Checking in with Girlboss Grant Recipient Rebecca Hui of Roots Studio
Back in August of 2015, the Girlboss Foundation awarded a grant to Rebecca Hui, the founder of what was then called TOTO Express—a platform dedicated to helping rural artists in India gain exposure and secure licensing of their artwork through a variety of products. Rebecca’s efforts have helped to preserve traditional styles of art that might otherwise fade into obscurity, and to provide an income stream for artists who have not previously been able to utilize the digital marketplace. Rebecca’s innovative, big-hearted vision caught the eye of the Girlboss Foundation, and her progress continues to impress; since receiving the grant, the Fulbright scholar has renamed her company to Roots Studio and expanded their outreach. We caught up with Rebecca recently to see what the grant has enabled her to do since and what’s next on the docket; check it out, and stay tuned for the announcement of our next grant recipient later this month!
It’s been a year and a half since you were awarded your Girlboss Grant. What’s new?!
The biggest change is that we've renamed ourselves from TOTO Express to Roots Studio! We also launched our e-commerce site and our first collection of limited-edition art prints and paper goods featuring incredibly detailed and beautiful art from the Gond tribe in India. We continue to focus on rural villages and are looking to expand outside of India into China and Panama - all with the idea of supporting prosperous villages across the world by connecting rural artists to the global art market through digital solutions. We are also now part of the Echoing Green family.
What hasn't changed though is our commitment to building a world in which artists have the ability to financially support their communities by sharing their culture and traditions in a new and innovative way - we share 50% of the gross profits with the artists and the villages.
How has the grant changed your approach to your business?
Receiving the Girlboss grant really helped us built credibility among the design community. The grant gave us the confidence that we were on the right track and that our mission and vision could resonate within the design and fashion community, which was hugely helpful as we planned our e-commerce site launch.
Anything super exciting coming up?
We just launched our Gond art prints and paper goods, and in the new year we're looking to launch designs and prints in a new artistic tradition! We're also diving deeper into the stories of our artists and their art through our social media channels on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook so that we can share their incredible traditions and experiences with the rest of the world!