When Priya Mohan started her journey as the creator of sariKNOTsari, she ventured into a world of slow fashion with an aim to reduce the carbon footprint on the planet and to inspire her consumers to buy less and wear more.
Today, sariKNOTsari has morphed into a sustainable lifestyle store on James Street North in Hamilton that offers a curated collection of gifts, slow-fashion and up-cycled clothing, wellness products, and home decor that are produced using sustainable fabrics and practices.
“What makes our store special is that everything that is here, is here for a reason,” Mohan said. “We have our own clothing line which I designed with the help of a very small tailoring family in Delhi, India that is made out of upcycled, vintage, pure silk saris.”
“We use our scraps to create scrunchies and we try to use as much fabric as possible so that women can still feel like they’re expressing themselves using their clothing without adding to the pollution that fabric protection creates in the world,” she said.
Inevitably however, as it did with countless other small businesses since being introduced in 2019, COVID-19 presented itself as a real threat to the continuity and success of sariKNOTsari.
But unlike almost any other business owner, Mohan saw the pandemic as an opportunity to expand her brand and turn her local street store into a digital powerhouse.
“It was a time when, as small businesses, we had to reassess what was working and what was not,” Mohan said. “I think it was a really good time for us at sariKNOTsari to build our digital platform so we really worked on our Facebook marketing, we did more with our Instagram and we improved our website to make our customer experience better.”
“Those were always goals that we had but when you’re running a small business, you’re wearing so many hats and things get pushed down on the priority list,” she said. “COVID really did force us to prioritize our digital media and it’s been really positive because now we have customers from all over Ontario, not just from Hamilton, and they come down to visit us because they found us on Facebook.”
Through years of hard work and dedication, Mohan has created a platform for Hamiltonians to shop local and to connect with like-minded businesses and people to grow the sustainable movement in Hamilton.
“James Street North itself is an incredible community to be part of, not just the people in the neighbourhood but the businesses are exceptional at building communities,” Mohan said. “We’ve even come together to create a website and an Instagram page called On James North and it’s a place where all of the businesses and restaurants in this neighbourhood can promote themselves and identify themselves.”
“That has been my experience in Hamilton from day one,” she added. “It’s about people building each other up, supporting each other and seeing each other. They’re not looking for their next thing, they’re looking for our next thing.”
Mohan is thrilled to be a part of the Hamilton community that loves making a positive impact on the world and you can do so too by visiting @sari.knot.sari on Instagram and by shopping local at 228 James St N, or on their website at sariknotsari.com.