Meet Ponni and Gopinath- a simple, down-to-earth couple who had to leave Indian shores more than two decades back to pursue a career in Science and Technology in the US. They never guessed Saridhoti was on the cards for them.
Gopinath and Ponni grew up with the handlooms in Kanchipuram. They carried their attachment for handloom products over to the US. “Not long after we had settled here, we realized that traditional Indian handlooms do not hold a significant place in America as compared to other global arts & crafts. Hence we began an ardent journey in the year 2003 (when Saridhoti was founded in Atlanta) to preserve the handloom tradition, “ says Gopinath. It took a lot of hard-work, perseverance and courage to grow Saridhoti. “Much of our time went for the business. Balancing our personal life and the business could sometimes seem daunting, but now we see all the hard-work is paying off,” says Ponni, who even today welcomes customers at their house boutique and helps them choose the best sarees.
In 2006, Saridhoti went online. Not only were they handling parcels of sourced products from India, but now they also had to handle another set of parcels to be sent out to customers. “We learnt a lot through this business. Retailing online has even taught us about the remotest places in America,” Ponni points out humorously.
Gopinath is usually shuttling between office and Saridhoti. Where does he find the time? “When we are passionate about something, it’s miraculous how we find time and how seemingly impossible tasks get done. And not to mention, Ponni manages a lot of the work. Without her help, this wouldn’t be possible.”
Apart from handloom textiles, Ponni is equally passionate about cooking. “If not researching new saree trends or taking care of the kids, you will find me learning new recipes!”, she remarks.
Together, Ponni and Gopinath strive each day to meet the best standards in product design, quality and customer service. They do hope you will drop by one day, for a little hearty chat and to appreciate the handlooms of the era gone by.