Sarita Handa

Sarita Handa: A symphony of Textiles and Design; Unveiling the Essence of Indian Heritage

WOMEN INTERVIEWS

When you combine a discerning eye for beauty, a deep passion for Indian craftsmanship, and a genuine love for textiles, something truly extraordinary emerges. In this case, that is Sarita Handa, the founder of the eponymous home decor brand can be described as dynamic, creative, and visionary. Her journey began in 1992 with a desire to revive and promote Indian heritage craftsmanship and textile design techniques in the form of soft furnishings. Starting with nothing but determination and a vision for success, Sarita Handa has grown into a globally recognized brand that has captivated luxury design enthusiasts for over three decades.

Mrs. Sarita Handa, an influential figure in the Indian design realm, embarked on her entrepreneurial journey from modest beginnings. As the wife of an army officer, she traversed the length and breadth of India, immersing herself in its rich tapestry of cultures and traditions. Throughout her travels, her affinity for domestic textile techniques flourished, fuelling her ambition to establish a brand that would reignite a sense of pride and fascination for Indian textiles on a global scale.

Sarita Handa

Sarita Handa’s enduring success can be attributed to her deep understanding of the preferences and needs of modern Indian customers. She recognises that the Indian customer not only possesses a well-travelled background but also possesses an appreciation for the finer aspects of life, including art. With an intuitive sense of the industry, she ventured into the retail world in 2012, resulting in a significant turning point for her brand. In response to the growing demand for high-quality luxury products that are easily accessible within the Indian market, Sarita Handa took a significant step by launching an online retail space at www.saritahanda.com in May 2020. A year later, the brand further solidified its position in the market by introducing an exclusive line of furniture available exclusively online. This collection showcased timelessly elegant pieces that combined versatility with a distinctive visual identity, aligning with the prevailing post-pandemic sentiment of creating functional and aesthetically pleasing homes. This strategic move enabled Sarita Handa to cater to the evolving needs and preferences of customers, establishing a strong presence in their homes and capturing their hearts.

Sarita Handa’s love for design is complemented by her commitment to uplifting underprivileged sections of society. Despite her years of experience, she exudes vitality and determination to make a lasting impact on the global design world. For Sarita Handa, it is not just about designing products, it is about carefully curated lifestyle choices. The brand currently employs over 1,100 workers across its factories and a staff of over 180 across all its business operations whilst relying on a network of over 2,500 artisans working through vendors and suppliers, further support with production. Sarita Handa produces products for over 25 private labels globally including but not restricted to Pottery Barn, Macy’s (Hotel Collection), and Dillard’s.

At Sarita Handa, the brand emphasises core family values such as open communication, trust, transparency, collaborative ideation and planning, mutual support, and constant encouragement. The team leading the brand’s affairs includes experienced professionals who are regarded as integral members of the family, as their contributions have been instrumental in consolidating the brand’s development and diversification. The eponymous brand is the creative vision of one woman who, fueled by passion, perseverance, and resilience, sought to restore pride in art and textile design.

Sarita Handa prioritizes sustainability and is dedicated to preserving the natural environment. The brand adopts a comprehensive approach to sustainability, signifying conscientiousness. It holds an Oeko-Tex certification, ensuring the use of eco-friendly chemicals for dyeing, printing, and washing. The brand also participates in the Better Cotton Initiative, promoting best-practice standards in global cotton production. The brand’s factory is certified for producing goods made from organic cotton, cultivated without chemical fertilizers. Fabric traceability is maintained throughout the production process, linking it back to the farm.

Moreover, Sarita Handa is also dedicated to empowerment, setting industry benchmarks through contemporary interpretations of traditional craft techniques. The brand provides long-term employment opportunities, particularly for artisans and craftspeople, including women who work from home. By supporting these artisans, Sarita Handa helps sustain textile and craft traditions that are at risk of decline.

The brand proudly showcases heritage Indian needlework, such as Zardozi, Kantha, Aari, Crewel embroidery, sequins and beadwork, hand-quilting, and hand-guided Chikan embroidery. Skilled craftspeople from various regions, including Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Bengal, contribute their expertise to Sarita Handa’s creations. In addition to design innovations rooted in heritage, Sarita Handa has successfully identified and collaborated with like-minded brands that share a similar appreciation for detail and the artisanal spirit.

Today, Sarita Handa boasts six experiential stores across Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Ahmedabad, solidifying its position as a leader in the luxury lifestyle sector. Furthermore, Sarita Handa adapted to the challenges posed by the pandemic by launching an e-commerce portal and, most recently, introduced Sarita Handa NOW, a lifestyle line launched in 2022 that embraces a contemporary millennial philosophy of simplicity and minimalism. Her journey is a testament to her dynamic and visionary approach, transforming a small endeavour into a globally recognized luxury brand that celebrates Indian craftsmanship and design while catering to a diverse clientele.

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