Rise Design was created in 2015, with the purpose of employing women artisans at fair trade wages. Rise provides safe employment in their community, a sustainable income, and access to healthcare & education. This dignified work provides a real chance for these Kolkata women to rise out of poverty; for themselves and for their families.
Rise Design Founder, Molly Hamilton, has always loved to create, make, and have some artistic venture to invest herself in. Everywhere Molly has traveled or lived, she has sought out these endeavors feverishly, from painting and selling clothing on a Grecian Isle, making ceramic pieces in Oregon or marbling paper in Hawaii. Jewelry-making has been a long standing endeavor for Molly. She has been making jewelry over the last 20+ years and it had become a small business within the last 10 years. On a trip to Kolkata, India, Molly met and fell in love with the women of Kiran -- a small group of women learning to handcraft jewelry. It was a natural step for Molly to merge her love of design, making and treasure hunting with her deep desire to work with the ladies of Kiran. Rise Design was born.
Kiran Social Enterprises (KSM), Rise Design's Indian partners, is a vocational training and employment center for women from the slums in Kolkata, India. Kiran focuses on women primarily unemployed or employed in the informal sector. This means that women especially are undervalued and have little to no rights in their workplace, including recourse for dispute resolution. Kiran was started by Kolkata City Mission (KCM), an NGO serving the poor in the slums of Kolkata.