Our Story

Our Story


Hello, I am Ruby, the founder of BANJAARA.


I take such pleasure in being creative. Having studied illustration at University, I wanted to apply my passion towards making positive change in the world. Over the years I have supported many commissions but always felt my creative drive was missing a strong sense of purpose.

During this elusive search for fulfilment, I lost my sense of self. In my mid-twenties I set-off in search of inspiration and spent a couple of years travelling around the Far East. On my journey, bumbling through Northern India I happened upon a community of artisans that were working on various stages of the block printing process – the slowest and most ancient form of textile manufacturing. It was during this stay that I realised I had to find a way to engage with this beautiful craft and create some garments to bring home and show my family and friends. I stayed for a while, getting to know the artisans by name. They encouraged me to get hands on with each step in the block printing process. After only a few therapeutic presses, the idea of BANJAARA was born. ‘Banjara’ is the name of a historic nomadic trading tribe in Rajasthan, India. Their slow, transient way of life really resonated with me at the time and so I thought what better way to pay homage to the people and place where it all began.

This contemplative period of my life was filled with a sense of stillness and reflection, a time where I was able to focus on being true to myself. By this point I had realised that running the perpetual treadmill of seeking success and external validation can create busy lives that often lack true meaning. I feel like this is leading to a growing number of people (including myself) yanking the proverbial ‘pull-cord’, as we search for an alternative way of life, ultimately asking, what is slow, conscious living and what are its benefits? From what I have read, there is no definitive definition of slow, conscious living, but it’s generally accepted as prioritising living life according to your own values in order to connect with yourself and the world around you on a deeper level. Like Carl Hanore once said, the great benefit of slowing down is reclaiming the time and tranquillity to make meaningful connections – with people, with culture, with work, with nature, with our own bodies and minds.

With my bank balance teetering on red, the dreamy days of my aimless meanderings drew to a close. Reinvigorated, I set myself the task of getting BANJAARA off the ground with the little resources I had left. I started with one question, ‘if the benefits of a slow, more conscious way of life have had such a profoundly positive impact on me then is there a way I can share this message with the world for the benefit of others?’

As any small business owner will tell you, it has not been plain sailing and the number of challenges that need to be overcome daily with such limited resources can often feel overwhelming. Despite this, it has given me such an incredible sense of fulfilment, being able to live my working life in line with values that I define. Slowly building BANJAARA has given me a renewed sense of purpose, a deeper connection to my work, a richer daily experience, and has allowed for more creativity and productivity (gasp.) to flow. It is this feeling of fulfilment and clarity that I want to share with the world. And that is what BANJAARA is all about – Aspiring to a slower, more conscious way of life, one block print at a time.

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