I'm Sanaa Himani, the founder of SHAI.
SHAI aims to showcase the luxury of India's handicraft heritage in a contemporary context. Our assortment of Indian artisan-influenced home goods and accessories embodies three major attributes: beauty, quality, and creativity. We source and develop in tandem with creatives and artisans, telling their stories along the way. Our goal is to help our customers discover unique and beautiful pieces that they can connect to in a meaningful way.
SHAI was born out of a personal identity issue. Growing up as a first-generation Indian American, I struggled to reconcile my Indian heritage with my American upbringing, especially given the lack of Indian and Indian-American representation in mainstream American culture. Even as a lifelong New Yorker, I've always felt like an outsider in both Indian and American cultures. My lack of identity caused me to suffer from severely low confidence as I hadn't connected to who I really was, and therefore couldn't understand my own potential.
It took a lot of soul-searching, but today I feel lucky to be able to define this cultural intersection on my own terms, through SHAI. Join me as I explore the rich culture of India and celebrate the people "behind the seams." No matter who you are - someone with a multicultural background, a love of travel, or even just a passion for creativity - I hope SHAI inspires you embrace your individual identity a little tighter.
I'd love to hear feedback and what you'd like to see us do next - feel free to drop me a line on Instagram @sanaahimani.