Gauri Shiroor-Agrahar, Co-owner, Philly DIY
Family Focus Media is proud to recognize Gauri Shiroor-Agrahar with a Woman of Influence Award.
An immigrant from India at the age of 23, and also a newlywed at the time, Gauri describes her life as rather interesting. She moved to the US leaving behind hundreds of friends, family members, and acquaintances and then knew only one person here – her husband! She had to reinvent herself in so many ways, from relearning skills like driving, and making friends again. She has now been in the US for 20+ years and finally feels like she is home, and has her own family and friends who are like family.
Lending a Helping Hand
Gauri and her husband co-own Philly DIY, a small business that makes custom gifts. When Covid began they discovered that they had the ability to do more than make gifts with their equipment, they could also build face shields! Face shields were in high demand among essential workers, schools, and more. Gauri describes the ability to help build and deliver PPE during this time as a turning point in her life. Gauri says, “I have always been passionate about social causes. Without sounding like a cliche, helping people is what truly makes me happiest. Growing up, I enjoyed helping the elderly and one of my dreams was to set up a volunteer network to help the elderly.” Their PPE project pulled together like-minded neighbors and friends during the pandemic and is one of her most memorable achievements, turning a dark time into a memorable one by doing a “Seva” or service. The job was not easy, and was a true team effort in coordination.
Samvit Sudha is an organization in India that works to financially empower women in rural South India. Gauri was first a customer of theirs since 2002, and began her involvement in promoting their crafts in the US in 2012. The organization teaches women important skills such as embroidery and sewing. They women are paid fairly for their work. Gauri says, “Their mission aligns with my lifelong dream of helping others in ways that are meaningful, and to improve the quality of life of individuals.”