Most people retire at age 60 and begin enjoying their golden years, but in this age of startup cultures and individuals exploring uncharted business territory, we have witnessed time and time again that many energetic brains start a new inning beyond the usual retirement age.
Mad4India is back with another innovative and inspiring story of a not-retiring person at 60 who has transformed her lifelong interest into a career where many trible women are benifited. Meet Kanchan Bhadani, the lady who is reintroducing the art of making kids toys in a desi way!
Kids Toys – The Old Way
Before the advent of the modern textile industry, hand-crocheted goods were very common in most homes. Ladies would sit down with their crochet tools after a day of chores to make blankets, afghans, pillows, and even kids toys.
Kids toys made entirely by hand are becoming rare, but this 61-year-old lady in Jharkhand is helping to bring them back.
Kanchan Bhadani’s ‘Loophoop business has sold more than 3,000 hand-crocheted toys since it began in 2021. She also helps housewives and women in indigenous communities get paid training and live a financially independent life.
She has taught more than 50 native women how to crochet. The vast majority of them assist her in producing toys for the business.
As a young girl living in Kolkata, Kanchan often used to help her grandmother and aunts crochet blankets and kids toys.
Many of the ladies around her were aware of the technique, even if they didn’t practice it regularly. But Kanchan had a strong liking for this art and would practice whenever she could.
She learnt the art of Crochet as a girl and until she got married in 1982 she would practice it every now and then, at that time each girl was taught the art of needle handling and Kanchan loved this art the most.
Like many other Indian women of the time, she had to put her education on hold when she was married and moved to Jhumri Telaiya in Jharkhand. But one old friend accompanied her to her new city and house — her very beloved crochet needles.
Passion powers perfection
While she was captivated by her art, something else worried her and eventually became an interest. She found that there are many uneducated tribal women in Jhumri Telaiya. They had to labour in the mines for a meagre daily wage, and this left them very little to live on.
As Kanchan saw the plight of these ladies, she often wondered what she could do to help. “I knew I wanted to help them, but I didn’t know how,” she says.
She wanted to help these folks immensely, but there was nothing she could do at the moment. In time, she was dragged away by her housework to tend to her family’s needs as she raised three children and took good care of her household. The dawn that was about to break, which might have brought hope to the underprivileged women of her new city, was eclipsed by her hectic schedule.
With the passage of time, she turned to ease her lifestyle and she was able to make time for her girl-heart passion, which was to pick up her crochet needles whenever she could. As her life slowed down, she started teaching other ladies who showed an avid interest in picking up this craft.
I found the team I was looking for in the neighbouring tribal community of Jhumri Telaiya, where many women are stay-at-home mothers who would welcome the chance to help support their families financially by working on crochet kids toys making.
“I Always Wanted To Give Back To Society – My Passion Led Me The Way”
Her kids became her backbone, they helped her set up the LoopHoop social media page and website. The journey was new but also filled with much excitement, she started it with confidence and now has educated around fifty native women.
She explained that she runs her company by hiring stay-at-home moms and young women from indigenous villages and then helping them with free crochet lessons.
“Because they are mostly housewives, they cannot come and devote hours to the work,” she explains. So we provide them with the yarn, give them the instructions, and the hooks to complete the project whenever they choose. This piques their curiosity to work for our kids toys making startup.
She says that as a woman, she knows how challenging it is for a housewife to find the time to practise this delicate art that takes up enough time, but that most of the women she has worked with have shown impeccable attention to detail while learning the art and have mastered it in about 10 to 15 days.
Growth lies In Good
The people that labour in Loophoopkids are compensated for their time. She claims that if one works just two to three hours every day, one can earn more than Rs 5,000 in a month. and the success made by Knchan talks for itself, The present annual income for the business is more than Rs 14 lakh.
Kanchan is a pure desi mother who understands compassion, empathy and sustainability all at once, she is not only helping many women find financial independence but also is teaching the art of managing waste as much as possible.
“I also make every effort not to waste any materials.We make some other toys with whatever wool is left over so that no waste occurs,” she explains.
Kanchan produces a wide selection of kids toys like cute octopi, dolls, creepy caterpillars, and even regal elephants. So far, she’s managed to sell almost three thousand kids toys. You can find Loophoopkids super cute sustainable and plastic-free kids toys on their website, Instagram, and on online marketplaces like Flipkart and Amazon.
Kanchan is a role model for many and an inspiration for all. She desired to help women find a better way of livelihood and she found her way to it in time e, yet it took her a long period of time to create her own path but she has finally achieved it.
If you like the story of this Unique business idea, please read about An Incredible Story Of An 18-Year-Old Entrepreneur Carving Innovative Ideas For Students’ Study Material
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