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This Jewelry Social Enterprise is Empowering Women in Remote Communities in the Foothills of K2 Mountain

Meet Daria Day, a social enterprise jewelry brand empowering women living in the remote mountain communities in the foothills of the K2 Mountain in Northern Pakistan. Founder Farrukh Lalani believes in the connecting and healing power behind each gemstone as well as breaking the cycle of poverty for the female artisans she works with.

Some of these areas are the most isolated and poorest communities in the world. Farrukh was working with NGOs in Pakistan when she got to know the women in these communities. She quickly realized the need for opportunities to empower them financially and creatively. Daria Day strives to provide the artisans with a sustainable livelihood and path to prosperity, hoping to break the cycle of poverty and and show that we are all connected. Each piece of jewelry comes with a product card that tells the person who wears it a little about the artisan who made it, so they know they are forever a part of her story. ❤️

Below is an interview with Farrukh Lalani, the founder of Daria Day.

What inspired you to start your social enterprise Daria Day?

I was working with NGOs in Pakistan when I got to know the people in these communities and the need for opportunities to empower them financially and creatively. Daria Day strives to provide the artisans with a sustainable livelihood and path to prosperity, which will benefit the whole community.

What is the meaning behind the company name Daria Day?

Daria is from old Persian and is the female variant of Darius, meaning prosperity. Daria Day is really meant as an exclamation: Prosperous day!

Are you hoping to start working with artisans in different areas, or just artisans in Pakistan?

It was always my goal to work with artisans in this area because their determination inspired me to start Daria Day in the first place. There is so much work that can be done to help the families in these communities. I want to show a different side of Pakistan than what people typically think of a part that makes beautiful jewelry, a part that is beautiful and serene, rarely visited or talked about, but which once stood at the center of the silk road, where many different cultures, traditions, and languages blended to create the unique culture of this region.

There is another aspect that is important to me. Gemstones have traditionally been smuggled out of the region so none of the local communities benefit from the natural resources or mining activity. By processing the gems and making our jewelry in the region, the local population can benefit from the natural resources in their region. It keeps the value of the resources within the region.

Farrukh with Daria Day artisans.

How is Daria Day helping end the cycle of extreme poverty for these artisans an their families?

Many of our artisans support multiple generations of their family. Many have lost their homes and land to natural disaster and they are starting over with very few options. They have the opportunity to learn a trade and earn money to support their family. This new opportunity even helps our artisans to pay for their siblings to go to school, which creates more opportunities for the whole family in the long term.

How do you find artisans to create the jewelry?

We work closely with the Rupani Foundation, an NGO that works within local communities in the region to ensure both that the resources in the region are being mined ethically and that the people in the local communities are being treated fairly. They act as an advocate for the local communities and facilitate the skills education.

What type of healing and connecting power does each gemstone have?

Gemstones are traditionally known to have healing properties. They vary based on the type of gemstone. For example, Amazonite is known to block out stressors and bring calm while Amethyst is known to block negative energy. The power of each gemstone is within the person wearing them. I truly believe that gemstones, when mined and crafted in the way Daria Day does, have a connecting power as well because they forever become part of each of our artisans’ stories. By supporting them on their path to prosperity each piece of jewelry connects the wearer to the person who created it regardless of geographic location.

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