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Maker Update: Toockies

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.

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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.

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When I asked Anna Marie about the impact a purchase makes on her employees, she told me an anecdote about a woman named Aysha. Aysha had been left by her husband and was seen as damaged by the community, all while struggling to support her elderly parents. After four years working with Toockies, she now makes enough money to support her parents and has thrived in her position. Her job gives her meaning, a sense of worth, and she works extra hours at the community center to support others who do not have the same freedom that she does. She’s never been happier.

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When we asked Anna Marie what she would like her epitaph to read, she replied “I gave my all for love and in the hope of a more humane world.”

Thank you, Grommet community, for supporting the women that knit for Toockies, and for helping Anna Marie in her dedication to create a more humane world. Your purchases can, and do, make a difference.

To learn more about Toockies, watch our video here.

Comments

  • Lourdes B Says:

    What a heartwarming story.

  • Linda Says:

    Blessing to see, Love is everything, Thank you God, Giveth Hope, We all need you , Light of the WORLD, Good news, God Bless you all, Shalom, A-men

  • Jacquelin Says:

    Thanks for sharing this .... a ray of light in this time of frightening events and human behavior.

  • Patsy Says:

    Could you let me know when the Tookies in a set of 6 square are available? You can notify me at the email address above. Thank you.

  • tamara Says:

    It'd be good if the Toockies were in different colors for hygiene purposes (kitchen vs. bathroom, for example). Tamara

  • Lolita Says:

    How do I order? I want to help.

  • Doris Says:

    I've been knitting these washcloths for years. In addition, I began a mission project in my church over 20 years ago using the same pattern in acrylic to make lap blankets in a myriad of colors that are given to nursing home patients and members of our church who are homebound. The project is still continuing.This project empowering women in India is a fantastic idea.

  • David Woodring Says:

    Praise the Lord finally something positive has happened in the world and it seems solid and growing.Love is a wounderfull thing.Thank you Toockies love you and of course Praise the Lord

  • Barbara Says:

    I used to make these on car trips and people love them. They last a long time. Now I can refer people to you for replacements!!

  • Tori Says:

    Hi Lolita, you can order right here on The Grommet: https://www.thegrommet.com/toockies-organic-cotton-scrub-cloths

  • Thea Says:

    Inspirational! you are being a blessing and the Lord will bless the work of your hands.

  • Sondra Says:

    Amazing how small things reap big rewards. Kudos for making a difference. Also, how do I order some?

  • Amy Says:

    What a beautiful story. So inspirational. My question is...when the Toockies are purchased and shipped is there a printout in the box of the history of the amazing women in India? I would like to give these as gifts and I know people would be very interested in how the Toockies began. Thank you and God bless! - Amy

  • Tori Says:

    Hi Sondra, you can purchase Toockies right here at The Grommet: https://www.thegrommet.com/toockies-organic-cotton-scrub-cloths

  • NorthAlabama Says:

    Love the concept and the success and most of all the difference it is making in these women's lives and the lives of their families.

    How do you phonetically pronounce the name "Toockies"? LOL

  • Tori Says:

    You pronounce it "Took-ees."

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