Sunita Dhairyam, Founder of Temple Tree Designs
I set up Temple Tree Designs in 2008 primarily to support my charity, the Mariamma Charitable Trust.
We desperately need to raise funds and as a wildlife artist, I was very keen to put my artistic skills to good use.
I, therefore, decided to design and manufacture wildlife-related gifts and products which would appeal to the countless tourists who visit our beautiful area each year hoping to spot a tiger but also to admire nature at its finest.
We currently have two shops around the Bandipur Tiger Reserve, one just outside Gundlupet and the other in Melukamanahalli Village. We are proud to announce the opening of a third one in September in.
Temple Tree Designs is very much a rural-based company and our head offices are here in Mangala Village, in the state of Karnataka, South India.
The items we sell are, however, manufactured all over India: our T-shirts come from Tirupur in Tamil Nadu, our hats, and P-caps from Delhi, and our stunning woven hand-loom dhurries (rugs) are from Mirzapur in Uttar Pradesh. Our aim is to source from anywhere where we can acquire beautiful environmentally-sustainable products and provide much-needed employment to the people.
More locally, in our own immediate area, we consider it to be of vital importance to wean the villagers away from their dependency on cattle and farming as a source of income. These past years of debilitating drought are taking their toll. Thirsty predators are encroaching more and more upon human dwelling space, killing the cattle and goats on which the people depend for their very survival. Our overriding aim now is to teach them new skills thus reducing poverty by providing an alternative and non-forest-dependent source of income.
That is why we plan to open a training center and to bring part of our manufacturing process closer to home. The hand-loom weaving and embroidery center would be situated here on our land and would require neither water nor electricity, and would thus not impact negatively on the precious resources of our environment. Weaving is a truly ancient skill of India which tragically is dying a rapid death due to modernization and industrialization; we yearn to reverse that trend.
The direct involvement of the villagers in this scheme would not only help them economically but would also give them a sense of ownership and pride; in particular, we can empower women, an aim which we share with the government of our country.
By purchasing gifts and products either from our website or directly from our shops you can help us to fulfill our dream. We are counting on you for your support.