Over the last couple of months we have loved creating Qalam with your feedback, so as we started work on jewelry, we looked to see what was the best way to include you in the process. We thought, what if we could involve one of you, from this community, very deeply in the process of designing the pieces. Someone who could be your voice and have the full context, while providing us feedback!
Meet Madhushree Ghosh
As the daughter of refugees, as an immigrant to America, and as a woman of color in science and in narrative nonfiction, Madhushree uses food as a social justice tool, to question where we come from, where we are headed, how we live, and who we love.
Madhushree is the award-winning author of the food narrative memoir, KHABAAR: An Immigrant Journey of Food, Memory and Family (University of Iowa Press, 2022), and a 2023 TEDx San Diego Seeds of Change speaker highlighting food, immigration, social justice and community in her talk What We Talk About When We Talk About Food. Her work has appeared in Best American Essays in Food Writing (2023), Pushcart-nominated, and awarded the Independent Publishers Book Awards (IPPY), and published in The New York Times, LA Times, Washington Post, Vogue India, Longreads, BOMB, The Rumpus, Guernica and others.
She is an avid supporter of women of color in business, especially in sustainable art, textiles and craft. Her philosophy is to build a community where we support each other, and find joy in each other’s successes. Madhushree is an invited speaker focusing on food as a social justice tool, intimate partner violence, gender pay parity and conversations on women of color in science. She works in cancer diagnostics and can be reached at @writemadhushree
It all started as we embarked on a trip down memory lane with Madhushree, reminiscing about those wonderful moments spent with our families while sharing mango slices and playing under the mango trees.These memories served as the inspiration for many of our ideas.
Later as we transitioned into the prototyping phase, Madhushree provided invaluable feedback on sizes, comfort, and the visceral appeal we aimed to capture. We would always come back to her feedback as an anchor that made sure we were delivering on our original vision.
Together, we are so excited to bring you the Mango Slices and Mango Stems!
When I say 'Khabaar,' which is food in Bengali, I'm not talking about recipes. It's about the love that you miss from your parents' or grandparents' kitchen; the belonging you seek as an immigrant, the comforting feeling of home.
Both the designs are a personal expression of joy, connection and happiness. Each piece reminds us of the hot Delhi summers, sweet mangoes our parents brought for us – the ambi, a symbol of home and the mango leaves, symbols of prosperity.