We carried a huge bag of dreams, stepped into 2020 as a year Sura will stabilize, streamline sales channels and reach more customers internationally. The first 2 months put us on a path to progress and the pandemic made the bag of dreams too heavy to carry – we couldn’t walk anymore with that bag or those dreams.
3 weeks of inaction, of waiting , of the silence of machines, the dark of a locked center and the weight of cloth lying around and the muted invitations of unfinished orders. We saw light at the end of the tunnel when an opportunity to stitch cloth masks presented itself and the ladies sprung upon the opportunity – learnt their first new product of the year- the product that they would go on and create almost 1000 units in over 6 different variations – the cloth masks.
In a year of severe loss of livelihoods we managed to engage in productive work, stitching over 1000 meters of cloth, fulfilling over 500 orders, releasing about 5 new products. From making plain masks, we took a step forward and released masks in ikkats and kalamkaris – enjoying every pack we put together.
Ila, one of our Sura women would say with pride, “We were earlier making bags which was a nice to have kind of a product- now what we make is essential – it is helping someone be safe and that is a special feeling”
Here’s what we learnt this 2020 – a year where the women fought the pandemic, 2 cyclones, power cuts, serious cash flow struggles at home and having to support their children to learn with schools being shut.
We learnt that a huge component of dreams coming alive is your ability to move, innovate and be agile; not about holding on to the dream at all. We learnt that relationships have been our biggest support system to be back up on our feet – from our vendors to customers, Sura is who we are today because of immensely strong relationships. We learnt to find our joys in our darkest times – to be able to laugh and giggle at our mistakes & figure out solutions together.
We look forward to a 2021 that builds us as a strong , resilient team of women that makes all kinds of dreams happen. Order with us. Spread the word. Stay safe, distanced and deeply connected (and ofcourse ! Wear a sura clothmask!)