Tag Archives: Scarves

Beautiful Things that Connect You Deeply

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A product that is beautiful is simply a beautiful product. But a product that is beautiful and connects you deeply enters a world of personal meaning. Gifts often work this way. When someone you love takes the time to give you a beautiful gift, the gift’s beauty is a part of it – the other part is the person’s love for you, the intention behind the gift.

In working on Anchal’s Didi Connection Campaign, we realized the unique potential for our products to connect women to each other. Didi scarves connect us with a deeper understanding of sisterhood. Your sister is not just a the woman you happened to share a mother with, she can be anybody. She might live across seas, in another country – struggling the way many women today still do. In that way, Didi scarves aren’t just gorgeous scarves, they’re also symbols of collective meaning.

Here is a recent note I got from our Didi Heather:

“Today, I have just ordered three Didi Scarves and a baby quilt – I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to buy these beautiful things knowing that our sisters in India will be helped a little and that I will be the beneficiary of their beautiful handiwork. You are my Didi, your Mom is my Didi – we are all Didis together.”

This is a new age of conscious consumerism – let’s continue to surround ourselves with beautiful, meaningful products that connect us with something deeper and make a difference in this world.

-Maria

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“Thank You” Just Isn’t Enough – Half the Sky Screening

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This past week has been an exciting time for the Anchal team. We have received amazing news right and left, and we are happy to report that our Didi Scarves are going fast! First, we want to thank everyone who helped make Anchal’s Night at the Movies Pre-Release Screening of Half the Sky a true success!

Before the event on Sunday afternoon the team was busy buying balloons, making signs, picking up 500+ cookies, and practicing lines. The office was surprisingly calm for most of the day, minus a forgotten password and 20 minutes of pure terror, but all in all we felt ready and confident. Then it came time to set up the space for the evening, nerves were setting in. Colleen and I made our way to the event space, of course picking up just one more iced coffee on the way. More jitters? ‘Eh why not?’

When we arrived at the Ursuline Arts Center, over 30 volunteers consisting of friends, family, students and new supporters were already taking care of every detail. 15 Sacred Heart Academy students volunteered to model scarves for the silent auction and help get things rolling. It was wonderful to have these young activists assist with the evenings events, their energy and excitement was contagious. As I stood watching from the balcony above, it was as if I was watching a choreographed dance. Everyone knew their place, whether it was the bartender, ticket salesmen/saleswomen, or just a good old schmoozer, everyone seemed ready. At this point I slipped away to tech world and readied the video. After getting the volume just right, I went back into the reception space. I was shocked! If the attendance had topped at that moment I would have been happy, but it didn’t. Within 30 minutes, over 250 people were sipping wine, and enjoying cookies, candy and popcorn.


The next hour flew by, knowing many of the faces I bounced from one group to the next quickly forgetting my job to document the evening with photographs. Thankfully our wonderful intern Rachael took these priceless photos. It was crazy! At times I could barely squeeze past people to check out the silent auction or to sneak over to the cookie table. Everyone was enjoying themselves, all excited to support Anchal and more importantly get a preview of the Half the Sky documentary. The social hour came and went, it was time for the show.

The event began with Elizabeth Woolsey, our wonderful emcee, giving a brief history of Anchal and introducing Colleen for a quick update on our project. 30 minutes later, the screening had begun. I abandoned my post as the ‘pusher of play’ and snuck down and around backstage. I turned the corner and saw Colleen. Within seconds we were giggling and jumping around. We were so excited with the incredible turn out and so very thankful for all the help we had received. We both agreed the event couldn’t have been going any better. After updating each other on random tidbits, we parted ways and returned to our posts.

The evening wound down once the film had ended, and all the silent auction pieces had found new homes. It felt amazing to share our passion with those who were unaware on the women’s right issue addressed in the film. More importantly we hoped that the film opened eyes and inspired hearts. So to say THANK YOU just doesn’t seem to cover it, but THANK YOU to everyone who volunteered their time, who bought tickets and came to the show. Special thanks to those that sponsored the event and who donated the party beverages and snacks. It was a fantastic evening!

Now that you’ve seen the film, spread the word! Tell anyone who will listen about the struggles women face today and tell them how they can make a difference by supporting Anchal and organizations like us. That’s all it takes, educate those around you and share your passion for changing lives.

