We wanted folks to be able to see and touch GumCha up close and in a top-quality store near them.
Starting with well-known shops in our area, we moved to Oregon, then Washington State, and California, handpicking the best shops in the coolest towns. Our technique was simple, we just packed up a basket of GumCha, went window shopping, and walked in with no appointment.
We have a short (7½-minute) video that describes the great success we’ve had in finding the perfect retail stores:
At first, finding the right shops was a bit of a challenge. For our product, we needed to find experienced, creative, business owners who have made their work an artistic expression of their life’s intention.
The interesting thing is that, after a few days of flailing around, we were able to recognize these businesses by simply walking in and looking around.
This model proved successful beyond anything we could have hoped for. We found a wide variety of ideal locations; shops with obviously curated collections of art, clothing, accessories, and even home decor and garden art. Each owner was intimately involved in their business and approached their business as an expression of their art. In the vast majority of cases these folks have been in business for between 20 and 40 years.
Each time the weaver loads her loom the design evolves a bit, and has for generations. Now, there must be over 10,000 different unique patterns and designs being produced.
Surprisingly, in each case, if we found a shop that would be right for our GumCha and we were able to speak to the owner or other decision-maker, that business purchased a stock of GumCha, in every case. Batting 1,000 in any kind of sales is, really, unheard of.
We now have GumCha in 42 shops in 7 states; Washington, Oregon, California, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, and North Carolina.
Recently, the beautiful towns of Frisco and Manteo in North Carolina and Jacksonville Beach in Florida have combined with Mendocino, Eureka, Arcata in California to provide GumCha to folks on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. Millions of people in the US are now just a short drive from the nearest GumCha.
To find a retailer near you or a friend just check out: https://gumcha4health.com/#colophon
Or, of course folks can view our online catalog and buy GumCha at: https://gumcha4health.com/gallery-of-collections/
The GumCha4Health Project is a public health and economic development partnership of two nonprofit organizations, the Rampurhat Railpar Rural and Urban Health Training Society (RUHTS) (in West Bengal, India) and the International Federation for Family Health (IFFH) (in the USA). We work with local rural weavers to produce and bring the GumCha to the American market.
The partnership has established two private businesses – GumCha 4 Health, Pvt. Ltd., in Rampurhat, India, to buy and process GumCha; and, GumCha4Health, LLC, in the United States to provide marketing, sales, order fulfillment, shipping, and customer support.
This project triples the income that farmer/weavers derive from weaving GumCha. This of course is an immense boon to farm family economies, and helps ensure the survival of a valuable artisan craft that is more than 2,000 years old.
Please share the GumCha story and our GumCha4Health website with your friends, family, colleagues and others in your social networks. By sharing our project with others, you will help the program and the people our project serves to grow and prosper.
The GumCha4Health project believes that we can make globalization work for small subsistence farmers/weavers. By opening up new markets in the West, many hundreds, perhaps thousands, of farming families who have depended on their skills as weaver artisans to hold households and farms together can return to self-sufficiency providing handloomed GumCha.
“I am so pleased to have received my order of GumCha scarves. I will be giving them as gifts to family and friends. I think your GumCha project is very imaginative, and a wonderful way to raise money for your program while helping to support local weavers.”
– SE, Washington DC