Kanak Hirani Nautiyal
Co-Founder & Partner at KARIGAR
A former journalist in Bangalore, India for the English daily The Times of India, Kanak moved to Amsterdam, Netherlands in 2006. Here, she took on the challenge of managing a multi-cultural team of 25 people as the sales manager for an online education company focussing on the Middle East as a market. In 2011, Kanak quit her corporate job to be a stay at home mother. It was during a visit to India that she realised the Indian handloom industry offered great potential and gave her the chance to pursue a career and work from home. So in 2013, she co-founded Pashm, a company that helped connect rural Indian artisans to the international fashion market, giving the artisans opportunities to learn new skills, showcase their craft and earn a regular income.
In 2014, Kanak and her partners Sindhu and Jolijn launched their own sustainable fashion brand Karigar (meaning artisan in Hindi) and used contemporary design to shapeshift heritage and create unique handmade textiles for global conscious consumers.
Karigar now retails across Europe and they have recently launched a webshop as a way of directly connecting with consumers. Their vision is that women of all shapes, color and size will proudly own and wear a Karigar Cape, handmade by the talented artisans of rural India.