Natasha Chaudhri and Shilpa Gupta, design graduates from the College of Art, New Delhi have succeeded in setting up and running varied enterprises over the years. They own and ran speciality restaurants such as Thai Wok, New Delhi; Congo, Goa; Bohemia, Mumbai & Emperors Kitchen, New Delhi. Besides their restaurants both of them have been designing and producing apparel, textile and craft from their design studio and factory in New Delhi for over twenty years for museum shops, fashion designers and high street brands in India and overseas. Recognising the need to share the abundant love and success that they received at work made them devote their experience and resources to facilitate village artisans and women entrepreneurs for community inclusion and benefit.
Engaging with vulnerable artisanal communities led them to create a fair commerce label, Yumi on the 13th of July 2018. Yumi seeks to represent, revive and help sustain the highly skilled Indian artisans for their textile and craft through intense design and market led interventions.
Natasha Chaudhri comes from a family that has been devoted to textile, fashion and community welfare in Jammu & Kashmir. Growing up Natasha was exposed to enterprise and commitment towards community by her parents. Natasha is the Vice President of the Kalamkari Centre Society, Jammu which was set up by her parents. The Kalamkari Centre Society is dedicated to women, child and artisanal inclusion and benefit. Natasha oversees the family trust that facilitates preschooling and mid-day meals to nearly hundred students below the age of six from urban slums in Gurgaon.
Natasha remains in gratitude towards her parents and also Mr Rajeev Sethi who mentored her and ushered her into the world of artisanal communities and skilled women in villages across India.
Natasha and Shilpa have a dream partnership of creative and commercial expertise and have managed their enterprises of export and restaurants together. Shilpa being driven by business believes that commerce needs to be considered actively for any community or artisanal outreach program to survive. It was her encouragement, support and investment of intellectual capital that motivated Natasha to set up Yumi that is dedicated to nurture practicing artisans. They now plan to use their resources and expertise to impact the larger good of the Indian communities.