Friday, April 20, 2012

Free Shipping ends in a few hours!

We are working on some policy changes regarding our shipping, in effect after 6pm EST today.

These changes come after our very long experimental approach to the best shipping policy for our shoppers and for our social enterprise. As we factor in the new prices of raw materials and the changing rates of shipping, we plan to charge a flat fee based on purchase amounts at our store.

We're hoping this will still keep things simple for our wonderful shoppers as we are keeping the rates uniform to ship anywhere in the world. Do check back here for updates or contact us for more info!

// update @6:30pm EST: Our website is offline while we make our changes. Connect with us via email, Facebook, Twitter or right here, while we work through. Hoping to be back up in a few hours.

// update @11:30pm EST: Looks like the updates will take a bit longer... expect to see our site back on Monday with a slightly modified look! :) Happy weekend folks!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Notes from the IBM visit

From L-R: Lou Martin (IBM Spain), Elke Heilemann (IBM Germany) and Jennifer Williams (IBM United States)
It has been two weeks since our encouraging and motivated collaborators from IBM left. Since their departure, Indu and I have not ceased to pour through their detailed reports and have endless Skype conversations (Indu is in Kerala and I'm here in Boston) about our next steps to grow our project. Here are some images and notes from their trip here (all images and videos, except the Skype screen shots, are taken by the IBM team).
Skype, with the Cotton Ladies (Jennifer,  Lou) and Indu in Kerala with me in Boston.
Even though I could not physically be present there when the IBM team were at our studio in Kerala, we regularly communicated via emails, Skype and telephone. They adorably called themselves the Cotton Ladies and made T-shirts to commemorate, with extra ones for Indu and me!

During the four week long project with IBM, our consultant advisor Rajendra Menon also stayed on to work with Indu for the various documents that were shared with IBM. Pictured below, he was also game to get dressy, for the group shot! :)
The IBM team dons the Kara spirit, literally! (l to r: Elke, Jennifer, Lou, Rajendra, Indu and Sandhya)
One of our biggest on-going concerns with Kara is to capture a sustainable market, so we have more to promise to these talented yet grossly overlooked communities of thorthu-weavers. Our goals to set up a weaving learning center are all hinged on creating a viable business model through Kara. To start, Indu took the team to visit with our local weaving co-operative and meet the weavers who are the nexus of our work at Kara:
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