By simply living and working in communities within the United States, immigrant entrepreneurs enrich the local culture and bring fresh, inspired ideas to local markets, but some go above and beyond in the name of diversity and inclusivity. The Sanaya Set, founded by first-generation Indian-American women, Tarul Kode Tripathi, Tejal Angolkar, and Sandy Mathews, is a company dedicated to embracing our differences from a feminist standpoint in the name of self-care and social justice. Their impact extends beyond themselves, as every woman who buys the Sanaya Set is making a statement for inclusivity and their purchase shows they care about enriching the lives of women on a global scale.
An Urge to Contribute
The Sanaya Set began as a concept on election night 2016 as a reaction to the reality that America, as a nation, seems to be leaning away from the diversity, multiculturalism, and inclusiveness that makes it one of the greatest nations on earth. “As we saw the political climate in the country change, we reflected on the hateful rhetoric we have experienced firsthand,” said Tripathi, in a recent interview with The Teal Mango. “We want to take action to help make a better future for the next generation.”
Tripathi, Angolkar, and Mathews, as the children of Indian immigrants who grew up with parents who sacrificed everything to give their daughters better lives, know that the United States is greater than the opinions of an outspoken few, and decided to create a product that brings people, especially women and marginalized groups, together.
Citing their heritage and the fact that they were raised by strong women, Tripathi noted, “We are determined to use the opportunities and privilege that we have been given to help elevate others and positively impact social justice.”
A Subscription with Intention
The Sanaya Set is a lifestyle products subscription service geared towards women who want a pick-me-up with a conscience. For its subscribers, the message is less about sweeping gestures and more about small day-to-day lifestyle changes that encourage intersectionality and inclusiveness. Collections are released seasonally, and each of the six to eight included items are selected with painstaking care. All of the items, which include a beautiful, versatile Sudara “Anju” robe, a simple gold lotus flower necklace from Nandi Jewelry, flattering, bright lipstick shades from Hi Wildflower, fair trade, organic chocolate from Theo, affirming books like “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” by Maya Angelou, cleverly named, “Claws Out” nail polish, and more, are created by women-owned businesses.
The sale of each Sanaya Set box supports enterprising women, and, perhaps best of all, 10% of all net proceeds from the Spring set are donated to the ACLU. When each new set is released, the company chooses a different charity or organization whose values align with Sanaya Set’s for its donations.
Standing for Solidarity
“Intersectional feminism” and “social justice” are not phrases that come up often in the world of subscription boxes, but it is what sets Sanaya Set apart from similar self-care services. In fact, its tagline is straightforward about the company’s intentions: “Social Justice x Self Care.” On its website and in all its materials, the Sanaya Set spells “women” as “womxn,” to show solidarity with the often marginalized trans community. The company recognizes that its message might not appeal to everyone, but it is firm in its beliefs and values the freedom of all women to express themselves over profits.
Each box represents the efforts of women seeking better lives for themselves and each other. The Sudaru “Anju” robe, for example, is crafted by women taking back control of their lives after escaping human trafficking in India. Each item has a story and a purpose, and each sale contributes to real, positive social change for real women around the world, especially women of color in difficult circumstances. Women who purchase the Sanaya Set can feel proud of their choice, and wearing the items in the box is, in itself, an act of solidarity.
As the children of Indian immigrants, Tripathi, Angolkar, and Mathews understand the difficulties that many women around the world face. They recognize that the opportunity to not only live in the United States but also own a business that impacts so many lives is to be cherished and used to do as much good as possible. Their business model is the unique product of their perspectives and is designed to benefit everyone from the products’ creators to the consumer receiving their Sanaya Set.
The Sanaya Set has the seal of approval from immigration lawyer, Tahmina Watson, who is proud to be the Spring 2018 Brand Ambassador. She describes her reaction to the brand’s message and products as “giddy excitement,” and is impressed by its focus on valuing and supporting women. In her review of the Sanaya Set, she notes that everyone on her team at Watson Immigration Law was thrilled with the items in the box and highlights the notoriety the company has achieved since its inception less than two years ago. She notes that the company was featured on Seattle’s KOMO news, and was reviewed as a featured product by Dallas Intuitive Designers, as well as by numerous other publications. In her work as an immigration lawyer, she advocates for collaboration within communities to support immigrant members of society and for helping them with their transitions as, not only new U.S. residents but as valued members of the community. This message perfectly aligns with that of the Sanaya Set, making her a trustworthy advocate for the brand with substantial professional clout.
Like so many immigrants and children of immigrants, the founders of the Sanaya Set have found their place in the United States helping others like themselves, as well as those who are less fortunate. They deliver quality products backed by the full confidence that the customer is helping the world at large with her purchase. Customers can embrace their most beautiful selves, inside and out, and in doing so support the growing trend of consumerism with a conscience.
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