Tiny Miracles creates eco-friendly products while empowering a community.
This story began when Laurien Metuer, who worked at the ABN-AMRO bank, decided to bring some quality to the lives of those less fortunate. Enter Pepe Heykoop, her cousin and also a well-established Dutch designer. Together they set up the Tiny Miracles foundation — an initiative to help the marginalized community living in the red light district of Mumbai. Pepe flies over from the Netherlands twice a year, and sets up a workshop in Mumbai, where he teaches members of the community to make beautiful products using locally available materials. These workshops last up to three weeks and in one year, residents of a red light area in Mumbai have, made a series of home lovelies. There’s a matka-shaped vase made of leather scraps and stainless steel, a unique paper vase and lampshades made from a series of varied materials (copper, leather and bamboo). You can order these products from their website. The great thing about all the designs is that their production continues to empower the community even when the workshops get over.Take, for instance, the large lamp made out of varied lengths of bamboo, made entirely by a bunch of high school dropouts who couldn’t count. “To complete the lamp we started on learning how to count,” explains Pepe. As for the quality, nothing less than top-notch will do. “I compared our products with apples in the market. Once they’ll have a spot, you pick another one or you might ask for a discount,” says Pepe.