The women at WORK+SHELTER are busy working on the Madison Cowl ( with plenty of help from W+S Founder Jorel)

These cowls will soon be available on The Lotus Odyssey, and the patterns are available for purchase on The Sweatshop Of Love.

WORK+SHELTER Founders Theresa, Namita and Jorel are in New Dehli and wanted to share some pictures of their adventure!

Check back soon for exciting new updates from WORK+SHELTER!


Want to support WORK+SHELTER?

Shop The Lotus Odyssey and experience Good Karma Luxury.

You will not only find the gorgeous, hand knit goods created by the women at WORK+SHELTER, but soaps, made of organic ingredients in the Himalayas and  luxurious creams with apricot oil and pure essential oils. Hand- woven, wild-silk scarves in shimmering, iridescent colors are sure to enrich any wardrobe and our gold or white silver 50 turn bangles  make the perfect gift this holiday season.




All of the proceeds support WORK+SHELTER and everyone who is involved with WORK+SHELTER works pro-bono to ensure we can reach as many women as possible in India.

Visit The Lotus Odyssey today and take advantage of our holiday sale, with knit goods 50-75% off and free shipping on orders over $25!

Another adorable product made by the women of WORK+SHELTER, Bookworm, is here!


Bookworm is an adorable plush worm who has an affinity for books (hence the name), diverse human interaction, and exploring different cultures.  Bookworm embraces compassion for all people, no matter what shape, size, color, or type! Bookworm is very proud to be a bookworm and hopes you can take pride in who you are too!

Bookworm will put an instant smile on your face (I bet you’re smiling already), and is great for anyone, child or adult, who loves cute things, needs the perfect cuddle buddy, or is an avid reader or book enthusiast.

Bookworm is hand-crafted by women artisans in India who are treated with respect by their employer, provided with shelter, and paid fairly for their dedication to creating quality products.

Bookworm materials: Micro-chamois (really soft!) polyester fleece, polyester fleece, premium polyfil (made from recycled bottles!)

Bookworm dimensions: 10″ long, 4″ wide

Machine washable, but spot cleaning is recommended to prolong the life expectancy, as this product is handmade.

Color may vary slightly from picture, but shape and size remain consistent.

We are so happy to be working with Bookworm creator and designer Emily Gilson!

Make sure you visit ShopLocket and pre-order your Bookworm  to have it delivered by Christmas!

WORK+SHELTER has teamed up with Rubina to create these gorgeous cowls!  Read our interview with Rubina Founder,  Kari Litzmann, then visit the Rubina site to read more about this wonderful organization and order your super cozy Chevron Cowl today!

1. What is Rubina and how did it come about?

Rubina sells accessory products exclusively made by designers collaborating with marginalized women artisans to ensure consistent income and preserve traditional craft.

Rubina was started in 2012, but it’s inspiration happened in 2005 during a thesis research trip to Pakistan when I met a woman named Rubina. She was the only one out of about 100 women participating in sewing and embroidery training that expressed the desire to start her own business with her newly learned skills, but unable to do so given her socioeconomic situation in the conservative region of Northwest Pakistan. Rubina had the talent, drive, and vision to see what could be instead of what was that inspired a business model for the inclusion of talented, entrepreneurial women who only lacked a connection to a robust market.

2.How did you learn about WORK+SHELTER?

Theresa, Namita, and I all met at a New York Women Social Entrepreneurs‘ Dinner in the summer of 2011. We bonded over our love for India and the organizations we were both starting that focused on women. I feel really lucky that we ran into each other that night and am happy that NYWSE (a volunteer organization I lead on the side) is a place that connects people that eventually become business partners and friends!

3. Why is it important for you to work with the women at WORK+SHELTER?

WORK + SHELTER is doing some amazing work with women in Delhi. I had the privilege of visiting the shelter and meeting the women, seeing their process and getting to know their stories. Many of their stories were heartbreaking, but it was so inspiring to see those same women waking up and coming to work every day, most as sole providers for their children, many living in abusive situations, and one even working to put her sister to school. This determination and sense of purpose, as well as the high level of skill each of these women possess, is exactly why Rubina decided to partner with W+S. And because we believe in the work W+S does, our goal is to continue to develop beautiful products with these women to help sustain their lives and the lives of their families.

* Photos courtesy of Andrea Patton

Check out our Facebook page for some great pictures of a few of the women of WORK+SHELTER enjoying the day at the Dastkar Nature Bazaar.

Anjali Bhatnagar is a graduate from Indian Institute of Crafts and Design, Jaipur, with specialization in soft material application. She has worked with organizations like Aga Khan Foundation; Asian Heritage Foundation; All India Artisans and Craftworkers Welfare Association and has been focusing on forward as well as backward linkages for artisan communities.

Anjali has been a catalyst in bridging the gap between artisans and main stream markets. She has facilitated successful partnerships with buyers like Ten Thousand Villages, Global Exchange, West Elm etc. to name a few.

Her design background combined with extensive exposure to the crafts sector helps her in understanding the buyer requirements and translating them to beautifully designed handicrafts that fit well into the urban mainstream markets.


We are so lucky to have Anjali as a part of WORK+SHELTER, she has already done amazing things for the Shelter in the few months she has been there!

WORK+SHELTER is teaming up with Sweatertoys!
The lovely creator of Sweatertoys, Caitlin Wicker ( far right picture), answered a few of our questions so you could get to know her a little better!

How did the idea of Sweatertoys come about?
Sweatertoys came to life back in 2005. My sister’s favorite childhood stuffed bunny, Pinksey, literally fell apart. I wanted to make a stuffed animal for my sister to make her feel better, but I didn’t know how to sew much besides a straight line, and I wasn’t sure what materials to use. An avid thrifter, I came across a soft pink cashmere sweater that was practically begging to be repurposed. The end result was a haggard-looking stuffed tapir. Despite its flaws and my frustration at not truly knowing how to sew, I was excited to further pursue this idea.

How did the idea to partner with WORK+SHELTER come about?
I was introduced to (WORK+SHELTER Founder and President) Theresa through a friend. I volunteered to share with her my New York retail contacts and help her approach stores in which to sell goods made by WORK+SHELTER women. She mentioned the possibility of WORK+SHELTER women helping to make my stuffed animals. Once the seed was planted, we decided to move forward

Why is it important for you to work with the women at WORK+SHELTER?
Sweatertoys is my baby. I want my business to grow, but not at the expense of other human beings. I don’t want them mass-produced in factories in China. I like the idea that WORK+SHELTER women are not only receiving fair wages to make Sweatertoys, they are also being trained to be productive citizens.

We know you will love Caitlin and her Sweatertoys as much as we do.
The women at WORK+SHELTER are currently making penguins and narwhales, with more adorable animals to follow!
Keep checking your WORK+SHELTER newsletter for updates!

The women are busy with packing and shipping some of our Fall 2012 Products!

That is a very good question. The women at WORK+SHELTER are currently making the Sweatertoys incarnation of the so-called “unicorn whale,” and were curious to know more about it.

Here’s a picture of Seema and Maqsooda learning more on the good ol’ world wide web!