Hi, I’m Kirk, the founder of Gurutaa Leathers. I first visited India nearly twenty years ago, and I always knew that when the time was right, I would return to work with and support the rural communities of this amazing country.
In 2015 I fulfilled my aspiration when undertaking a 10 month voluntary placement as operations field director for Asra Charity, an Indian NGO working in rural communities for the betterment of the poor. I fell in love with the country, the crafts and the people all over again.
During this period, on a trip to Rajasthan, I saw first-hand the quality of leather craftsmanship that has been passed down from generation to generation, but also the poverty in the villages.
I realised that there was a wonderful opportunity to create a business that could use these specialised skills to create leather products to a wide market, whilst supporting the local craftspeople in India.
So, along with my Indian business partner, Sam, I set up Gurutaa Leathers in 2015 and we now design and produce a range of handcrafted leather bags and accessories for all occasions. We take much pride in the fact that all of our products are handmade in the homes of local families in Rajasthan, who are paid a fair price for production. We ensure only those of working age are involved in the process and that no chemicals are used.
In addition, at the end of each year, we donate a percentage of our profits to Asra Charity, www.asracharity.org who work with the local Indian communities, providing funding and support for projects including school water filtration installations, university scholarships for talented teenagers, farming equipment provision, construction projects and more.
You can see our latest products online at www.gurutaaleathers.com, in our West London shop (163 Askew Road, W12 9DA) or come and meet me at a craft market near you. A diary of our market visits are on the website too!
We’re back in Forest Row in East Sussex this Saturday (13 May) at Mansion Market in the historic Michael Hall, and at Richmond Duck Pond Market at Heron Square (Richmond, TW9) on Sunday. We’d love to see you there!