The Story of Anmol
Anmol Imports was founded in 2011, while my husband Al and I were living in Southern India. At the time, I was working on an enormous public health project with the Government of India and a hospital in Toronto, and Al was volunteering his skills at a small IT firm. While on holiday in Rajasthan, Al recognized the potential demand for the absolutely breathtaking textiles with which we were surrounded at every turn, and suggested we start a small side business importing them to Canada.
Despite my abject adoration of the products we'd be selling and an abiding love of the country, I was far more difficult to convince. I was already exceedingly busy with my project and, armed only with a graduate degree in Sociology, didn't know the first thing about retail or importing. After more cajoling, I agreed to post a single bed cover on my Facebook page, to see if anyone in my circle would even be at all interested. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Seven years later I have grown our "side" business into my full-time career and passion project. Textiles, in particular, are such an integral part of India’s cultural heritage. There are literally millions of artisans - right across the nation - all making the most breathtaking stuff. For Anmol, I'm dedicated to learning as much as I can about how, where, and by whom my things are made, because I want to run this business in a socially responsible manner. Specifically, I am working diligently toward buying mainly (ultimately solely) from cottage and village industries, craft cooperatives, and endeavours that particularly support women and children.
Despite the effort required to handpick every amazing item I sell, I have worked very hard to keep my prices affordable. Not only because I actually want you to own these stunning things: to use them in your homes with pleasure and pride, or give them as thoughtful, delight-inducing gifts. But also because the more product I sell, the more frequently I can go back to my makers for orders, which - in the end - helps everyone. Quite simply, it's about raising us all up together.
For me, it's a labour of unabashed love. And it's my honour to promote such talented craftspeople, by making their hard work available to those who appreciate it. And because everyone always wants to know, Anmol is Hindi for ‘priceless’ or ‘irreplaceable’ and it’s a nickname I was given by a treasured friend who lives in Calcutta. And by the way, if you ever want to go to India, I can help with that too. Along the way I started a tour company and am licensed by TICO (Tourism Industry Commission of Ontario.) Follow Anmol Journeys on Facebook and Instagram and let me know if I can plan an itinerary or invite you on a trip of a lifetime.