"I was born and brought up in the mystical state of Kashmir, and I'm the proud heir of a rich family legacy in traditional Indian crafts. My forefathers migrated from Persia during the Budshah regime. They were great artists, especially my grandfather who contributed greatly to Kashmiri...
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"I was born and brought up in the mystical state of Kashmir, and I'm the proud heir of a rich family legacy in traditional Indian crafts. My forefathers migrated from Persia during the Budshah regime. They were great artists, especially my grandfather who contributed greatly to Kashmiri art.
"When I was as a child, I loved coming home after school to sit with my father and learn various art and crafts from him. He was very supportive and hinted that when I grew up, I would be trusted with the family legacy to carry forward. When I graduated in the early '70s, I joined my father in his work. He has always played an important role in my life. Watching him work 'til the late hours inspired my passion for these crafts. My upbringing in a family of artists helped me understand the value of art.
"We offer employment to more than 150 artisans in our community who master different art forms, and together we create amazing products for our customers. It's incredible just how a simple thread and needle can create a magnificent work of art – one that becomes a part of your life. I am so happy to be blessed with such an amazing team of artisans.
"All our designs are exclusively ours and they have been appreciated by people the world over, including the U.K., Germany and the U.S.A. I feel privileged being associated with Novica. They have a global presence and this helps our designs to be seen in every part of the world.
"I am an active member of one of the leading NGOs in Jammu and Kashmir that trains people who are unemployed in the art of embroidery. I love my art and I want to share my knowledge with young people so they may preserve this traditional art form.
"Our family's art has been honored with awards for two centuries! We received a medal as far back as 1808 by Mr. George Wolsele. We received the Certificate of Merit for papier maché in 1954 and a gold medal and a certificate for woodcarving in 1956 from the Jammu and Kashmir Government. In 2005, we received awards for best designs in chain stitch from the Director Foreign Trades and by the Carpet Export Promotion Council in 2006. We also received highest Chain Stitch Export Award from the Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry in 2007.
"More than anything else, it's our customer's satisfaction that matters the most to us."
On July 23, 2009, Nazir welcomed U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (as pictured) in Kashmir. "I thank the Almighty for this opportunity! She was so impressed with our work that she took a magnifying glass to see the intricacy of the work," Nazir said. "I thank all the dedicated weavers who work with me – without their support I am nobody and this would not have been possible."