Artisans living in remote rural and peri-urban regions, particularly women, face language barriers, lack design knowledge, have little understanding of product quality control and can not access the initial investment they need for the first round of production and sampling, which negatively impacts their ability to connect with the national and international market. Our supply chain innovations use smartphones and other technology tools to connect groups of artisans in rural and peri-urban communities directly to our store or customers. Therefore, a small group of women making organic hand-stitched quilts in interior Sindh can be enabled to sell directly to customers in Canada through online partnerships formed via Polly & Other Stories, where there is a high demand for the product.
We also work with small businesses, most of which are women-led and a majority of which work with traditional craftspeople, to help connect them to mainstream consumers and grow their brand. Polly and Other Stories works on changing the perceptions around what small businesses, women and craftspeople can achieve. Sadly, craft within Pakistan is often seen as common and cheap and not something to spend a lot of money on. Poor innovation, design intervention and branding in this sector results in the average consumer perceiving craft products as a primitive and redundant and worth investing in. Our team provides patterns, designs and quality raw materials to the artisans as well as a variety of BDS support to small maker businesses to help elevate traditional craft and art to contemporary fashion or homewares. Not only do we leverage technology tools to assist with our production and social media needs, but we also support through design, product development and training interventions.