The Last Mile

The artisans of my beautiful country grow up owning their craft. The skill is not passed down in schools rather it is handed down generations. Yet, with modern ideas and schooling not reaching these humble villages, the craft stays untouched and original. I decided we were not going to stop at employing these craftsmen for a spell or more; we were going to leave them with the flavored zing of ideas and education! Teach them elegant and imaginative ways of interesting fishing so to speak.

Now an entrepreneurial business venture is a complex undertaking in and of itself and clichéd as it may sound, I was intimidated more so because of the shockingly high number of stories I’d heard of women having a hard time in the industry. But I was home, wasn’t I?

Back where I belong
 I’ve never felt so strong
 feeling like there’s nothing that I can’t try
 — J. C

And would you believe it? Today I feel more comfortable walking down Jodia Bazaar in downtown Karachi, adjacent to the infamous Lyari Town, than any other place in the world. I get along well, not just ’cause, but because I took the time to get to know them…

People are just people after all. You peel away race, color, religion, tribe, and all those myriad layers, and what do you get — people. Every individual requires respect, and you need to give it to hope for some back. I discovered that these villagers were hungry for knowledge and eager to please. It may have been slightly unpleasant to answer to a woman from the city, especially one who looks so different from their idea of how things ‘should be’, but she paid well and offered longevity.

There were bigger challenges though: design, and the subtle chemistry of glaze. Few very precious people proved invaluable in this difficult time. We learnt how to select the finest ceramics and furniture accents from Pakistani tradition of crafts and design, and re-imagine it for the contemporary. For ours is a select clientele; Paimona’s clients possess an exotic taste filled with utmost adventure. They admire travelling far and wide and are collectors of the finest forms of beauty, which defines their ultimate persona.

One need only look at the W-18 bus painted on and decked out in its finest glory roaming the streets of London or showing off at some museum and know: Pakistan! And that is what Paimona shall spell. One glance at the elegant piece singing of timeless romance and ageless beauty, and the audience shall breathe (with a tight throat that comes with a chest puffed with pride) — Paimona…

My precious. Mine.