The workshop created an opportunity to bring out the artistic streaks among women and encouraged them to come up with their own ideas, says K. Subhashini, trainer from Chittoor.

As one woman tries to draw the outline of the accessory, the other participant pours life into the craft by weaving the right texture.

Aligning assorted beads, crystals and a combination of stones and adding an innovative touch to each pattern, women gather as teams to design their own trinkets.

What made this 30-day training session on imitation jewellery more unique was the way the self-help group members learnt the nuances of marketing strategy while interacting with shopkeepers and wholesale dealers, which was an integral part of the workshop.

Most of the participants were surprised to discover the same accessory’s selling price is three times the actual cost. Displaying one of the neckpieces, Sai Visalakshi, SHG member, says, “When we visited one of the fancy shops in Poorna Market, the similar piece costs Rs.500 whereas the actual expense incurred for the ornament is only Rs.175.”

Opportunity

The workshop created an opportunity to bring out the artistic streaks among women and encouraged them to come up with their own ideas, says K. Subhashini, trainer from Chittoor.

Showcasing a box full of accessories such as waist-belt, ‘papidi-billa’, ‘muthyala-jada’, bangles, bracelets, multi-string neckpieces and ear-hangings created during the month-long training programme, she said: “With the notes given to design each ornament, participants can either train others or set up their own units.”

With just 30-minutes or an hour spent on each creation, the trainees are now enthusiastic to share their expertise with their friends and neighbours.

“Apart from training others, we can either exhibit our works in some of the city exhibitions or contact local dealers for orders,” says Vimalakumari, beaming with confidence.

For S. Padmavati, who runs a fancy shop, the session not only helped her design assorted accessories but also guided her to cut down the extra cost incurred through middlemen.

Supporting the views of the SHG members, regional coordinator of Dhan Foundation and organiser of the workshop K. Rama Prabha says the participants are keen on joining hands to set up their own stores.

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