Celebrating 2020

I always love writing my year end piece and peace. But as I pondered over what to write its almost funny how strange this year has been, not HA HA funny but almost like when you watch someone slip on a banana peel, and in this year I was the ‘someone’ and 2020 was the banana peel.

So yes the list is long of misfortunes of this year, but I want my year end to be positive and about a positive message with sounding too prolific, so here it goes the one thing that kept me going while I was separated from home for 8 months - my employees, I could say the work but it won’t be true, it was them, their faces everyday. How they just went on, charged on and on, kept going, supporting me. Sometimes their ignorance of my dilemma would annoy me but their detachment to personal agony and their attachment to my work was just the distraction I needed to also ‘get on’. it reminded me that I am still luckier than many and everyday I need to count my blessings and ‘get on’.

In the coming last days of the year, everyday I will post an image of one of my employees along with their favourite ‘personal’ photo of theirs. A little bit about them and why they are @kopalshop. This is simply to honour them. The little people behind the label, the hands that make clothes, the clothes that are expertly shot and then posted on instagram to get you to like, follow and in some generous cases buy my line.

As I sit with my family feeling lucky, I am equally lucky to have these gems of people with me in spirit and commitment. #thankyou
I would like to honour our Master Ji (his name is Mohammad Riyaz but respectfully I never call him by his name) he is responsible for making my sketches come alive, he is my pattern master and cutter. He is the truest backbone of my company, how a garment fits and what the fabric will deliver in terms of shape and form he advises me on.

He was born 23/11/1973 in Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh. He loves his Daughters( Rukhsar and Mantasha) the most in the world.  His favourite colour is SeaGreen. He always wanted to be a Pattern Master. The things he loves about his job at @kopalshop are time management, facilities for staff and working environment.
I would like to honour Fahad, he is my young, bright and very hardworking Production Manager. He looks after my factory when I am not there. He keeps all my ducks in order and puts up any red flags ahead of time. He manages my time and action calendar and is 💯 the reason I sleep well at night.
He was born 21/12/1994 in Amroha, Uttar Pradesh. He loves ‘eating food’ the most in this world (let’s face it who doesn’t). His favourite colour is Light Blue. He wants to be a Theatre Artist. The things he loves most about working @kopalshop are the working space, organised office, perfection in work, facilities, staff and the open door policy.
I would like to honour Shankri, she is my lead hand embroiderer. SWIPE RIGHT
Although I have many women that do work for me and listing them would be impossibly long list as some are out-sourced that prefer to work at their homes, some are through NGO’s BUT Shankri is my head lady and a permanent fixture at the factory. She is responsible for turning my sketches into hand embroideries. She creates sample mock ups for me so they can copied by others. She and I come up with the most interesting ways to decorate tie-ends. Although it is 10 times harder to create a button from waste than to slap on a plastic button, she appreciates my ideals behind reducing waste and supports me without complain.

She was born 10/10/1973 in Kolkata, West Bengal. Her favourite in the world is her son Chandan. Red is her favourite colour. Her life aspiration is to be an honest person irrespective of the situation. Her favourite thing about working for @kopalshop is getting her salary on time.
I would like to honour Wajid, he is one of my tailors (and also my mothers favourite) He is the chattiest of the bunch and sings out loud while he’s working. His stitching technique is very clean and he’s constantly strives for perfection ...(until he gets distracted )

He was born 13/02/1998  in Leharpur, Uttar Pradesh The one thing he loves the most is his MotorBike. His favourite colour is Black. He wants to be a successful Businessman. The thing is loves most about @kopalshop is that he gets his salary on time.
I would like to honour Mukesh, he is my field runner and my packer and my thread buyer and my raw material source my plant-waterer and box maker and many many many other things. He’s my jack of all my trades. He is someone that joins all the dots for me and someone to rely on….heavily.

He was born 2/11/1993 in Totaheri, Haryana. He loves his daughter Kavya the most in this world. His favourite colour is Green. He wants to be a Soldier for the Indian Army.  What he loves most working for @kopalshop is the working environment and respectful office hierarchy.
I would like to honour Jamaaluddin, he is one of my tailors. He is a speed machine. Watching him work is like watching Federer play tennis, it’s effortless and he makes it look easy. He can do 6 things while working, and you would think his work would suffer, but nope! He has the highest yield in my factory. He is always my to go artisan when deadlines are in jeopardy.
He was born 14/05/1977 in Nabinanagar, Uttar Pradesh. He loves his family the most in this world. His favourite color is off-white. He always wanted to be a tailor. He loves most about his work with us that he gets his salary on time at @kopalshop.
I would like to honour Salim, he is one of my tailors. We acquired him during Covid when a lot of artisans were fired from their jobs, he came to me looking for a job and wanting to support his family. I couldn’t say no even though I had enough on my team, I thought he’d leave us once crisis would be over. His work is impeccable and even though he takes his time, (sometimes) taking a day or two to complete a style, I appreciate his perfection and experience. And he is a permanent employee now :)

He was born 1/03/1974 in Kushma, Uttar Pradesh. What he loves most in his life is his hard work and ability to earn a honest living. His favourite colour is White. HIs life goal was to move to Delhi for work. He loves most about @kopalshop is in fact everything, but especially all the facilities for the staff.
I would like to honour Kamaruddin, he is one of my tailors. He is the perfect mix of speed and quality, he is completely possessed by the sewing machine, never distracted. I never see his face come up…ever. However I do think he’s madly in love with his wife, he takes off to his village without notice…but he always returns sometimes a day later, a week later or even a month later. And he’s always had his place with us waiting.

He was born 2/8/1989 in Sultanpur, Uttar Pradesh. He loves his Family the most in this world. His favourite colour is Red. He wants to be a Doctor. The things he loves about working @kopalshop are staff and working environment.

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