We had the good fortune of connecting with Myesa Arora and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Myesa, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I, Myesa Arora, have visited India several times, and the handcrafted products and exquisite fabrics in Rajasthan impressed me greatly on my most recent visit. India was engulfed in a tremendous lockdown during the early stages of Covid, and these artisans were unable to sell their goods. Several of my mother’s Indian friends reached out to ask if there were any avenues to sell or help these rural women who supplement their income by stitching and embroidering. When I heard this, the idea of JeeJi-hood developed. I contacted Anya, (my cofounder) and together we gathered funds and embarked on this journey. I develop the designs of bags here, but the fabrics and trims were sourced in India and the patterns were interpreted by our sisters, who have an incredible eye for color and detail. We want to keep these women employed and provide them with a platform to showcase their skills. The supplemental income provides these women with the ability to be self-sufficient. It is our humble attempt to deliver these lovely handcrafted goods to our local community in order to empower our sisters abroad. We launch several collections annually and make this an ongoing sustained business program. Our hope is to expand our JeeJi-hood family and ensure our product lines to have a greater variety of bags and colors, while making sure to spread our culture and our cause as much as we can. We hope to continue to sell our bags and use our profits to continue growing the business and employ even more of our Indian sisters. To see our product and buy our bags please visit the Instagram handle @jeeji_hood.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Our product goes beyond bags. It is a curated assortment of hand-made, custom designed, and embroidered bags made from textile excess. We strive to employ our sisters living in rural areas of Rajasthan, India and generate continued employment in a sustainable manner. The wonderful ladies creating our bags (known as our ‘Jeejis’ meaning sisters in the Indian language Hindi) are from the state of Rajasthan (a land known for its rich culture with temples, palaces, and beautiful handicraft) are from low-income families and work extremely hard to use their talents in craft-making to provide for their family through generating supplemental income. Due to the pandemic, these women found it difficult to help provide for their families through artistic means. Our bags allow these women to continue doing what they love and provide for their families.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to shoutout the Hockaday School in being a great advocate for this company. I would especially like to thank both Laura Day and Laura Laywell, the Social Impact directors. Both of whom have contributed greatly to the JeeJi-hood journey, and have made it what it has become.

Instagram: @jeeji_hood

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100076581726514

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0TPg3SVrcbN6Yfz5Le_qGw/featured

Other: Video About Us: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CZ8Ai_Zl257/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.