Holi Boli Blog Archive

Monday, 14 August 2017

2017 August 15 - Happy Independence Day - #INDIA1947#

Happy Independence Day India! 

On 15 August 1947, Jawaharlal Nehru Ji, who had become the first Prime Minister of India that day, raised the Indian national flag above the Lahori Gate of the Red Fort in Delhi. 

Holi Boli is proudly and lovingly made in rural India.  So, we want to celebrate with you by giving you 35% off all items on the 15th August. The code will finish at 11:55 PM (India Standard Time) on the 16th August.

Simply find what you want to buy and add to the cart.  Then copy and paste

into the 'discount' field when you get to the checkout page, and click 'apply'. 
Email us at discount.me@holiboli.com if you have any problems!

  1. One use of code per customer
  2. All our prices and transactions are in USD
  3. Love your Sisters!  Be Kind!

Tell others to visit our website and sign up!  Love to you all!  Have a great day!

"Empowerment is a beautiful kind of freedom!" -AJW

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

2017 August - Newsflash!


Holi Boli is excited to announce a new member to our team!

Asmati comes from a nearby village. She completed the Holi Boli sewing training programme in the last graduation. She is very very hard working and has a natural ability for sewing. She will be learning some new skills over the next few months and then will start stitching Holi Boli dresses. We are so excited! We want to sell more dresses so we can employ more ladies. Thank you for partnering with us by buying our Holi Boli clothes. Be proud! Ethical Fashion - Sustainable Fashion.

Sunday, 23 July 2017

2017 July - Something Old, Something New, Something Blue


(Something old, new & blue)

It is good to be back in action after the summer break.  It is just to hot to work in the Bhalupali as summer as it reaches 122 degrees F (50 C)!  Ana took the time to head to NZ and promote Holi Boli there (as well as renew her visa - kindly given 5 year visa by the Indian High Commission in Wellington - thank you!).  The Holi Boli crew took a paid break for 2 months and visited family (as is the tradition in an Indian summer).  We are all super excited to be back to work (after a big clean up).

Refurbished Husqvarna - Vintage

Refurbished Janome - Retro
We were given two old electric sewing machines in NZ which we were able to refurbish.  Awesome to add that to our sustainable manufacturing project list - 2nd chance of life for these beauties!  They are great machines!  And they look super cool - one is very 80s retro and the other fits nicely into our vintage range!  Of course we still use our industrial treadle machines most of the time (they are amazing - quite a bit more advance than most of the treadles that you see as domestic machines).

Brand New - Opal 690Q
Even more exciting is the new machine that we have purchased - The Husqvarna Opal 690Q.  This machine is able to do button holes - which is precisely the feature it was purchased for.  We had a lot of fun working the machine out together.  It had a few issues getting here with the GST changes in India no one seems to know what to do to courier items.  Then the courier decided to throw the machine from a great height. Grrrr.....   However, we now have a mint machine working well and we can do button holes like a champ.   As we grow we will eventually go for a dedicated industrial button hole machine but for now this little lady is going to fit in with us perfectly!  Thanks to those who
helped us out with this!

As mentioned, India is going through big changes with taxes.   Right now that does not change anything for our customers.  We still offer 100% satisfaction guarantee (if you are unhappy we will work out a way for you to be happy) and FREE shipping (anywhere in the world).
Thanks to our customers and friends -
helping us get our new machine
Oh, something old (two old machines), something new (one new machine), something borrowed (nothing), something blue (check out the Holi Boli walls - they are blue!).

Ana & the Holi Boli Team

Old faithfuls - Nini on an Usha Industrial Treadle Machine

Friday, 9 June 2017

2017 June - Newspaper Article in New Zealand

From sewing in Tamatea, to teaching women in India


June 9 2017

Holi Boli founder Ana Wilkinson-Gee with some of her company's designs.

In 2010 Ana Wilkinson-Gee and her family moved to India.

To reach their home in Bhalupali, a small village in central Odisha on the country's east coast, the family of five fly into Kolkata then take a 12-hour train ride south.

Here she runs a small clothing company called Holi Boli and sewing classes to upskill women in the rural area.

Wilkinson-Gee's journey to India began as a child.

"Since I was eight-years-old I've had an interest in India," she said. "I went to Tamatea High School, but I really went to school just for sewing class."

She then moved to Christchurch and studied at the city's Design and Arts College.

Growing up between the Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea she watched her parents use their skills to better the lives of people around them and wanted to do the same.

Before moving to India with their three children, she and her husband visited an orphanage they sponsored in Bhalupali.

They adored the area and in 2010 moved there with their three children, now aged between eight and 15.

The first thing Wilkinson-Gee purchased were three foot-powered sewing machines and borrowed three more.

"These are particularly good for where we are because the power is on and off like a yo-yo."

Women in the area often received little or no schooling and worked in construction, rolling cigarettes, or producing and caring for children.

She set up the classes to provide skills and options.

"The classes start with the very basics, in the first class we start with how to use scissors."

They go on to learn a set of skills, make patterns, then sew garments.

"It's not just about teaching them a skill, but empowering women," she said. "They leave after the four months with their heads held high. For many of them it's the first certificate they have had in their lives."

They now have 15 machines, take 15 students at a time and have trained 120 women.

Many have gone on to start their own businesses, work for local tailors or Holi Boli which employs five graduates.

Holi Boli sells clothing online or creates custom lines for retail stores. The products are sustainable and ethically made with funds from each purchase used to help to support the classes.

Her husband also runs a training course for teachers and an early childhood centre, while her children attend a local school. But they all look forward to New Zealand holidays.

"When we left India it was 47 degrees. It's good to come back and get cold," Wilkinson-Gee said.

"The kids love those biscuits with the pink icing and the 100s and 1000s - we don't get 100s and 1000s in India."