What it means to be a wallah

The Hindi term, Wallah (originally from the Hindi suffix -vālā, meaning "one in charge") is used today in modern Indian commerce as a way of encapsulating in one job title what someone is the master of - a chai wallah (tea seller) - for instance. Forget multi-tasking, the definition of a wallah is to own and specialise in one thing - whether it's the perfect cup of chai or in our world, exquisite block printing. I guess it's the opposite of a 'jack of all trades'. To be a true expert in a singular skill, or product is highly respected within Indian business culture, with 'wallahs' learning their trade from one generation to the next. Whilst visiting my team in Jaipur last month it got me thinking about what I would want to be known as the 'wallah' of as the founder of Dilli Grey and how it is a term that can help me define what the essence of our brand truly stands for...

 

When I began Dilli Grey I was a 'quilt wallah' - working with the best of the best in Jaipur to design and create our 100% cotton block print quilts, it is what we became known for and they are still one of our bestsellling products to this day.

Whilst our offering has grown organically over the last 5 years to become the lifestyle brand we are today, I hope the one commonality in all our designs is the celebration and respect for the craft that goes into each piece we make; whether it's a quilt, a dress, a shirt or a jacket. I want us to be 'heritage craft wallahs' - showcasing the amazing textile skills, from block-printing to Chikankari embroidery and hand quilting that are our signature and are the livelihoods of so many artisans in Rajasthan. More and more they are being overlooked by more 'efficient' forms of manufacture and mimicked by digital prints but in doing so they lose their soul and cultural history that I will always champion through all we do at Dilli Grey.

Learn more about how our latest collection was made here

1 comment

So very well said Vickie. As I’ve said before, the quality and workmanship of your beautiful products never cease to delight me. I wish DG all the success in the world but with your vision I’m sure you will ensure the quality doesn’t slip with success. Thank you, DG wallah!

Jan Machin April 13, 2022

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