Ferdoz-India Jewelry Artisan
"Before we used to just sleep, eat, read the Koran, and wait for a husband. Now, we are business women and we are becoming famous around the world and it feels great."
It makes me happy to think that what I make goes to beautiful women around the world to wear. It feels like I have done something with my life and not wasted it. I have found a purpose. By what we have made with our hands we are now eating and drinking and there is a future for our kids. If people do not buy what we make, we would have no future. I was married at age 14. My husband and I were constantly fighting. After having 5 girls and no boys (this is a cultural shame), my husband left me. For 6 months I cried and prayed. My girls had to pull out of school because there was no money. I had no work and didn’t know how to read or write. It is impossible for a woman to go out alone, so we just stayed inside to be safe. It got so bad that I finally had to go out so I could find work. I searched everywhere. My eldest daughter is educated and one of her friends started working at the design studio down the street. She took my daughter along one day and they hired her. Soon after someone from the design studio came to visit me and asked if I would also like to start working. They told us to go to Delhi to source materials, but we were afraid to go out of our home. They went with us at first, but now we have the courage and strength to go alone. Work is going well now and we have many orders. We are all happy and eating now, and finding respect in our community. People who doubted us, are now coming to us for work. We now have 12 women that we have trained on our own to help us with our work load. We are thankful for the direction our lives have taken, and we want to share that with other women.