Balulu consists of a very small and close team of workers.
There’s me (Lulu) the founder - head honcho, designer, coordinator, content producer and marketing manager.
Dada - Formerly in the air force and searching for a career change, Dada is the owner of the shop where the work takes place and Head of Production. I come to Dada with the idea, and he makes it happen. He employed the two tailors that work in the shop because of their incredible skill set and attention to detail. Dada and I also share a lot of responsibility when it comes to the logistical side of things. He will introduce me to people where I can source the fabrics from, and together we calculate and devise a fair and equal payment method for all the people involved.
Dada is always making sure I am well looked after during my stay in Varanasi. He picks me up from the airport, organises my guesthouse booking, introduces me to his reliable and trustworthy tuk tuk driver, lends me a phone which I can use an Indian sim card with (iPhones are a nightmare for this), brings me chai to the shop when we are working there, accompanies me to the fabric suppliers, and has even invited me to his daughters wedding which I will be attending in December.
Amit - Lead Tailor. Amit comes from a family of master tailors. He was trained from a very young age, and now his skillset is beyond the very best. He has a great passion for what he does, and will never say no. They are always grateful to be given the work because it keeps ‘their bodies active and mind focussed’.
Dualat - Dualat is our other wonderful Lead Tailor. He became a master in this trade at a young age and has been growing his knowledge and expertise ever since. Together him and Amit, are the makers behind the brand.
Mayank - Local supplier of bedsheets.
Abdul Reham - Owner and maker of linens, raw silks and cottons.
The Tailoring Project - We have very recently started a collaboration with our chosen charity ‘Learn for Life’ and their Tailoring Project. Learn for Life is a non-profit organisation which aims to give a non-formal education to a group of children from a very poor area.
They also recently set up a Tailoring Project for disadvantaged local women. The aim of this is to train up women who wouldn’t be working otherwise, to have the skills that lead them into the world of work and fair employment.
We went to visit the women learning to sew, and the children in the school - and we were overwhelmed by how friendly everyone was, and obviously very happy to be there.
Since visiting the school we have been donating £1 of every online sale towards the Tailoring Project. And now we have a very exciting proposal on the table. We are going to producing a very exclusive range of playsuits which will be made by these women from the Tailoring Project. They will be paid directly by us, going towards their annual salary which the charity have now set up for everyone involved.