I first met Laxmi Ben in 2014. At that time, she was a student of Somaiya Kala Vidyalaya - a college started by Judy Frater to give traditional artisans a platform to learn business skills and become successful entrepreneurs.
Fast forward to now, she is a faculty at the school and has created several of our collections along with being a part of several exhibitions herself.
Laxmi advising women on their designs
Laxmi started to embroider at the age of 14 and has been in love with it ever since. She is passionate about playing with colors and creating new designs with her work. Her community practices the Suf craft form. It is one of the toughest embroidery to do as it requires counting and imagination to create. Once cannot draw motifs and then embroider. They start with working from the back of the fabric to give its distinct and splendid form. What makes Suf embroidery even better is that it can never be replicated like the way it looks on machine.
Laxmi Ben works with her cousins Tulsi and Tara Ben
The reigns of this marvelous craft of Suf are completely in the hands of the rightful artisans. Earlier, there were many artisans who practiced but the numbers have been worryingly dwindling.
Laxmi is very aware of the problem and keen to support and encourage women from her village to continue the historic craft form and empower women.
More power to you Laxmi!