-Maggie

If you missed the Half the Sky documentary this past Monday and Tuesday, visit their site for future screenings and learn how you can purchase the DVD!

For more photographs check out NFocus






People with sisters are happier!

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I didn’t grow up with a sister. Sometimes I wonder how I might have been different. Would I have been more talkative? More envious? More empathetic?

A few weeks ago I came across this NY Times article that says people with sisters are happier and I must admit I was a bit jealous.

I am a sister – to my one and only younger brother. Lucky man. I might be his buffer against depression. Sadly, I don’t have one of my own.

But I do have two first cousins who are sisters – and it was fascinating to watch them growing up. They hated and loved each other. They borrowed each others’ clothes and sometimes never returned them. They grew in reaction to each other. If the older one dyed her hair blond, the younger one became even more of a brunette. But despite these superficial differences and reactions to each other, they listened to each other, loved each other, and were there for each other.

The article suggests that the reason people with sisters are happier is because sisters talk to you more and this increased talking time (maybe coupled with empathetic listening) somehow makes you happier.

I’m inspired by examples of sisters who take care and love each other. I’m also inspired by women who are driven by a sense of sisterhood and feel that all women are their sisters. In my experience in India, Anchal’s artisans showed me the spirit of sisterhood with their affection and desire to make me a part of their community.

Sisterhood matters! It is the theme of our new campaign “Didi Connection” we’re launching in collaboration with actress and activist America Ferrera (very soon!) to coincide with the Half the Sky premier.

Our scarves this Fall will be symbols of sisterhood with the very important mission to support our sisters out of the sex trade. I hope you will become a part of this new global sisterhood.

What is the Didi Connection?
In India, women affectionately call each other “didi” which means sister. The casual and everyday use of the word inspired “The Didi Connection,” a community that links and supports women across continents and seas. We believe that all women are sisters and that we can make a positive difference in each other’s lives. Don’t you? The first initiative of the Didi Connection is a premier collection of Didi Scarves.

Premier Collection of Didi Scarves
In collaboration with actress and activist America Ferrera, our first line of Didi products are Didi Scarves, a symbol of connection and support between sisters across seas. When you buy one of our Didi scarves, you are supporting a woman, our sister, out of the sex trade in India. Our goal is to sell 600 scarves and support 15 of our sisters in leaving the sex trade for good. We won’t be able to do it without you!

Maria

2 Weeks Till the Big Day!

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There’s an air of excitement, here at the Anchal headquarters, as we prepare for the launch of our new scarf line! Volunteers flowing in and out of the office, countless coffee runs, and the nervous anticipation for my first post college all-nighter. As we work hard getting ready for the big day, we ask you to spread the word. Share our mission with your friends and family and don’t forget to check us out at www.anchalproject.org. Look for more updates to come, but in the mean time enjoy this glimpse into our upcoming Didi Campaign!

_Maggie

A Big Thank You to Patrick Pfister

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As we near the launch of Anchal’s first scarf line, we have come to realize that we can no longer photograph all of the products on our own. This is where Patrick Pfister comes in! He has graciously offered to help us photograph our new line.

“Patrick began as a photographer for The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky and never looked back. Since, he has built an illustrious career as both an editorial and commercial photographer.

Patrick has been published in some of our nation’s most recognized publications such as The Wall Street Journal and Life Pictures of the Year and photographed a variety of public figures including Mother Teresa and Ronald Reagan.”

This past thursday we had our first professional photo shoot! It is super exciting to have an amazing photographer share his talent with us. His work will be featured along with the debut of our new webstore!

To learn more about our dear partner visit his site here

Have You Heard What’s Coming?

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While working last night on good old inventory, I realized that many of you all have yet to get a glimpse of our fall scarf line! If you haven’t heard yet, Anchal will be launching an incredible collection of one of a kind scarves, both straight and circle. The beautiful Kantha stitch holds 5 layers of saris together, creating a warm but light feel. The coolest part, is that each side is a different print, meaning each scarf is double the fun. So take a look at some of the amazing work we’ve received so far! Oh and please hold the applause, my modeling skills are incredible I know : )

Now wipe that drool off your face and stay focused. The scarves will go on sale in September and are paired with an incredible campaign that you won’t be able to pass up. So stay tuned for more campaign updates and product sneak peeks.

-Maggie