SHAI is an online destination for modern, Indian artisan-influenced home goods and accessories.
Growing up, Sanaa Himani ‘19CBS had trouble reconciling her Indian heritage with an American upbringing. After a 6-year career in the retail industry and some serious soul-searching to connect with her 2nd generation identity, she realized there was scarce cross-cultural representation in the market and a lack of creative output to meet the increasing demand and need for this product.
Hoping to solve the issue, Sanaa attended business school where she identified that while both 1st and 2nd generation Americans experience issues understanding, connecting with, and expressing their identities, a wider set of consumers also desire greater choice of product that reflects their evolved preferences: unique, global, functional, and created with impact-driven intentions.
Merging her analytical retail background, creative nature, and desire to affect social change, Sanaa founded SHAI (short for Sanaa Himani and Artisans of India), an online destination for modern, Indian artisan-influenced home goods and accessories.
SHAI’s philosophy is to contextualize old-world, Indian luxury in contemporary culture. In addition to helping like-minded creatives flourish, SHAI also operates as a social enterprise with a mission of supporting India’s handworker economy to improve the wellbeing of workers, reduce poverty, increase workforce inclusivity, and preserve important cultural traditions.
Stay tuned for the official launch of SHAI’s e-commerce platform at www.shaicollective.com and be sure to follow @shaicollective on Instagram for updates.