The Unpolished article series is a collection of words, thoughts, and musings from the Threads Worldwide founders.
“Your senses will be overwhelmed”
These were the foreshadowed warnings I got before traveling with Linds for 3 months to India in 2010. India was the last trip we took before starting Threads Worldwide.
I wonder if, when you think of India, you imagine the *pray* part of Eat, Pray, Love or if you imagine the train scenes in Slumdog Millionaire and Lion. Both exist. At the same place at the same time. In contradiction to Maya Angelou’s quote: “Hope and fear cannot occupy the same space” – in India, they seem to.
Nightly we would lie down and flick cockroaches from our mattresses on an overnight train, or, we might be the first to pull the plastic off a new mattress. We would sit for hours in wonder at the Taj Mahal and then pick our way over garbage through alleys thick with flies outside its gates.
It was returning from India that we knew we had to accelerate our intention of creating a business of impact. The memories of children walking down the medians knocking on car windows – their little hands out – didn’t leave us.
In true India contradiction, women made gorgeous art, clothing, pillow cases, table runners and, yet, could not sell them. They walked the streets with stunning embroidery slung over their shoulders holding them out with a defeatedly hopeful question on their face: will you buy something from me today?
The scenes of poverty colliding with untapped talent and hope were freshest in our minds from our trip to India, and, we knew that this scene repeated itself all over the world. We knew there was a solution that could EXPAND THE MARKET for these talented women and we knew we had a role in its expansion.
This is where our idea-seed grew into Threads Worldwide and it has been so fulfilling to see it take root and grow.