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Who made your bag? —

Meet the Artisans


Our seventeen artisans are women from backgrounds of poverty, each with their own story of trauma and oppression: sold, stolen, trafficked and forced against their will into the sex trade. Without prospect of finding alternative employment, they were trapped.

Now they have chosen to come and work alongside us at the workshop! These are women with dreams, talents and larger than life personalities. Each a gem in her own way, we are privileged to spend our days with these courageous women.


Open up your satchel or bag to find the name of the woman who made your bag. You can find it on the inside pocket, etched in English with her own signature in Bangla or Hindi underneath.

We also have five support staff and a handful of foreigners working in the business.

Get to know everyone by reading their bios below!


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All Artisan Staff Volunteers

Leather Artisan

Jona

Leather Artisan

Jona

A thoughtful, caring person who always puts other people first. Her dream is for many more women to become free from the sex trade. Her faith that it’s possible inspires us all. She’s an encouragement to be around.

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Leather Artisan

Kakali

Leather Artisan

Kakali

A bright young woman, with an infectious smile. Her dream is to become financially independent. She loves playing games with our kids and brings fun to our workshop.

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Leather Artisan & Trainer

Mithu

Leather Artisan & Trainer

Mithu

A determined, hard-working woman. Her can-do attitude is contagious. She prides herself on making good decisions that will mean a better future for her family. She enjoys practising her English and does not hold back from giving us suggestions to make our business better.

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Leather Artisan

Raima

Leather Artisan

Raima

A strong, tough woman who travels far every day, coming from her village to work with us. She loves talking about our business being a family. Quite the extrovert, she loves to talk often and loud. On an extra special day, she can be heard singing in the workshop.

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Leather Artisan

Roma

Leather Artisan

Roma

At first, she might seem reserved. But soon you will realise that Roma is always laughing and joking around. This woman has us cracking up on a daily basis. Even in hard times, she always helps us to see the funny side of life.

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Leather Artisan

Shobha

Leather Artisan

Shobha

Dancing on her first day of work, this woman is pure joy. She brings carefree fun and laughter to our workshop every day. She always finds a reason to smile and play and often has us cracking up with her Bollywood film impersonations. And her hugs are the best.

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Leather Artisan

Juli

Leather Artisan

Juli

A quiet, level-headed woman, Juli can come across as rather serious. But she’s got an undercover streak of killer humour. She busts out some great one liners that catch us off guard. She is a peacemaker and enjoys afternoons when all the women are quietly stitching away.

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Leather Artisan

Onima

Leather Artisan

Onima

Strong and determined, this woman is tough and knows how to fight for her freedom and her family. When we play team-building games, she usually ends up laughing so hard that tears stream down her face. Gold!

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Leather Artisan

Kolpona

Leather Artisan

Kolpona

With a spring in her step, Kolpona is full of vitality and life. Although small in stature, she is one courageous woman. A deep thinker, she often ponders the big questions of life. She loves to help people and wants to make a difference with her life.

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Leather Artisan

Balika

Leather Artisan

Balika

Warm and loving, Balika’s eyes sparkle when she says hello each morning. She believes in the right of freedom for all people and talks about it often. Her hopeful speeches encourage us all.

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Leather Artisan

Kieran

Leather Artisan

Kieran

A young mum, Kieran is an inspiration in her fight for freedom. This girl knows how to talk and she pushes our language comprehension to the limits every day. She is switched on and has many hopes and dreams for a bright future with her son.

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Leather Artisan

Nisha

Leather Artisan

Nisha

A young Nepali woman, Nisha is a leader. She thinks with clarity and often surprises us with her pearls of wisdom. The eldest in her large family, she takes her big sister duties seriously.

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Leather Artisan

Mira

Leather Artisan

Mira

A switched-on, courageous solo mother of two. She is wise beyond her years and possesses an incredible strength of character. She is full of integrity, dignity and courage.

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Leather Artisan

Babita

Leather Artisan

Babita

A reserved Nepali woman, who often looks serious. But when she smiles, she lights up the room. She has got the ‘you lot are crazy, but I love you anyway’ look down pat.

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Leather Artisan

Nomita

Leather Artisan

Nomita

A peaceful and contended older woman, who has found great joy in coming to work with us. She is grateful for the simple pleasures in life. She speaks fondly of living in her nearby home and walking the five minute journey to work at Loyal each day. Her dream is to work with us for the rest of her days.

