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VIRA is a Canada-based online store that creates and curates artisan-made home linen and decor.
It Started With An Unmet Need
VIRA was envisioned when Tania and her husband were setting up their new apartment in Toronto, shortly after moving to Canada from India. They went out looking for cotton bed sheets that weren’t plain whites or solids. The lack of options in the market sparked an idea.
This spark converted into the creation of VIRA which was founded on their shared love for colours, prints, and textures. And most importantly, a spirited passion to offer vibrant and unique choices to the North American market. A knack for textiles, familiarity with the market, and ease of communication made India the obvious choice to begin sourcing.
We started with a very small batch of cotton quilts, bedsheets, and pillow covers. A year on, VIRA has expanded into various other categories, endeavouring to be your one-stop-shop for soft furnishings.
Spirit Canadian, Origin Indian
VIRA is a proud Canadian company and a woman-owned business. We are grateful that we get to call Canada home and for the opportunity to bring a little piece of our other home, India's textile and handicrafts heritage for our clients in North America, while also playing a small part in helping communities of artisans thrive and grow.
Crafted by Hand, Curated with Love
All our products are crafted by hand; hand block printed, hand-woven, hand-stitched, or hand embroidered by our brilliant artisan partners in India. All products are made in small batches from scratch, exclusively for VIRA. Every misplaced speck of colour, a smudge here and there, or imperfection that these items carry tells the story of the labour of love that went into their creation and lends authenticity to the handmade process.
No Fair-weather Friends
We launched VIRA in March 2020, alongside a global pandemic. Navigating in a new world of uncertainty presented a unique set of challenges for us as a new business. During these challenging times, we are proud to have created and nurtured relationships with our suppliers, and, artisans, working together towards the preservation and flourishment of art forms that are steeped in traditions spanning centuries.
Our current partners in India include a handloom weaving cooperative, two block printing, and textile houses, and two craft-based social enterprises that empower women artisans in rural areas.
Our partners strictly prohibit child labour and provide safe and clean workspaces. Artisans and weavers are paid fair and respectable wages that they command.
Costs and Pricing
We are first consumers, then business owners. We believe in fair pricing, so you won’t find any retail store markups or pricing tactics here. We bring goods directly from the source to you, eliminating the middleman.
Natural and Sustainable Materials
All our products are crafted using only natural materials including cotton, jute, and wool. Our bedding is made from 100% cotton. We do not use polyester or other synthetic materials.
Intending to reduce textile waste, we have created our Zero Waste Collection which includes accessories made entirely out of excess fabric that remains once the main products have been crafted and that would otherwise go to waste.
Our range of Natural Fibre products are made from sustainable, eco-friendly, and biodegradable materials.
Inspiration and Process
“Pushing the boundaries of colour” - is the official party line at VIRA!
We are forever inspired by all things colourful, the timelessness of Indian textiles, natural materials, and the influence of the rich culture that we have grown up in. We strive to always bring you goods that transcend trends and add meaning, comfort, and uniqueness to your home.
We carefully select fabrics, designs, and home decor articles that are distinctive and versatile. Our partners then create our products in small batches, adhering to the specifications that we provide while maintaining the highest standards of quality.
From Our Home to Yours
VIRA is a husband and wife team - Tania takes care of the business full time (day-to-day and big picture) while Varun ensures smooth functioning of the website and helps out with pretty much everything! (in addition to his day job)
We ship the products to you from our little space in Toronto, Ontario, where we do thorough and multiple rounds of quality check for the stock received from India before sending them out to our customers.
Finding Our Purpose
Your purchase at VIRA supports artisans by providing them increased employment opportunities, thereby contributing to the betterment of their lives as well as that of their families. We are taking tiny steps, one at a time, to create a more purposeful shopping experience for our customers that goes beyond just shopping for home decor.
Expanding our Zero Waste initiative, increasing our use of sustainably-sourced natural materials, collaborating with more women artisans or organisations that directly employ women artisans, and implementing eco-friendly packaging are some of the goals that we will strive to achieve in 2022.
We are learning and evolving as we go. If you have any ideas, questions, suggestions, or just want to say hi, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you.
Thank you for being part of our journey.