When we launched Toockies on the Grommet in May 2012, we were inspired by Anna Marie Stauss’ story. Her company employs 270 women in Nabapur, India to knit beautiful, functional, and eco-friendly dish scrubs at Fair Trade wages. The company was founded from Anna Marie’s drive to eliminate human trafficking in the region, for many women were forced to turn to this in desperation.
Toockies still employs the 270 women, many of them now full time and earning higher wages than their husbands. The business has also expanded into another region nearby, Atcara. Atcara has a unique reputation in the area; the villagers have gypsy heritage and they are known for their ability to sing to snakes. This unfamiliarity makes it difficult for the people of Atcara to find work, other villages in India tend to fear the people. The six coaches in the village are being trained now, and Anna Marie plans to hire an additional 36 women to knit by the end of the year.