|Full name||Pabiben Laxmi Rabari Artisans' Centre|
|Famous For||Pabiben.com, an artisan brand based in Bhadroi village, Anjar taluk, Kutch district, Gujarat|
|Physical Stats & More|
|Awards, Honours, Achievements||• Honoured with a memento by Gujarat's Chief Minister Vijay Rupani for her outstanding contribution in the field of handicrafts (2020)
• Honoured with an award for her special achievements in the field of handicrafts by Wings Group Gandhidham (2020)
• Awarded by FICCI (2019)
• International Craft Award at India Craft Week (2019)
• Mahila Shakti Award By ASSOCHAM (2018)
• Prerna Award (2018)
• National Award for Outstanding Performance in Rural Business (2018)
• IMC Ladies’ Wing Jankidevi Bajaj Puraskar (2016)
• Quality Mark Women Award by Ahmedabad-based trust at Mahatma Mandir in Gandhinagar (2016)
• Mahila Udhyami Award by Hari Om Ashram
• Swayam Siddha award by GCCI
• Nari Shakti Award by Gujarat Government
• Best Rural Entrepreneur by Ministry of MSME, Government of India
• NABARD Excellence in Business Initiative Award
• My FM Jiyo Dil Se Award
|Date of Birth||Year 1984|
|Age (as of 2020)||36 Years|
|Birthplace||Kukadsar village, Mundra taluka, Kutch district, Gujarat, India|
|Hometown||Kukadsar village, Mundra taluka, Kutch district, Gujarat, India|
|School||She attended a school in her neighbouring village.|
|Educational Qualification||Class IV Dropout Indian Express|
|Caste||She belongs to Dhebariya Rabari community, a tribal caste of nomadic cattle and camel herders and shepherds. The Better India|
|Tattoo(s)||She has traditional Rabari tattoos of symbols on her neck, breast, and hands.
|Relationships & More|
|Husband/Spouse||Laxmi Bhai Rabari
|Children||Son(s)- She has two sons.
|Parents||Father- Mobhi (died when she was 5)
|Siblings||She has two younger sisters.|
Some Lesser Known Facts About Pabiben Rabari
- Pabiben Rabari is an Indian entrepreneur. She is famous for being the founder of the Artisan brand Pabiben.com, which is based in Bhadroi village in Anjar taluk of Kutch district.
- After her father died, her mother took the role of breadwinner for the family. She wanted to help her mother and started working as a fetcher of water for villagers at just Rs. 1. With time, she started working at salt pans and did ‘lippan’ clay art to earn more. Subsequently, she also began learning the traditional Rabari embroidery from her mother and grandmother. Soon, she started making clothes for herself and shawls for men.
- She got married at the age of seventeen to a cattle rearer from the jungles of Chattisgarh named Laxman. After her marriage, she lived with her husband in the jungles, but she soon convinced him to return to her homeland when she couldn’t adjust to the environment. Back in her hometown, she settled with her husband in Bhadroi village, where her husband started working at a grocery store in Anjar Market. When Pabiben started her business, he left his job to support her.
- Her community used to follow a custom in which women created embroidered pieces as dowry to take them to their husband’s home. The custom often resulted in a girl staying at her parental home till she got 35 years old sometimes. When the village elders realized that the custom is leading to delayed marriages, the embroidery was banned; this happened in the 1990s.
- Pabiben wanted the custom to thrive and began working with Kala Raksha Trust, an organization working for the preservation of art in Bhuj. For twelve years, she was a member of the group.
- Pabiben joined a group of women of the Rabari community and soon became famous as the master artisan of the group. With them, she invented Hari Jari, an art form with a machine application of ready-made elements like ribbons, beads, etc. Soon, the art became popular as Pabi Jari. The very first piece made out of the newly-invented art was a shopping bag. The bag was admired so much by the people that it earned the moniker ‘Pabi Bag.’
- Pabiben has also worked with Judy Frater, founder-director of Somaiya Kala Vidya (an organization serving traditional artisans from Kutch, Gujarat). Talking about her in an interview, Judy said,
One day, when l was about to take a trip to the US, I told Pabiben that some day she should make a bag for me. She made it before my departure so I took it with me. People loved it so much that we decided to produce and market more such bags. I named it the ‘Pabi Bag’, and the rest is history.”
- After the rise of Bhuj’s economy post the 2001 Bhuj earthquake, traditional art and handicraft also found national and international markets. During the White Rann Festivals, tourist activities increased, which created an opportunity for her in getting work from traders, who would provide her with materials and designs. After some time, she decided to become independent and began making her own products. She founded her brand and website ‘Pabiben.com’ in 2015. To increase her reach, she started attending exhibitions in various cities of India. Her first big order was of Rs. 70,000 from a store in Ahmedabad. In 2015, she also received grants from the Gujarat Government. In 2019, her brand recorded a turnover of over Rs. 25 lakh. Deccan Herald
- She works with the women of her community, employing 160 families, and has produced a variety of items like purses and bags, toiletry kits, dhurries, files, quilts, cushion covers, etc. Her designs are sold at various places in the globe which include US-based Smithsonian Institution, Vastra, Taj Group of Hotels and Resorts apart from museums, heritage shops, and designers.
- Her designs were also featured in the Bollywood film Luck by Chance (2009) and Hollywood film The Other End of The Line (2008).
- In 2013, Pabiben became one of the 3,000 artisans from across the world to be invited to the Santa Fe Folk Art Festival, Santa Fe, USA. However, she couldn’t attend the event because she couldn’t get a visa.
- Pabiben has also been a part of the International Buyer Seller Meet in Ahmedabad, Design Workshop with Vietnamese artisans in Delhi, and exhibition at India International Centre, New Delhi.
- In her journey as an entrepreneur, her husband always laid his full support to her. Many ridiculed her husband for letting her work outside of the home and go to other villages to sell items when women (in the community) were not even allowed to step out of their homes. Talking about it in an interview, her husband said,
Initially, people would badger me saying ‘Your wife will leave the community’, but I would retort, ‘I trust her.’ Today, those same people are proud of her success and the changes she has brought to our community.”
Talking about her husband in an interview, Pabiben said,
Giving up was never an option for me, no matter how hard the circumstances. Each of us is fighting our own battles. But as long as we are determined to remain steadfast, we will reach our goal. My husband has been a pillar of support in my life. In a community where women are not supposed to step outside the home, he stood with me as I chased my dream. They say that behind every successful man is a woman, but in my case, it is clearly my husband who deserves this credit”
- The 2017 book ‘Millionaire Housewives: From Homemakers to Wealth Creators’ by Rinku Paul and Puja Singhal, which is based on the success stories of twelve female entrepreneurs in India, also chronicles the story of Phabiben.
- In 2018, Pabiben’s story was documented as a part of the promotions of the Bollywood film ‘Sui Dhaaga.’
- Pabiben is a part of Kaarigar Clinic, an initiative by Nilesh Priyadarshi, helping artisans become successful entrepreneurs. The initiative includes artisans like Pabiben, Jabbar Khatri (a traditional block printer), Rajiben Vankar (a traditional weaver from Kotay village), and Jyotsanaben (A painter doing textile art of Mata Ni Pachhedi). When artisans faced problems during the COVID-19 pandemic, the clinic introduced ‘The Local Gift Boxes’ campaign, which helped them during the economic recession in India.
- In 2021, she made an appearance alongside Anupam Kher in the Karamveer Special of Kaun Banega Crorepati, which airs on Sony TV and is hosted by Amitabh Bachchan.
- Pabiben says that she has a lucky bag that she carries with her wherever she goes.