Terra Klay: Preserving Indian Tradition with Fair Trade Practices

Teapot Preserving Indian Tradition

Terra Klay sells teapots, tea cups, and tea to empower Indian artisans, preserve tradition, and encourage conversation about culture. 

Founder of Terra Klay, Manvee, has always had a passion for art. With her background in fine arts Manvee has been inspired by the ability of art to bridge the gap between cultures. Manvee is from Mumbai, but has lived in the United States for quite sometime. She wanted to use art to encourage the conversation about cultural diversity.  

Manvee was connected with some artisans in India who had been making basic dishware and home goods. After speaking to these artisans Manvee felt inspired, but overwhelmed. She was intimidated by the idea of starting a business. Manvee shared the artisans work with her husband who loved it. They used the kitchenware to cook a meal. Manvee quickly realized this was a wonderful way to connect cultures far away, both through art and food.

As Manvee started reading and learning more about the Indian culture she became fascinated with the artisans work. She realized these techniques were passed down from generation to generation through dialogue. She was inspired to encourage and preserve these unique traditions. Manvee decided to conquer her fears about starting a business and began speaking to the artisans about exporting their products to America.

Terra Klay currently works with a family of nine artisans in Manipur, India. Manvee recently traveled to India to meet the artisans and provide feedback on products. While visiting the artisans Manvee learned that there was a dispute between the people in the mountain and the valley. The artisans rely heavily on local rock from the mountains as materials. Depending on weather conditions and/or culture disputes this can make the artisans job a bit more challenging. Manvee also observed first-hand the difference in cultural gender roles. These experiences motivated her to empower the Indian women by selling their products.

Terra Klay purchases the products upfront to ensure the artisans get paid for their work. Products include different styles of teapots, teacups, and tea. The different styles of teapots are named after the artisans who crafted them. Terra Klay products can be found online and in various stores in Chicago.

The wonderful story and hard work behind these teapots add another dimension to these products. I love my Presley Teapot and plan on purchasing some matching teacups soon. I encourage you all to check out Terra Klay products.