Holi Boli Blog Archive

Saturday, 15 April 2017

2017 April - Graduation Stories

Every graduation we have comes with stories from the sewing students about how they have overcome so much to learn to sew. I am always amazed and in awe of the resilience of women! These women are from village backgrounds and often travel up to 10 km/day to come to class in the 40+ temperatures. RESPECT!

Image may contain: 2 people, people standing

This, the moment my heart screams "YOU DID IT!" and I am sure I see colouful sparkles excitedly bouncing around her in sinc with my jumping heart. From out first meeting, her silence and firm hand shake gave it away. She's the strong silent type. Riddled with determination and courage. The one who many consider the least got top of her Holi Boli sewing class. Again, her hand shake spoke what her lips did not, a confident "Yes, I did it." She's an unknown queen. She's full of incredibleness. She's mostly invisible. Like millions of others, she's your voiceless Indian sister. She is what makes India beautiful. I see her. And she astounds me.

Image may contain: 10 people, people smiling

They often come in pairs, for their safety. Both in yellow, both ridiculously committed to earning the respect of their families and community. "I want to have my brother not look down on me any more." Determination was battered with a black eye for one week, but she picked herself up again and resumed sewing class. These teenage girls understand the importance of contributing to the family income: it helps to delay the inevitable being "married-off" (which they dread). These two dream of opening a ladies dressmaking shop together and cranking out new and cool designs. I don't think anything can stop them. They're incredibly resilient. They're not afraid of hard work. And they are now armed with Holi Boli sewing certificates and new found confidence. They have their life, their safety and self respect at stake. Like millions of others, these are your Indian sisters. Working tirelessly for their right to be.

Image may contain: 9 people, people smiling, people standing

Her family said she had to get married first. Then she had to produce a child. Then she had to wait till he was 3yrs old. Then she asked again, and finally they said 'yes' she was allowed to come to Holi Boli sewing classes. She's tiny. She's determined. She's patient. She's your Indian sister, like millions of others. Her choices are not hers alone. But this, she finally got. Certificate in hand, eyes wet, she says 'thank you'. To all of you who buy Holi Boli dresses; I pass her thanks on to you for helping fund her time at Holi Boli. Bless you.

Thursday, 30 March 2017

2017 March - Things are heating up!

March has been very busy at Holi Boli Fashionz and HOT!  Its hitting 45 degrees Celsius (113 degrees Fahrenheit).  We are just about to complete our biggest order yet (thank you to the wonderful crew at Two Lippy Ladies - check them out!).  The Holi Team is really excited that we have worked to produce such a lovely line of dresses.  Busy and hot but really happy!

Image may contain: text

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, drink and indoor
Enjoying some 'cold' yoghurt
It's funny sometimes what we foreigners (I am a NZer living in Odisha, India) think.  Our goal at Holi Boli is to create a business where are employees are empowered and well cared for.  The worst employment in the world, in my opinion, are the hellish 'sweatshops' where the workers slave away in hot conditions for very little money (even taking into considerations different economies).  However, this week, our first week of FLIPPING HOT this year, and our Holi Boli ladies do not want even the fans on let alone an air conditioner.  They keep saying that they will catch a cold if it is too cold.  "C'mon girlfriends, its 45 flipping degrees!".    "No mam, we will get fever!"  LOL!   I thought our staff would love to work in air conditioning!  "No mam, we will get sick, its to cold and not good for health!".   So, at the request of the beautiful Holi Boli ladies here I am pink faced and dripping with sweat.    

"Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you are going to get!" (Forrest Gump)

I better go now and down another liter of warm water.

Thank you people for journeying with us!  Thank you so much for all the encouragers* out there!  We need you on this earth - you are appreciated!  To all the 'realists' - keep trying your best to dream big dreams.  Life is fun and full of surprises.  Enjoy each moment like it is a chocolate (Forrest Gump reference again).  Anyone for a MELTED chocolate bar!

Be cool!  Don't forget to love on a sister today!  Surprise someone with an act of super kindness - it can't hurt anyone.  

* new word for people who encourage others

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people sitting and indoor

Monday, 13 March 2017

2017 March 13 - Happy Holi

Happy Holi from Holi Boli!

We love Holi so much we named our business after it. Festival of colours and fun. We enjoy playing together in our village in Bhalupali.

Happy Holi from the Holi Boli team!

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

2017 March - 8 March - International Women's Day


It is great to be a woman today!  We can appreciate all those women who went before us and paved the way for what we have now.  We can honour them by continuing on and keeping up the progress towards full equality; the work is not done!

As we continue I think it is important to ensure that we do not become the thing that we hate.  We must not become oppressors.  So often we human beings swing past the point of justice and into revenge.  To me, women's rights is not about getting back at anyone.  It is about getting a fair deal, equal pay, recognition, a voice, choice, the right to be who I want to be and the right to be what I was made to be.  I want to contribute to the continuous improvement and well being of this planet, my home.  That is why words like 'empowerment' and 'sustainability' are important to me.

I am 100% sold out on the idea that we can change this world and see women treated with respect in all places and cultures.  I think we can do this by being positive - we do not need to 'take the power' by force and thereby emulate what we hate.  We can do it in love.  We can educate people, we can demonstrate kindness, we can understand that not all people are in the same place that we are in, we can listen, we can be the very thing that we want the world to be.  That is, we need to be role models.  We have to 'be the change that we wish to see'.  Don't get mad, get loving!   Let's show our oppressors unbelievable dignity, like Nelson Mandela, like Gandhi, like Angelou, like Mother Teresa, like Jesus and love our haters into deeper understanding of EQUALITY.

Show your sisters some love today.  Show some haters some love today.  :)

Respect to all you dedicated to empowerment and sustainability.  Making the world a better place.

Love from the me and the Holi Boli Team!