Bhutan is a tiny country east of Nepal, south of Tibet and China, north of Burma, east India and Thailand, situated high in the Himalayan mountains.
The Bhutan people create beautiful handwork, including beaded handbags and weavings.
The founder visited Bhutan in the fall of 2008 to spend two weeks visiting artisans and explaining the Fair Trade movement
We met Gyem in the mountains near the famous Tiger’s Nest monastery in Bhutan. Gyem, her husband Tashi Tenzin and four children live in a rented apartment near Paro, in a valley town of 6000 people in central Bhutan.
Tashi was a civil servant, but now makes coral beading with his wife on a full time basis. Gyem learned beading as a family tradition.
The coral beading is an artistry skill that is the pride of their family, and they both work equally with their dexterous skill. They perpetuate the art of making beautiful handbags and jewelry. Making the beaded bags at their “whim and fancy” is how they create such works of art. They produce these bags for the tourists who come to the tiny Kingdom of Bhutan.
Gyem and Tashi keep their life very simple and the production is done in the home. Gyem says that it takes up to fifteen days to complete one handbag. They hope to grow their business and plan to perpetuate their superior quality in all their pieces of art.Gyem and Tashi with three of their four children. The middle children are dressed in their school uniforms.