Oprah Winfrey once quoted, “You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.”
This is the ethos that drove Pabiben Rabari from a nomadic tribe in Kutch, India to carve a niche for herself with her out-of-the-box thinking and zest to make it big.
Born in a small village of Mundra taluka in Kutch – a land known for its rich artistic traditions – Pabiben could not attend school as her mother, a young widow, needed help with raising three girls. As the eldest daughter, she took on the extra responsibility of taking care of her younger siblings and helping her mother deliver coal. It was during this time that Pabiben also learned the famed embroidery of her community.
It was a life changing moment when Pabiben gifted one of her handmade bags to a ‘foreigner’ who attended her wedding and came back to place orders for more. With the help of her encouraging husband, along with her passion and solution-oriented mind-set, she made her dreams come true by creating her very own website - Pabiben.com. The enterprise was born with a sole mission to develop a strong viable business model for women artisans and to empower these women to shape their own future and those of their families of generations to come. The enterprise helps women to work from the comfort of their homes. It has given them financial independence as well as an opportunity to showcase their creativity to the world, while allowing them to preserve their cultural identity.
When Pabiben, an unschooled but enterprising woman, decided to bring the traditional embroidery of her tribe to the world, she not only gave herself a new identity but also gave a new lease of life to the craft. While her designer handbags christened “Pabi Bag” have garnered both national and international recognition, more importantly she has turned women from the little known Rabari community into proud bread winners for their families. Having her bags proudly carried in Bollywood and Hollywood movies, this woman from a little-known tribal community in the interiors of Gujarat, is an inspiration for many.
Written by Divya Jaiswal
Find out more about Pabiben on their website: www.pabiben.com