who is thinking of making stuff like you and selling it online?
Our advice to others is the same as age old one, never fail without trying and there are no short cuts to success.
Here is a video from Craftworldkashmir showing how to paint on clothing.