What do we do?
Asama is a startup based in a small village called Alimur in Assam. We work with our village weavers to make beautiful home decor and gifting solutions. All products are handmade by the artisans. They are made by weaving natural fiber and are therefore 100% eco-friendly. By buying Asama’s products you will not only bring an elegant piece into your home, you will also help a woman artisan earn a proud living for herself and her family. In other words, you will be what we call “Thoughtfully Stylish”.
Asama’s product range includes home decor items for the living room, Eco friendly Planters, handmade table mats, handwoven baskets, office decor items etc.
Why we do what we do
When a village industry develops, many people in and around the village find work. This not only makes the village prosperous and self-sufficient; it also reduces pressure on cities. Having been born and brought up in the village, Richika wanted to do something for the village and the villagers. The pandemic gave an opportunity to explore the talents of the villagers, and Asama was thence formed to channelize the skill of these artisans.
Story behind the name:
Asama means unparalleled or exceptional. Asama also is a derivative of the name of our beloved state Assam. We at Asama work towards providing exceptional products, exceptional service and provide exceptional care for our artisans and staff.
Story behind the Logo:
The logo represents a bird and a leaf in an incomplete circle. Like a bird we want to soar high, but like a leaf we want to be connected to the earth. It means that Asama aims to revive the traditional crafts of the villages and take it all across the globe. It also means that Asama will never compromise on integrity and ethics for the sake of growth. Also, all Asama’s products will always be eco-friendly.
The broken circle around the bird represents the barriers of self-doubt and low self-esteem that our artisans have broken to uncover new talent and a new personality.
Asama started during the pandemic to aid the suffering artisans. The pandemic had affected everyone; however, the artisan community had been the worst affected since they had no access to any market. Asama handheld the village artisans of Alimur, in terms of providing contemporary designs, better raw material, tools and marketing linkage.
Gradually we realized that these artisans have a lot of potential, however they needed to up-skill to bring more finesse in their products. We organized training camps. The first training camp did not have many takers, but we nurtured the trainees, and with every passing day, their skill grew and their personality bloomed. Seeing them, many more village weavers came forward. Today we are 60 artisans strong.
How strong are we?
We are at present 60 artisans strong. We have separate dedicated team for logistics, raw-material preparation, accounts & finance, digital marketing. 95% of our artisans and staff are women. Our production is carried out in the village, where we have a Central facility where tools and support materials are present. Rest of the weaving is done by the artisan at their homes. So they are able to tend to their household chores and earn a living as well.
Asama make wicker baskets and other home decor products. Wicker refers to the process of weaving of natural fiber. The natural fiber that we use are as follows:
Water Hyacinth: Water hyacinth is a weed growing in water bodies. It is like a green canopy on water bodies with purple flowers. This inundates the water bodies to such an extent that it harms the bio-diversity of the water body. We pluck this weed. We use the stem, dry it under the winter sun, and store for use for the rest of the year. The dried stems are soft and flexible. They can be easily woven into different kinds of braids as well. The water hyacinth raw material is available in plenty within 5 kms radius of our village. This year we cleared 5 large water bodies of water hyacinth, employing local workers. This provided employment as well. Also, by using the water hyacinth, we help the Eco-system of the water bodies and increase the bio-diversity.
Bamboo: Bamboo grows in plenty in our village. We have male artisans who do bamboo basketry. These artisans have been weaving bamboo baskets since long. Bamboo is slivered into thin strips, they are then woven to make beautiful home decor things- including Bamboo Lamps, wicker basket, kitchen wicker basket and other living room decor and eco-friendly decor.
Cane: We procure cane from our nearest village from the village haat. We use cane to provide support structure for some of the products, so that the hyacinth basket is sturdier.
How are the products made:
Waste to Treasure: All Asama products are made from natural fibre- primarily hyacinth and incorporating bamboo or ratan. Hyacinth is beautiful aquatic plant but is destructive to the flora and fauna of the water body. So by removing them, one does service to nature.
Soul of Fiber: The hyacinth is plucked from water bodies, dried and processed at our Asama facility. The fiber is then ready to be woven into beauties, to beautify your life.
Weaving a dream: Our artisans are trained and re-trained, equipped with design and technical aid to weave. Our artisans weave at their own pace, as per their convenience, because creativity and art can never be forced.