Williams, and her longtime partner Billy Lyles, opened their closet-sized shop in 1979 at 303 E. Ninth St. just east of Second Avenue... offering hand-made pieces — including shirts, vests, quilts and rugs — all made and imported from India.
Here's part of the GoFundMe appeal from Williams:
For the last 14 years, I have been working on a self-empowerment project teaching and producing products to sell in my store, and in craft markets in India. I travel to India twice a year, paying my own plane fare and volunteering my design services and supplies to educate about 40 to 50 women in the village of Mangar, New Delhi, India.The profits from this project also help educate about 1,000 Indian children in our tutoring centers in the area.Since the COVID crisis we have been hard hit, as many others. I spent five months working there on lockdown in 2020.We need funds to keep our store and project going.
You can find the campaign here.
And you can watch this 2021 video about the shop and the couple by photographer-filmmaker Josh Charow ...
Image via @katinka_ny