We want to change the narrative around handmade, Pakistani craft as well as more contemporary cultural and art offerings from the country and show the world the significant potential of Pakistan which belies the soundbites on the news. Creating well-designed products as well as changing the mindset of local consumers to take more pride in locally, handmade products is at the centre of our brand philosophy. Polly and Other Stories also wants to revamp the entire craft/cottage industry by creating an inspirational lifestyle brand that sells well-designed, contemporary craft products which meet the demand of the modern marketplace. We will always be more than just a store – we want to engage at a deeper level with homebound, rural women in far flung areas, and support them in developing products that can be sold to a wider market. We currently estimate our reach to be around 1,000 artisans and would like to scale to 5,000 in the next five years.
Our first brick-and-mortar store launched in 2018 in Lahore and has helped further online sales, via our ecommerce platform which launched in 2016, through streamlining of the supply chain, improved control over photography and social media as well as product listings as most of the products are now in one centralised location which has enhanced turnover, fulfilment and shipping speeds for our urgent online orders. Over the next 5 years, we plan to scale our production through training and support to our artisan and business partners; increase sales through opening our ecommerce store up to larger numbers of international customers; and raising brand awareness through targeted social media campaigns, which will focus on story-telling and changing the narrative around makers and creative businesses in Pakistan.