Made in Britain. Inspired by the East.

The first seeds of Eastern Promise were planted in 2005 when I visited Japan with my dad and sister. My love of the East then grew further when I toured Southeast Asia (Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand) in 2008. In Thailand I conducted my research for my dissertation on ‘The evocation of spirituality within Thai Buddhist Temple architecture’ and my fascination with the culture of the East blossomed. In particular the meaning and symbolism which features in so much of Eastern culture really captured my imagination.

In 2009 I was lucky enough to be awarded a place on a 3 week ‘Study India’ course run by the British Council and UKIERI (UK-India Education and Research Initiative). The aim of the course was to forge relationships with students and graduates from the UK with businesses, charities and other initiatives in India. Whilst there I spent a number of days with Yuva Parivartan – a charity which offers a second chance in life to teenagers and young adults who have dropped out of education by training them in vocational subjects and providing them work experience opportunities which, if completed successfully, have the guaranteed offer of work. I always felt this was a charity I should partner with one day.

Here we are many years later and Eastern Promise has grown into a small tree that hopes to grow and grow. All the designs are inspired by the wisdom of the East and the henna patterns you see are inspired by the henna students I spent time with in India. I ensure that every illustration features meaning and symbolism but is always made in Britain – just like me!

Namaste.

Katy.X वादा

Katy Gunn
Founder & Illustrator

CREATIVE & INQUISITIVE: My name is Katy and if I had to pick two words to describe myself, those would be it. I am the Founder & Illustrator behind Eastern Promise and hope to bring some of the beauty and wisdom of the East into your heart and home.

Millie
Postal Officer

SHY & CUDDLY: My name is Millie and I take care of all the postage for Eastern Promise by accompanying Katy to the Post Office, it's my favourite time of day, sending off the parcels to all parts of the world.

Yuva Parivartan, India

I have been lucky enough to work with mehendi students at the charity Yuva Parivartan in Mumbai, India.

Yuva Parivartan is the largest livelihood NGO in India, training over 100,000 students every year.

Youths who drop out of school are not able to look for options to earn a livelihood. Usually the only option left for them is either casual labour or work in informal or illegal sectors. The charity’s program provides these youths with exposure to market realities, training and vocational skills. The program also trains them to take up jobs, make them more employable through job preparedness, interviewing, CV writing skills and workplace etiquette.

The charity’s uniqueness lies in their single minded focus of targeting school dropouts, constituting a staggering 500 million + “forgotten youths”.

The mehendi students at Yuva Parivartan send over designs periodically for me to incorporate into select illustrations, a % of the sale price then gets sent back to the charity to continue their amazing work.

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Treading lightly on the planet

Whilst all the designs are inspired by the East, I try to source as much as possible from Britain and tread as lightly on the planet as I can.

  • All the prints are printed on Bamboo paper, a renewable resource.
  • I use FSC approved card for the greetings cards supplied by PaperCard who use either recycled pulp from post-consumer waste or pulp from well managed and sustainable forest sources where for every tree logged, 3-4 are replanted.
  • The envelopes are 100% recycled kraft.
  • I use biodegradable bubble wrap and recycled cardboard boxes both manufactured in the UK to send out our larger items.
  • And I am always looking at opportunities to become even greener.