Marin Scope: Sudha Sale Sustains – Benefits Bread & Roses

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Sudha Sale Sustains

Sudha Sale sustains

Sudha Sale Sustains

Precious stones: Susan Spielman (left) and Aimee Brown alongside Pennathur, wearing some of her finest jewelry. Brown is wearing Pennathur’s “coffee bean” diamond necklace. The necklace is made of thousands of black diamonds and costs upwards of $30,000. Gregory Andersen/Marinscope.

Posted: Wednesday, November 14, 2012 12:46 pm | Updated: 3:27 pm, Wed Nov 14, 2012.

By Gregory Andersen | 0 comments

World-renowned entrepreneur and designer Sudha Pennathur’s keen eye for fashion may only be exceeded by her genuine, heart-warming personality. For Pennathur, the purpose of her product line is neither for profits nor fame. It’s sustainability.

Each year, the Indian-born businesswoman-turned-fashionista returns to her native country to work with an elite group of craftspeople who assist in inspiring and designing her products. Upon returning to the U.S., she sells the crafts and reinvests much of the profits back into the lives of the Indian craftspeople.

Pennathur said her charitable donations embody the thought behind both her fashion line and her business approach.

“I think I wouldn’t be where I am if it wasn’t for my community,” Pennathur said. “It’s an unbeatable combination – East meets West. Ultimately, it’s just one large world we live in, and we need to benefit each other in everything we do.”

Pennathur grew up in India, attending school in New Delhi and college in Bombay. She moved to the U.S. and earned her master’s degree in business at the University of Washington before beginning a career at Levi Strauss.

After working her way up through the business side of the fashion world, Pennathur left Levi Strauss and returned to India.

“I wanted to see what I could do from India in terms of artisans,” Pennathur said.

Each year, India selects 10 awardees who have excelled in their respective crafts, be it silversmithing, textile weaving or embroidering. Pennathur began working with these national-award winners, selling their creations to high-end retail stores, museums and household consumers.

Part of the money she reinvests into the Indian craftspeople is for education. The children of the craftspeople are now able to afford schooling and are able to expand their families’ business. According to Pennathur, she is currently working with the third generation of artisans.

But the beneficiaries of Pennathur’s generosity are not limited to India.

For the past nine years, Pennathur has hosted her annual Sudha Sale to benefit Bread & Roses, a Marin County charity. She has also worked with The Redwoods and other Marin organizations.

This year, the Sudha Sale has set up shop at the Town Center Corte Madera to benefit Bread & Roses and Angel Island Conservancy, a group dedicated to revitalizing Angel Island State Park.

Last weekend, the first of the Sudha Sale’s two scheduled weekends, Marin residents flocked to get a glimpse of Pennathur’s latest fashions. This year’s sale features a special selection of holiday décor for Christmas and Hanukkah.

The Sudha Sale will be open for the second straight weekend, beginning Nov. 17. Hours are Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. For more information on the Sudha Sale, visit

Contact Gregory Andersen at

Products That Sustain Society

The technological boom of the past two decades has led us into a feeling of hyper-connectedness with the outside world; yet, largely unacknowledged is the percentage of the world’s population who cannot be merely reached by the

simple click of a mouse. In an increasingly de-personalized world, House of Pennathur strives to reach these individuals and incorporate them into a larger global economy, to aid them and their families and truly sustain them by rekindling the passion for artisanal crafts in India.

Highly labor intensive these crafts are the life blood of the folks in India

For an example of the Gudri work featured at Nordstrom click here

The Ark

Sudha in the new edition of The Ark (click here)
7th Annual Sudha Sale For Bread & Roses And The Redwoods
Take advantage of the generosity of Tiburon philanthropist and internationally renowned designer, Sudha Pennathur, who annually offers her collection to benefit two worthy causes, Bread & Roses, a nonprofit that provides live music to isolated audiences, and The Redwoods, a local elder community. Sudha’s jewelry, scarves, holiday ornaments, decorative objects and one-of-a-kind gifts, normally sold at Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, museum stores, and Sundance and National Geographic catalogs, are offered at 50 to 70 percent below retail. Stop by from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, November 6, and Sunday, November 7, 23 Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley.

Sudha Benefit Sale

I am gearing up for our 7th Annual Sudha Sale to benefit Bread & Roses, but this year the sale will also be for the benefit of The Redwoods. Please see the media release below:

Sudha Sale to Benefit Bread & Roses and The Redwoods, Sudha Pennathur, a celebrated international designer, brings us the Seventh Annual Sale to benefit Bread & Roses and The Redwoods. The store located at The Corte Madera Town Center will open for 2 weekends – November 7, & 8th and November 14th and 15th.
Sudha a long time friend of Bread & Roses is known for her original designs under the name of House of Pennathur, which she founded 24 years ago after a successful career at Levi Strauss & Co and other corporations.
Born in India she shocked the business community by trading in her six-figure salary to follow a dream to design and produce jewelry and scarves by reviving the arts of India.
Sudha has helped revive crafts, some of which were nearing extinction. Working with award winning artisans and hundreds of craftspeople in India, she uses materials available from nature and fabricates intricate jewelry, hand embroidered jeweled ornaments, or uniquely woven scarves, each a work of art and a keepsake that combines form and function.
Eco sensitive, her fabrics are often vegetable dyed, hand printed, and made with antique recycled materials to give it that unique flair. Her unique interpretation reflecting her distinct and rich cultural heritage enables her to adapt these pieces to the contemporary American woman.

She has employed thousands of artisans to produce her collections for prestigious stores, such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman, and museum stores such as The Smithsonian, The Art Institute of Chicago The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Her creations can also be found in catalogs and online sites for National Geographic and Sundance and. Her collections give her a distinctive presence as she sells more than 1200 styles of jewelry, textiles, accessories and ornaments in some of America’s most famous retail institutions among others.

A rebel with a cause, Pennathur is committed to running a sustainable business, both with the use of artisans to revive crafts in her native India and in the community she lives. Sudha stepped forward seven years ago to help raise funds for Bread & Roses by opening a store for one weekend a year. This year another Marin nonprofit, The Redwoods, will also benefit from the sale. A labor of love, 100% of the proceeds are distributed to the non profits and the artisans who produced them.

The Corte Madera location will provide Marinites and friends from San Francisco & elsewhere around the Bay a chance to purchase these unique gifts, as seen in major museum shops and specialty stores around the country at prices at wholesale prices or below. You will be delighted in her treasures from exotic India.

The Benefit Sale has something for every budget starting from a $1 gift item to for a one of kind $800 necklace. Each piece, regardless of the cost, is a work of art…perfectly wrought……crafted by hand, to delight a connoisseur’s heart.
Sudha Pennathur, Bread & Roses, and The Redwoods are examples of how concerned private sector individuals are taking positive action to offset the ravages of a down economy.