Sisters Colleen and Maggie Clines of Anchal Project Now Employ Over 150 Artisans on Their Mission to Empower Victims of Sex Trafficking and Domestic Violence

Colleen Clines traveled to India as part of her Design for Development class while getting her graduate degree in landscape architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design. Her only project prompt was to work with textiles with a community in need. While there, she connected with an NGO in the red-light district in Calcutta that provided working opportunities for women who were forced into the commercial sex trade and/or were survivors of domestic violence. This inspired her to want to contribute resources, which led to the founding of Anchal Project.

In 2011, Colleen brought her sister Maggie into the project, as she had just graduated with a degree in architecture. Now, Colleen is CEO while Maggie is vice president and creative director.

The Clines sisters: Colleen, left, and Maggie.

Over nine years, Anchal has grown into a nonprofit that utilizes design to foster change and make an incredible social impact. Anchal now employs over 150 artisans in India and the Clines sisters’ hometown of Louisville, Kentucky, who design and manufacture original handmade bedding, decor, scarves, bags, and more.

In this episode of the Grow Ensemble Podcast, Colleen and Maggie discuss the founding of Anchal, how Colleen tricked Maggie into joining the business, how the nonprofit has evolved, and the further impact they are looking to have as Anchal continues to grow.

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Bonus Material: Get the full show notes and extras for this episode.

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Colleen and Maggie Clines with a few of Anchal’s artisans.

Join us for our chat with the Clines sisters and learn more about these key takeaways:

  • What it’s like for Colleen and Maggie to work together as sisters.
  • Colleen’s journey to India in 2009 that started it all.
  • How the Clineses went from working out of their parents’ house to paying themselves salaries.
  • The growth of Anchal over nine years and how they hope to evolve it further.

Bonus Material: Get the full show notes and extras for this episode.

B the Change gathers and shares the voices from within the movement of people using business as a force for good and the community of Certified B Corporations. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the nonprofit B Lab.

From Kentucky to India: Global Impact Through Textile Design was originally published in B the Change on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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