Asutosh Upadhyay was born in Kathmandu, Nepal. Kinza Lhamo was born in Bhutan. After completing their high school, they both moved to the US to further their education in Business and Design. In 2005 they moved to Toronto, Canada, where their two daughters were born.
Coming from the developing countries of Nepal and Bhutan, and witnessing the clutches of poverty while growing up, both Asutosh and Kinza recognize the opportunity that lies silently for the poor to extricate themselves from poverty. Their keen interest in social justice always remained in the back seat while pursuing their careers in the corporate world. However, opportunities for the poor don’t just pop out of nowhere, somebody must do something. There was a void within them that needed to be filled.
In 2011 both Asutosh and Kinza left their jobs and took the leap of faith into social justice. The goal was not just to help the poor survive but to help them leave poverty behind. They both decided to use their expertise to help the poor marginalized artisans of Nepal by bringing their beautiful handicraft works to the mainstream market in North America under a fair trade system where everyone wins.
Hamro Village was born.
Asutosh Upadhyay is Managing Director of Hamro Village. He understands the complexity of Fair Trade business on a global scale and embraces cultural and individual differences with empathy. He thinks globally, strategically and objectively to translate social responsibility into actionable insights, strategies and financial plans. He articulates an inspiring vision for the future, ensuring alignment of artisan goals by building collaborative relationships at multiple levels in the Artisan community and Global North.
Kinza Lhamo is Creative Director of Hamro Village with strong focus on conceptual design, sales and marketing. Her work within the Fair Trade community has given her a profound understanding around key issues such as ethical sourcing, consumer behavior and social justice. All of which inspires her to design and reconcile the traditional creativity with the modern touch. Growing up, she moved with her family across Bhutan, spending a few years in the landscape of ancient Bumthang valley and Punakha, which is surrounded by beautifully handcrafted Dzongs (monasteries). As a young adult attending the Fashion Institute of Technology, she experienced the creative life of New York City, which she calls "the big change for me."