Founder of Diaspora Co. Sana Javeri Kadri Redefines What ‘Made in South Asia’ Means

After that, Diaspora Co. will prepare their new partners for a successful harvest with new tools or machinery if needed, 30 percent before harvest when labor costs rise, and another 30 percent when the harvest reaches Diaspora Co. in Mumbai, which Kadri says means farmers get paid more and sooner, regardless of how well their bounty sells. The company also offers farmers more control over their final product, something that is often lost in the long journey from spice farms to consumers’ pantries as second and even third parties grind and pulverize their original product.

“We find that our farm partners are very proud of the end product and that they know we’re selling what they’ve made,” says Kadri, “That means we can pay our farm partners more for it: Oh, you need a mill, to be able to do it? Great, we will give you an interest-free loan, buy a mill. This means that we have long-term partners who never want to leave us, because it is a mutually beneficial relationship. And after those products hit the market, Diaspora Co. offers transparency and education to consumers by sharing the history of ingredients in the region, the stories of their farmers, and how to use the spices in their own dishes.

Fresh and ground turmeric.



Despite its massive growth, the first spice Diaspora Co. chose to source when it was founded — Pragati Turmeric from Vijayawada, India — still holds special meaning for Kadri. “I started with one spice from one farmer: our turmeric,” she says. “I’ve spent every harvest with them for the last five years and being part of the turmeric harvest is a very emotional, beautiful process.” That harvest is also why she finds one of her own generational beauty rituals, the at-home peel, more meaningful than ever.

“My whole approach to beauty—at least growing up—was very much about the kitchen,” she says. “My grandmother used sandalwood, chickpea flour, turmeric and water or yogurt to make a paste, and you’d use it as an exfoliator all over your body and face every month. It’s an exfoliant that’s supposed to make your skin glow. I think the old school was add lemon juice to it to whiten your skin, but we don’t play like that anymore. My mother was very good to me saying, ‘Yeah, we don’t do that,'” she adds. Now Kadri makes her own version of the traditional chickpea flour mask , to cleanse her skin when she travels, using the brand’s original turmeric and Kudligi Moringa for additional brightening effects.Her other go-two mask is inspired by the skin care products of beauty brand Ranavat, led by Indian-American founder Michelle Ranavat.

orange serum bottle on white background

Ranavat Brightening Saffron Serum

Ranavat Flawless Veil Resurfacing Saffron AHA Masque

“They have a saffron serum and a saffron mask; both are incredible. I basically do the DIY version: I take a pinch of saffron, grind it in a mortar and pestle, mix it with honey, and then put it on my face. I do it on a Sunday and leave it on for a couple of hours . The honey is soft and the saffron brightens. I guess as a spice merchant I’m quite rich in saffron,” she laughs (Diaspora’s saffron Co. is handpicked in Kashmir). “But it’s beautiful and it suits you very well.”

jar of saffron on a white background

Diaspora Co. Pragati Turmeric

white and brown bag on white background

Diaspora Co. Moringa Kudligi

Saffron is harvested in Kashmir for the Diaspora Co. range.

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