Handcrafts that give back
We bring beautiful artisan-made accessories to women who want to shine with their own style. The rich, vibrant culture of India is captured in these handcrafts.
When you buy something handmade, you help keep ancient traditions alive. Ambarya exists to protect these crafts and recognise the artisans who make them. Our purpose is to support ethical work environments and help artisan communities to thrive. That’s why we’re committed to paying a fair living wage to the makers with every sale we make.
Weaving the threads of identity together
Some identities aren’t easily pinned down, and Fiona Deniz’s is one of them.
She explains; “My parents are Anglo Indians who were born in India and moved to Australia. So my upbringing was infused with a mix of Western and Indian culture and Australian culture too. I grew up with the idea of living with several different identities woven together.”
The tug of Indian culture
As an adult Fiona longed to explore her Indian roots. She only visited India once, as a toddler. So when her parents invited her to join them on a family reunion, she booked flights right away.
Her trip in 2019 didn’t disappoint. She bathed in India’s warm colours, spirituality and emotion.
She visited the schools and streets where her parents grew up and she was humbled by the simplicity of their early lives. It struck her how much our opportunities are impacted by the country of our birth.
A magnetic moment
In Cochin, Kerala, Fiona stumbled on a female cooperative handcrafting accessories. Something about the place felt magnetic. She was struck by the artistry of the women who made the goods. They used skills which had been passed down generations.
Fiona recalls that moment,
“The handcrafts caught my eye. Earrings that made an old outfit feel new. And pashminas that felt deliciously soft against my skin. I wanted to find a way to share these treasures with my friends back home.”
The following year, Melbourne’s long lockdown provided an opportunity for Fiona to reassess priorities. She realised that she wanted to do something meaningful. Something to create a more just world. Something which also drew the different strands of her life together. And the answer lay in her trip to India.
She decided to start a business to connect her community in Australia with artisans in India. And so Ambarya was born.
“This business weaves together the different strands of my identity. It brings unique handcrafted accessories to people who want to make a difference. It’s my way of bringing the beauty of India to Australia and at the same time, doing my part to create a better world.
And that’s why I called it Ambarya, the Sanskrit word for ‘bringing together’.
Thanks for joining me on this journey.”