Back in the 90’s, when the idea of entrepreneurship was yet to find its glory, our founder Sunanda Biswas, who has a Phd Degree in Psychology left her well paid lectureship job and started a small business of her own with an investment of Rs. 5000.
Sunanda did not have a fashion degree but she always wanted to do something for the society and specially women. With limited artists and a local tailor in Darbhanga, Bihar she first made a few madhubani cotton suit sets and they got sold out through word of mouth in a blink! Her friends and relatives who bought the suit sets loved the contemporary designs! Soon, she introduced various handpainted products and she was one of the first people to get Madhubani done on the sarees, suits, magazine holders, bags and many more items other than canvas and clothes.
Later in 1995, she also started a training institute with the name of Geetanjali Boutique & Training Institute, where young girls and women from Bihar were trained by one of our senior artists ‘Nani Maa’ for a minimal fee. The boutique also got Bihar Government affiliation and hundreds of young girls and women enrolled for learning the art of Madhubani. After training and completing one year, they had to undergo oral and written examinations, post which they would join the boutique on a contractual basis.
It gives us immense joy to see these women earning from this craft and supporting their families financially. They would also complete their studies with the help of the earnings from this work. Geetanjali has trained more than 1000 women artisans and many of them have moved to different cities after marriage and have started their own business, thereby giving employment to many more women.
For Sunanda, Geetanjali is not just a business. It is her passion that has led to supporting numerous women artisans and promoting and keeping the traditional art of Madhubani alive. In the year 2000, she conducted several exhibitions in Delhi, Kolkata, Patna etc. and made a loyal customer base from all over India. She feels extremely proud as she says “Through this small venture we have empowered artisans from rural area and made them financially independent and that’s our biggest achievement”.
The ability to lift women and creating quality products at an affordable rate has been our unique selling point. Due to fine work, wonderful colour combination and contemporary yet traditional designs our boutique became a favourite of strong, educated and classy patrons who understood the richness of our cultural heritage and beauty of handmade & handcrafted products.
Thank you for being a part of this legacy!