Artisan Spotlight | Meet Manish
Meet Manish, the manager of the sewing center in Nepal known as Kingdom Hope Garments (KHG) that we collaborate with to create our Nepal collections.
Manish came by this job unexpectedly. The previous facility manager was threatened so much by the local traffickers, he had to flee the country – leaving Manish in charge. You see local traffickers are volatile towards any individual or organization that interferes with their work, or worse, their workers. They will go to terrifying lengths to ensure those who are trying to help remedy the trafficking problem in Nepal are threatened or harmed. Therefore, we do not want to disclose any further personal information about Manish as we want to ensure his safety in Nepal.
What we can share with you is that Manish is a cheerful and resourceful man. We have had many questions and challenges as we try and source in a new country with a new partner and he has navigated them all. Without the opportunity to travel to meet everyone in KHG yet, we have had to rely on his sourcing prowess and sense of style in helping us obtain the materials we need in order to create a collection. We have shared several late night Facebook sessions with Manish selecting fabrics from the market as he virtually shops with us!
Manish has already gone to great lengths to ensure we create pieces that we not only love, but that we know will sell in the American market. For example, one time in the weeeee hours of the morning we could not find any real Dhaka that we liked through our virtual shopping. Real Dhaka is woven on both sides by hand and exudes all the vibrancy and colors of the individual threads it’s composed of.
Printed Dhaka however is now more common in the marketplace in Nepal, because it’s cheaper and easier to produce than real Dhaka. Alas, it is only printed on one side, and to us, not as beautiful. Instead of giving up on the search and asking us to settle, without telling us, Manish hopped on a plane and started shopping in a market in the next city!
Manish is a leader not only at KHG, but within his community. At KHG, he is a sound businessman who looks for operational flaws and system efficiencies. He keeps production smooth, seamless and on time. He is our lead correspondent on all communication with the group and helps determine pricing that is fair for both the sewing center and their clients.
In his community, it’s not easy to stand up for something that could risk you and your family’s lives. With his level of talent and social acumen, he could easily work in another industry. But to be adamantly and publicly against the trafficking problems that exist within Nepal is brave, to say the least. We honor him for this and we know the women at the sewing center do to.