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Leather Artisan

Chandona

Leather Artisan

Chandona

Tall in stature, with courage that soars even higher. She is an unassuming example to the other women of how to pursue independence. She makes bold plans and turns them into reality. She is often found laughing, especially at the silly foreigners.

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Leather Artisan

Protima

Leather Artisan

Protima

A stout, smiley woman who possesses a strong belief in being ‘family’, here at the workshop. She will fiercely defend her opinion at times. But most days, she is content to sit back and soak up the joyous life happening all around her.

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Sales & Marketing

Joel

Sales & Marketing

Joel

A Kolkata based kiwi; Joel has a whole lot of love for his Indian aunties at Loyal and they for him. He brings joy, laughter, and silliness along with him, wherever he goes. Joel has a gift for creating family and has helped weave many people into the fabric of Loyal. Joel ensures that people, especially the more vulnerable, feel included. He carries the title of our most talented, Mr Marketing Team Leader Guy.

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Co-founder and Director

Sarah

Co-founder and Director

Sarah

With a heart that aches for freedom and justice, Sarah was pivotal in establishing the workshop alongside her husband, Paul. Sarah always sees the potential in people, knows how to have a good laugh and has an insatiable appetite for knowledge. Our little corner of the world is inching ever closer to freedom because of Sarah's actions.

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Admin Team Leader

Kunal

Admin Team Leader

Kunal

Our administration team leader, Kunal is passionate about justice and respect for all. A man of integrity, Kunal works hard to ensure that Loyal runs like a well-oiled machine. He possesses oodles of positivity and a can-do attitude. Kunal is collecting a growing repertoire of kiwi sayings, that he busts out with expert timing.

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Co-founder, Director and product designer

Paul

Co-founder, Director and product designer

Paul

Determined and strong while still sensitive to those around him, Paul was instrumental in getting the workshop going alongside his wife, Sarah. Paul is a jack-of-all-trades and can be found dealing with ours suppliers, training and leading our local staff or prototyping new products. His biggest claim to fame however, is successfully surfing the local Hooghly river.

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Social Support

Lizzie

Social Support

Lizzie

Freedom work has been part of Lizzie's life since she was a little girl. Nowadays, this detail-orientated, thoughtful woman heads up our social support team. Lizzie can usually be found standing alongside our women in long hospital lines or sitting present with someone experiencing a tough time. She also loves a good Bengali prawn curry!

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Product designer

Andriano

Product designer

Andriano

Andy has the driest, wittiest puns on the planet. He’s also kind, sacrificial and freakishly smart. Working from NZ, Andy shares his breadth of talent across digital design, branding and exciting new product design. Andy’s secret weapon is that he’s a Kolkata native!

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Designer and website

Matt

Designer and website

Matt

Based in Wellington New Zealand, Matt is the fastest working and most creative designer you've ever come across. A huge encourager with a heart of gold and a passion to serve, Matt is someone who leaves people better off than when he first met them.

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Local Sourcing and Procurement

Subham

Local Sourcing and Procurement

Subham

This family man loves his wife and son dearly. And his Loyal family too! Passionate about freedom, he is caring and friendly. Subham gets practical with his freedom work taking samples across the city and tracking down impossible supplies. Up for anything, he’ll give it a go.

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Accounts

Rakhi

Accounts

Rakhi

Our accounts person, Rakhi is a caring big sister to our artisans. She’s often found lending an empathetic ear to a sister in need. Rakhi is a woman of determination. She quietly and meticulously keeps our books in order. And she has a killer laugh.

 

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Laser Cutter Technician

Tapas

Laser Cutter Technician

Tapas

Our big brother, Tapas is gentle, kind and works from his heart. Such a wonderful part of the Loyal family. He has a deep respect for his sisters at work. Tapas also barely needed any training when he joined Loyal as he came to us with many years of leather work and laser cutting experience!

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Production Manager

Mithu

Production Manager

Mithu

Our production team leader, Mithu is the heart and soul of our operations. She instructs the artisans workflow with a gentle confidence. Mithu brings a calming presence to any room she inhabits. Cool as a cucumber, sharp as a tack, this woman is ready to take on the next production challenge coming her way.  

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Industrial Designer

Rusty

Industrial Designer

Rusty

The kind of guy that can make anything and do it with a big smile. Both extremely talented and a great guy. Based in Australia, he takes concept sketches from Andy and turns them into products that can be laser cut and stitched together. He gives selflessly from a passion for change.

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