Coming Clean about Toockies®

Handmade, ultra-soft washcloths help Indian women support their families. At Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

Handmade, ultra-soft washcloths help Indian women support their families. At Lehmans.com and our store in Kidron, Ohio.

 

Here at Lehman’s, we’re all about values. The good buy sort of values, bedrock family values, and the value of helping improve a community. 

Amazingly enough, our Toockies Organic Cotton products cover all three. The woman-owned company manufactures a variety of organic cotton cloths and woven jute products for use in the kitchen, bath and living room.

Toockies founder Anna Marie Strauss started small in the early 2000s, working with co-founder Jaya Basu to teach women in Nababpur, India how to knit cotton washcloths, circulation gloves, cleaning cloths, scrub cloths and coasters. At the time, in this tiny village, employment, especially for women, was just about non-existent. 

Today, a crew of over 250 women, most working from their homes, are justifiably proud of their handcrafted items. They’ve even expanded to making items from jute, which is even more durable than the organic cotton, and makes beautiful trivets that are at home on any table.

Toockies® Jute Trivets

Sensible table protection with retro flair! Toockies® Jute Trivets are handmade. At Lehmans.com or Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio.

The Toockies Project provides each craftswoman materials to make items. Each participant is limited to 8 hours work per day, or 12 finished items per day, whichever is accomplished first. The women work together to parcel out tools and materials, and meet frequently to turn in finished projects.

An artisan at Toockies. Photo at toockies.com.

An artisan at Toockies. Photo at toockies.com.

The products are named for founder Strauss’ relative, Toockie, who knitted the original pieces that Strauss used to clean her own home. Realizing that she had an item that could be the foundation of a home-based business on her hands, Strauss looked for the right place to manufacture the products. After being inspired by a feature on the Oprah Winfrey show, Strauss knew she wanted to use her business idea to help others improve their economic position. After meeting up with Basu, things moved along quickly, and Toockies went into production.

Soft, knitted gloves are great for a luxurious bath. Organic cotton. 2 pk.

Soft, knitted gloves are great for a luxurious bath. Organic cotton. 2 pk.

Today, they offer a wide range of products, and we at Lehman’s jumped at the chance to help promote and support this company. We’re proud to be affiliated with a group that has the benefit of others at its center.

See all our Toockies at Lehmans.com!