MEET THE FOUNDER
Celebrating artisans and supporting marginalised communities. KASARI means in moroccan arabic « my castle ». This fair trade shop was founded by Sarah Ben Saad for customers to purchase beautiful handmade products while creating awareness and support for female moroccan artisans.
With a background in history, specialising in the arts and the middle east, our founder has spent the last 2 years learning first hand about the industry here in Montreal as well as on the international level.
Having been born in France but grown up between Montpellier, Denmark and Morocco. Sarah Ben Saad has literally lived the `cultural melting pot`, giving this young adventurer a true openness to the world, pushing her to constantly explore new horizons. Her particular passionate eye for spacial design and decoration are certainly a gift mother`s side, with noticeable hints from their Berber heritage . She does not hesitate to mix styles of the traditional and modern, drawing inspiration from her own travels which give life to her interior designs.
Her passions truly started when she was 9/10 years old. She used to work with her parents at different design event and show around Paris. When other kids where drawing animals and houses, Sarah was drawing furniture. She then had her first student jobs with two Danish design companies, BoConcept in Toulouse, France, and Kvik in Denmark.
KASARI, like its creator, is above all a concept of life, it is a symbol of open-mindedness, a place where curiosity never ends, where authenticity and originality are always admired.
I was inpired to launch KASARI after visiting different coops, markets and auctions sales, and finding the beautiful rugs and baskets that local women artisans were making. Even if all the world knows the moroccan's handcraft, people don't know that the monuments and the traditional products have a soul, and for most of them a story.
Making rugs is a very old family tradition. Women all around the Atlas Mountains still produce them using the same techniques that have been passed down in their culture for generations.
Fruits of weavers’ imagination and genuine works of art, comparable to abstract paintings, some of those rugs are rare and were almost unknown in the market until the 90's. From Paris to USA and Tokyo, many galleries exhibit carpets as artworks. Their originality and immense strength in terms of graphics have deeply inspired artists such as Matisse, Paul Klee and Le Corbusier. However, most of these artisans were only selling to a limited local market, because they lack the resources to expand their scope.
With KASARI, we hope to change that. We wanted to focus on female artisans, because women are still less educated, less healthy, and experiencing more violence than their male counterparts. By helping these talented women earn a fair wage, we hope that they can break the cycle of poverty. The goal is to empower many women to have their own money, since in these Berber family, women do not have access to money, which are actually limited to the male head of the household.
KASARI is deeply involved in the fairtrade philosophy by giving full support to many weavers’ associations in order to market their rugs, promote and make them known to the western world. We want to offer a more thoughtful, meaningful and positive way to shop.