When Tara first started in Kerala in the 1980s, there was a skill set of women who were trained in hand embroidery mainly by missionaries and other institutes in every community center. These women often would drop out of school and get vocational training in stitching, hand embroidery and smocking. They were taught the different techniques of embroidery - french knots, applique, shadow work, lace work and many other methods.
Annu Jose, the founder had her first baby Mathew in 1979, and finding baby clothes for her son in Cochin was a task! She finally resorted to buying fabric and getting a tailor to stitch something, and at times getting a third person involved to do the intricate embroidery. She did not train in needle work or design but found that this could be a way to fulfill the need to start a social enterprise that made hand stitched garments especially for newborn babies and little children.
In 1980, Tara opened on MG Road in Cochin. Customers from all over Kerala would come for the cute newborn kettuduppu, baby bed sheets and pillow cases, smocking dresses, rompers and maternity wear made by Tara.
The name Tara in Kerala is still famous for the baby and children's clothes that adults today wore when they grew up here. They are the new Tara customers who are buying for their own babies, their nephews and nieces or recommending Tara to friends and family outside Kerala.