Meet one of our oldest members, Mrs. Ismail! Mrs Ismail is also our resident zero-waste master, and is extremely resourceful! She surprises us every week with a new creation that she’s turned out with scraps and leftover thread! She is 69 years old, but a millennial at heart – tech-savvy, innovative and passionate about sustainability! I have known Mrs. Ismail for over 15 years and there hasn’t been a single day where she has worn anything other than one of her own crochet saree jackets. She has a daughter with special needs and the mother-daughter duo have been a part of Booteek right from the get-go!
Meet Neela! She is 60 years old and has 2 sons. Her elder son Duminda, has special needs and requires constant support and care. Duminda is also a part of the Booteek team and this mother-son combo is unstoppable! Neela has been with Booteek right from the beginning and is an expert in all the handcrafted work we do. She is filled with so much love and cares for everyone around her – she teaches other women how to do needlework, and is constantly finding ways to make the most beautiful products with whatever we have lying around.
Meet our delightful Irene. She has been with Booteek from the very beginning and is our quilting wallflower. Irene is a single mum and has a daughter with special needs. Despite any struggle Irene is facing she never, ever, fails to smile. She has been a kind, joyful, and uplifting spirit here at Booteek. We are so lucky to have her!
You’ve just got to meet our Wonder Woman, Upaseeli: Upaseeli is 69 and has been with Booteek from the time of its inception. She has a magic touch when it comes to making our trademark finger puppets and quilts. Her needlework is precise and she has a lovely eye for color. Many challenges have come knocking on her door but when the going gets tough, Upaseeli gets going! She is an inspiration to us all. Remember Nalaka – This is his mum!
Ruzna joined Booteek in 2012 and is now both a needlework expert and our admin specialist! Over the years she’s developed a strong bond with the Booteek ladies and staunchly protects them – she’s their gatekeeper and warrior. There is no order she will let go of. No woman she will let down. Ruzna runs on empowering, and Booteek runs on Ruzna.