Tariq's Pashmkaar crafts success story

The world of Kashmir handicrafts is also meeting such people who want to turn the centuries-old handicrafts into a global brand.
Tariq's Pashmkaar crafts success story
Dar who comes from a family of artisans said that he wanted to take Kashmir handicraft products to a next level by giving them a global brand value and that is why he opened his showrooms here and abroad by the brand name ‘Pashmkaar’.Special arrangement

The traditional handicrafts of Kashmir have been manufactured, promoted, and sold traditionally for generations. Like any other craft, Kashmir’s crafts are encountering new ideas where innovative minds are using contemporary tactics to give the art and craft a new life.

Over the years, the brand consciousness mindset of customers has pushed manufacturers to work hard and create local brands that can be recognized the world over. The world of Kashmir handicrafts is also meeting such people who want to turn the centuries-old handicrafts into a global brand.

Tariq Ahmad Dar, a Srinagar-based Handicraft manufacturer, and seller is one such name who is working hard to turn the Kashmir handicrafts into a global brand. His Brand ‘Pashmkaar’ is a step toward giving Kashmir its brand of Kashmir handicrafts. Dar aims to make it a global brand which will add another chapter to the world of Kashmiri handicrafts.

Dar said that his concept started from a question of Kashmir is the hub of handmade crafts for centuries, why hasn’t been able to create a brand that will be recognised like any other multinational brand. He believes that doing such will add value, an international customer base, and a new life to challenge hit Kashmir handicraft.

“Kashmiri handicrafts have been sold and promoted traditionally for a long. We have lacked the creation of a global brand that will become the identity of every Kashmiri. There are global brands like tech and others, these brands have become the identity of a country. Why can’t we do the same to promote our Kashmiri handicrafts which are a wonderful piece of art,” Dar said.

Dar who comes from a family of artisans said that he wanted to take Kashmir handicraft products to a next level by giving them a global brand value and that is why he opened his showrooms here and abroad by the brand name ‘Pashmkaar’.

“Our elders and their forefathers have given their lives to this handcraft, be it Pashmina, Sozni, Ari-work or others. with the changing world and customers, we have to do our bit and give it a new life by using modern business techniques. Through my brand, I want to use all these things while keeping the product 100 per cent original,” Dar said.

He said that customers complain that sometimes they don’t get the original product that hits the Kashmir handicraft. He said that he has prioritized that under his brand he will give 100 per cent authentic handmade crafts.

All his Pashmkaar showrooms are selling the brand with 100 per cent originality because that is how a brand is built.

“Our products and 100 per cent handmade and GI certified. We are putting all our efforts to give authentic products to our customers so that they will recognize the brand and our brand will become an identity of originality,”

Dar’s Pashmkaar is known for his authentic pashmina shawls, sozni work, cushion covers, décor, Jackets and other products. He says that due to his close affiliation with the Indian fashion and modelling industry, he has tried to inculcate those features in his products so that it will increase the reach of his products.

“Our new generation and overall customer base are influenced by global fashion. If we inculcate that into our products, we can attract a global customer base that will benefit everyone. This is the reason that I have given a fusion touch to my products. The customer base of our handicraft is global and that is the reason that we have to think big,” he added.

Dar said that they have not only innovated for the global customers but for locals too. “We have added our handcraft artwork to our local products too. We have products like Hand embroidered Sherwanis and other products,”

Dar said that the hardworking artisans and manufacturers in Kashmir create the handicraft products with all dedication and then people from outside sell them as their brands. “I thought why can’t we make our own brand identity which will directly benefit our artisans, manufacturers and sellers. It will also give our handicraft an identity,”

He said that the Kashmir handicraft is the blessing of our Sufi saints in Kashmir and our spiritual and cultural identity. He says that young generations have to contribute to the Kashmir handicraft so that it flourishes.

“My father was an artisan who only worked on shawls. I came next and wanted to take it to a new level. As a son of an artisan, I understand the challenges artisans face and through my brand, I want to do good for the whole industry which will benefit everyone including artisans. I attend the global events and take my artisans with me, I tell everyone that these are the people who are the reason for these beautiful art pieces. We have to give respect, and good wages to the artisan that is how the new generation will take up this art as occupation,” he added.

He said that he gives all the attention to the details of art so that his customers get the best product.

“I take the whole process very detailed. From making Pashmina thread to selling products in the global market. It all starts with the processing of raw material, then colour and design selection by experts. Then the products go to artisans who make beautiful art pieces. Our 100 per cent products are handmade because machine-made will kill the purpose of handicraft,” he added

Dar says that it won’t be an exaggeration to say that he has successfully turned his handicrafts into Kashmir’s first global brand which he has faced a lot of challenges. Dar said that he took the help of all modern tools to realize this dream.

“From creating the website of my brand to increasing my presence on social media, I explored everything. These tactics have helped a lot. Social media can bring your products to a global audience, you won’t get such customers by selling on a stall or in any other traditional way. Only a few days back a customer reached out to us from London via social media. Customers from Europe Americas, and Gulf have our brand with a single click. Such is the power of social media,” he added.

Dar said that the past few years have been very challenging and Handicraft players need to think out of the box to grow. He said he is doing his bit for the industry and he feels that if we make our marketing more presentable it will not only attract customers but will make the young generation interested in the handicraft industry.

Dar says that he is dreaming to take Kashmiri handicrafts and branding them on the level of Gucci, Nike, and other global brands. He says that if respect, dedication, and hard work will be given to Kashmir handicrafts it will tide over the challenges and the new generation will throng this industry as artisans, manufacturers, and entrepreneurs.

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