Vijendra Chhipa is the Director of Bagru Textiles. Vijendra was born and raised in Bagru in a family that has been doing hand block printing for five generations. Santosh Devi Chhipa is Bagru Textiles’ Chair of Hospitality. Santosh and Vijendra have been married for 15 years. Vijendra is a leader in the block printing community, acting as the Bagru Block Printing Guild’s secretary from 2007-2011. He has supported the idea and entrepreneurial spirit of Bagru Textiles since its creation. Vijendra and Santosh have two beautiful and energetic children, Yash and Chehika. Deepak Chhipa, one of Bagru Textiles’ business members, has recently taken a lead role in running Bagru Textiles as the company’s Chair of Communications.
Jeremy Fritzhand is the founder and advisor of Bagru Textiles. In June 2010, he left for Bagru on a Union College Minerva Fellowship. From June 2010 – April 2011, he lived, breathed and dreamt about printing as he worked alongside master printers in the workshops of Bagru. Jeremy returned to the USA in April 2011 to serve on a panel of Minerva Fellows in Professor Hal Fried’s Social Entrepreneurship class at Union College. Jeremy returned to Bagru in August 2011, and began working with Emily LaCroix and Vijendra Chhipa on creating the business that is now Bagru Textiles.
Jessica Sarrantonio is the current business manager of Bagru Textiles. She received the third Minerva Fellowship to Bagru in 2012 from Union College. Jessica arrived in Bagru in mid-July of 2012 and will be working with the artisans of Bagru until April of 2013. She looks forward to making Bagru Textiles a sustainable social enterprise that not only improves the wages of the artisans, but also has a positive impact on the surrounding Bagru community. To do this Jessica will work with the rest of the team to implement a new business model.
Union College Minerva Fellows Program funds nine Union College graduating seniors with social entrepreneurship fellowship each year to various placements in the developing world, including Ecuador, South Africa, Ghana, Uganda, Cambodia, and India. After spending nine months abroad, the fellows return to the Union College campus to co-teach a social entrepreneurship course and interact with the student body.
Special Thanks To:
Emily LaCroix was the business manager of Bagru Textiles from July of 2011 to April of 2012. She received the second Minerva Fellowship to Bagru, India in 2011. She has helped register Bagru Textiles as a private limited company with the Indian government, create the Indian bank account, and establish a bookkeeping system. Together Emily and Jeremy also redesigned the website, developed the product line, and created the Bagru Textiles business model and plan. In her free time, Emily enjoys reading and waterskiing.
Codespur handles all of Bagru Textiles’ IT services. They have worked very hard translating the Bagru Textiles’ dream and vision of transparent e-commerce into html.
Rachel Faller runs a fashion boutique out of Phnom Penh, Cambodia called KeoK’Jay. In January 2011, she came to Bagru and worked with the artisans for a month on new designs. While in Bagru, she also created the Bagru Textiles logo.
Rebecca Layton is a designer from the USA that spent eight months working with block printing artisans in Jaipur on a Fulbright Fellowship. While in Jaipur, she frequently visited Bagru and gave valuable insight into fashion trends.