Khitish Pandya is an experienced entrepreneur bringing his prior corporate background to his current business: Eco Tasar, an India based member of the Nest Artisan Guild. By joining with Pradan, a leading NGO in India, Khitish began working with the tribal communities of Jharkhand to develop a sustainable business model to help disadvantaged artisans and rural silk producers. With technical and managerial support, Eco Tasar has helped provide silk cocoon farmers with a stable source of income. Eco Tasar provides employment to over 500 families in rural India and encompasses activities from sourcing to marketing of handmade Tasar products. All products are handmade with weaving and dyeing taking place locally. Eco Tasar’s workforce is primarily home-based and 40% of the workers are women. Please join us in welcoming Khitish to the 2017 class of Artisan Leadership Summit participants!
We are thrilled to announce Marta Castañeda Landaz‘s attendance at the 2017 Nest Artisan Leadership Summit! Marta Castañeda Landaz is a dedicated collector of folk art, including traditional masks, ceramics, and textiles. For over a decade she has been helping artisans develop their business skills by assisting them with product quality and teaching them administrative and commercial skills.
Two years ago, Marta founded Pais Textil, a platform where the artisans she works with can sell their products. While its specialization is back-strap loom weaving, Pais Textil strongly believes in rescuing and preserving a variety of traditional Peruvian weaving techniques. By doing so, Pais Textil offers women the opportunity to use their skills and participate in the labor force. We are so proud that Pais Textile has been a vital member of the Nest Guild.
Freeset, part of the Nest Guild of artisan businesses, is an India-based fair trade business producing jute bags and organic cotton t-shirts, as well as scarves and fabric. Started in 2001 by Kerry and Annie Hilton, Freeset seeks to provide employment for victims of human trafficking. By training women and teaching them new skills, Freeset uses economic opportunities to empower women and break the cycle of poverty. Alongside the business is the Freeset Trust, a charitable organization that provides literacy classes, childcare, and assistance with budgeting and debt management.
This year, we are pleased to welcome Freeset Fabrics General Manager, Ron Salmon, to Nest’s Artisan Leadership Summit in New York City! Ron has been involved with Freeset since 2011 and joined the Freeset Business Incubator team in 2013. He helped to plan the 5-year Freedom Business Programme and raise funds to enable its implementation. Ron’s background is primarily from UK Defense aviation engineering, but he also has experience in project management, risk, quality and change management, and lean implementation. In addition to his Incubator role, Ron helped establish the Freeset Fabrics handloom weaving business, in rural Murshidabad District, where he is working towards the Freeset social mission to channel craft training and employment as a means to free women from the physical and emotional bonds and scars of human trafficking.