Interwoven: On Business & Compassion with Landscape Forms Board Member, Asha Chaudhary
"A business can be profitable and promote compassion, love, and respect. Surround yourself with likeminded people, believe, and allow yourself and your business to grow.”
-Asha Chaudhary, President/CEO Jaipur Living, Founder/CEO Enkay
Asha Chaudhary has been appointed to the Landscape Forms Board of Directors and is the President & CEO of Jaipur Living and Founder & CEO of Enkay.
Landscape Forms is welcoming the most recent addition to its Board of Directors, entrepreneur and advocate for women and artisans, Asha Chaudhary. Asha began her career at Jaipur Rugs Indian manufacturing facility, rising through the ranks to eventually launch Jaipur Living based in the US and became President & CEO of the global artisan textile company.
Asha’s leadership and expertise in design and home decor have brought rapid expansion to Jaipur Living, shaping the company into an innovator in the design world, establishing collaborative relationships with leading designers, while celebrating the culture and artistic integrity of local artisans. Most recently, Chaudhary has also launched Enkay, a design-driven, direct-to-consumer luxury brand that focuses on empowering women and their families to secure a better, more socially equitable and culturally sustainable future for handmade textiles.
She points to her father and founder of the Chaudhary Family of Brands, N.K. Chaudhary, as her inspiration for building companies rooted in the celebration of artisans and the elevation of their communities. "This has been engrained in me since I was a little girl,” Asha recalls. "My father taught me that everyone should be treated with integrity and respect. In 1978 when he started Jaipur Rugs, he embraced the artisan community, many of whom were considered 'untouch-ables' in India. I visited villages with him and saw how he respected their craftsmanship and the impact he made in their lives.”
Grounded by these profound experiences, Asha continues to be an advocate for artisans, their communities, and the integrity of their work in the ways she guides and grows her brands. “This company was founded on principles of dignity and respect, defied deep-rooted prejudicial practices, and transformed the rug industry. It is my honor to carry on his legacy. All of these goals are engrained in me, and I have surrounded myself with people who believe the same,” she says.
Chaudhary describes her central, overarching goal as “to create beautiful lives,” a seemingly simple phrase that, on closer inspection, carries far-reaching implications in the way her products enhance the lives of both the people who use them and the people who produce them. From an aesthetic standpoint, achieving this balance relies on creating designs that feel fresh and modern, yet which celebrate the historical and cultural contexts from which they’re derived. “At Jaipur Living and Enkay, our rugs marry the centuries-old craft of hand-making rugs with modern, on-trend designs dreamt up by our immensely talented product development department,” Asha describes. "It’s a stunning, seamless marriage.”
But beyond aesthetics, there’s a clear human element and positive ethos to Chaudhary’s work that makes it so compelling. The clarity of this philosophy and the power of the narratives communicated through her products are testament to her skill in bridging design, business and storytelling. "Education is key, as is connecting consumers to our artisans. On the artisan side,
That means connecting weavers directly with the consumers and celebrating their art. On the consumer front, I put great emphasis on educating our design partners on artisan-made quality, protecting the art of the handcraft, promoting transparency in business, and leading with the values I’ve learned from my dad,” Asha explains. "Our hope is to go a step further by putting a face to the artisan who crafts our products, showcasing their talent, and protecting their art. In that regard, storytelling is the ultimate tool.”
As a person who has been deeply immersed in the design industry since her youth, Chaudhary has had a unique opportunity to observe the changing values and preferences that have been driven in large part by conscious companies like Jaipur Living and, in turn, make those companies that much more relevant and appealing. "Today, more people want to do business with companies that value their people, offer beautiful design, and produce high-quality products that enhance our lives,” she says.
"The importance of home has also taken on new meaning recently,” Asha continues. "While comfort will always be key, people are looking to invest in products that speak to their values, like supporting artisans and creators, sustainable production, and conscious consumerism. Now, we take more time to reflect on what is most important in our lives and the lives of those around us.”
For Chaudhary, these changing values and refocusing of the importance of home offer valuable insight into the design of outdoor space and its shifting relationship to interior space. "The lines between strictly indoor and strictly outdoor have blurred. The outdoors have become an extension of our interior decor, while interiors look increasingly more to performance and durability. We spend more time at home and all of our spaces need to meet our needs,” she describes. "This applies to landscape architecture as well—start with what you love and how you live, then ask, ‘How do I want to feel in this space, and how can that be achieve through design?’ Landscape architecture is just an extension of the new, redefined home.”
"It is an honor to be able to partner with a dynamic company that has a clear purpose and is very much aligned and committed to the culture and values on which Jaipur Living was founded,” Asha says of joining the Landscape Forms Board of Directors. "It’s a talented group and I look forward to contributing to the company’s continued growth and culture of participation, integrity and responsibility.”
These shared values, and the ability to effectively communicate them through design and business practice, are why Landscape Forms CEO, Marjorie Simmons, feels Chaudhary is such a natural fit for the company’s Board. “Throughout her career, Asha has demonstrated a remarkable commitment to the values of Design, Culture and Craft—values we also look to as the three guiding principles for Landscape Forms,” says Simmons. “While growing her company into a powerful international player in the design industry, Asha has also prioritized the preservation and elevation of the people and culture surrounding artisan textiles. In creating new opportunities for personal growth, development and entrepreneurship, she is ensuring a better, more sustainable future for this culture of craftsmanship through her commitment to compassion, inclusion and participation. That’s meaningful. That’s inspiring. And that’s what makes her a valuable and important new member of our organization.”