the Anaya journey through India
The foundation of Anaya started with a close friendship that has spanned over a decade.
Our founder Jenna was working as a senior designer at a large corporate company when she met Manju- a very special woman, our business partner and one of the main reasons Anaya was born. Throughout the years of their friendship, Manju shared with Jenna her love for her home country of India, passion for Indian artisans and culture from fashion to food. Even while at her corporate job, Jenna always loved working with the artisans and vendors in India.
“There’s a level of craftsmanship and attention to detail that you will only find in India. No computer technology or machines can replicate the level of handmade artistry that has been passed down by each family for thousands of years. The talent is unbelievable and the people are so peaceful and friendly. It’s a culture I want to help represent and support.”
Manju’s business partner and long time friend Priya is an industry veteran and one of the most special people we have ever met. Her kindness, elegance, and intelligence makes her not only our mentor but someone we also just enjoy spending time with. Priya took us all around India for months to help source the best quality materials at the best prices. She helped us find trustworthy + honest vendors that provide kind working spaces for their employees while also giving back to the local community and those in need. Priya lives in Delhi; a thriving, bustling city filled with stunning fabrics, incredible food and lots and lots of traffic. Priya fills our days spent in India with inspiring adventures, meeting amazing people and so much laughter.
Jaipur is known as the Pink City, which comes from the terracotta color of the buildings. The historical reason for the uniform color of central Jaipur lies with the absolute power of the Maharaja (Sawai Ram Singh) over his capital and his extreme strategy to impress Prince Albert during the Prince's 1876 tour of India. The Maharaja of Jaipur was one of the richest and most powerful men in India and he impressed the British court like none other.
In Jaipur, you will find the most beautiful and intricate handicrafts. Wood blocking, wood carving, intricate embroideries, blue pottery, mesmerizing handwoven carpets and stunning jewelry.
Anaya’s marble platters and kitchenware are all made in Agra, the same city of the Taj Mahal. The Taj was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan to house the tomb of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. He commissioned 20,000 of the most skilled artisans all around India to build this structure using white marble inlayed with semi precious stones. The skills of these artisans were passed down through each generation. Take a close look at the Anaya Hand Carved Elephants. There’s a baby elephant carved into the stone with no seam- only a skill you can find from the descendants who built the Taj Mahal. We were lucky enough to witness sunrise at the Taj on a cool spring morning. The color of the structure itself changes as it reflects the bright rising Indian sun.
The Anaya Team took a break amidst the colorful Holi celebrations and spent the weekend in Udaipur, the City of Lakes. Udaipur is known for its historic forts, lake palaces and mountain views. The fairy tale picturesque views make Udaipur a must see destination .
We took a long drive to the city of Moradabad which is known as the Brass city, as it specializes in hammered metals. The Anaya Team toured around various factories. As a team, we make it a point to work with vendors who are honest and treat their
employees with kindness and respect. We also seek a high level standard of product quality and set parameters to ensure that this standard is maintained over the entire production run. We also look for companies that are giving back to their communities by providing homes, schooling and jobs to the less fortunate.