We had the good fortune of connecting with Shanti Shahani de Venegas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Shanti, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I was doing a lot of traveling while working for an international nonprofit. I have always thought that the best way to help others is to empower people and give them employment, rather than building a house for someone and them not having the means to care for it or pay for utilities. Giving someone employment is much more sustainable. When I traveled to other countries, I would meet artisans who were creating incredible pieces that I would wish we could have in the United States. So, the idea of Artisan Luxury was born. By partnering with artisans in developing countries, we are providing sustainable employment to people who truly need it, and at the same time, we are showcasing their works of art and making it available to the public here.
What should our readers know about your business?
Artisan Luxury is, above anything else, a socially responsible company. While our main goal is to provide sustainable employment for artisans in developing countries, we also have a deep sense of community and we always give back. Every month, we choose a different nonprofit in the Dallas Fort-Worth area that we donate proceeds to. This is definitely what I am most proud of. I have always been passionate about giving back. It has not always been easy, and challenges continue to come every day. COVID was definitely a challenge. We were working on developing new embroidered products with artisans, and then that came to a sudden halt when the pandemic began. So because crisis calls for reinvention, that’s what we did. We started offering the embroidered masks to make sure the artisans could remain employed, and it took off from there. Now we are trying to regroup and pick up where we left off.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Right now – nowhere! We are still staying at home as much as we can. My favorite spot during COVID is our backyard, dip in the pool and listen to some music. I have become an expert in homemade margaritas, but I am also trying to do take-out and order from local restaurants to support them. Once the pandemic is over, I am looking forward to going back to going to concerts, theater and museums, and the many restaurants and fun places that DFW has to offer.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My husband, Ian Venegas, is and always has been incredibly supportive of everything I do. His support means the world to me, and often takes different forms. From listening, encouraging, helping with the kids or even providing seed money for growth, none of this would have ever been possible without him. I could not be more thankful for having such a great guy in my life.
Morris & Sue Photography Alex Rain Photography
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.