Tag Archives: sisterhood

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

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

What does Sisterhood Mean to You?

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I’ve never had a sister. When I was younger, I adopted friends and called them sisters, as I am sure many girls in the same situation do. “Love you like a sister,” I’d say — back when that was the cool thing to say. I wore necklaces and charm bracelets with half-heart pendants, the other half exchanged with love with one of my closest “sisters.” Sometimes I even argued with my friends as if we were really sisters, bickering over chapstick flavors and whether Ricky Martin was cuter than any of the Backstreet Boys.

Although I’ve grown out of both chapstick collections and charm bracelets (but never Ricky Martin!), I am still enamored with the idea of sisterhood. In fact, just this weekend I wrote a note and signed it, “love you like a sister,” without the faintest remembrance that “LYLAS” used to be all the rage.

When I stumbled upon this anecdote by Monica Gabriel, a young woman blessed to have five blood sisters, I felt a keen awareness of the potential universality of sisterhood.

In her blog post, reflections on fighting over a solitary bathroom quickly dissipate into memories of “whispered soul-baring after the lights were out.”

Then comes a word of hope for the sister-less; a bit of encouragement for me:

“And the most important thing [sisterhood] taught me is that this love can be shared. I have come to see how easily sisterly love can thrive within all of our female friendships.”

In the end, as if Ms. Gabriel were speaking to the Anchal sisterhood, she poses the very challenge that fuels this fall’s new line of scarves:

“Imagine if this sisterly love could be extended, even in its most basic form, to women we have less time to develop friendships with.”

Perhaps we don’t have the time, or the resources, to journey to India and meet our soul sisters. But, they are there. On the other side of the world our sisters are stitching scarves and quilts and pillows that will be sold here in the States just weeks from now. They are thinking of us, women they have never met, as their fingers move gracefully over the recycled sari material. They are extending their love, knowing that somewhere, across the Earth, someone will accept their offering and in some small way, adopt a sister.

Supporting the Anchal artisans is an act of love. I am so glad to be a part of this sisterhood!

Share your thoughts on what sisterhood means to you below.

-Emily