Linda and I own a small workshop based in India in the beautiful hill station of Macleodganj, home to His Holiness the Dalia Lama. Currently we employ 7 Tibetan women who sew for us. The workshop is something that we are working hard to get off the ground. After having a lot of personal contact with the women we feel a great responsibility and affinity towards them all. Most are mothers, like us, who are supporting their family with the skills they have at their disposal- their hands. We pay the women a weekly wage, not by piece, so we know what they are getting is fair and their conditions are comfortable.
I feel an excitement about the future of Kokonor. I'm reminded each night with my daily emails from Sangmo, our workshop manager, about how important it is to make this work. At first when Linda offered me to be part of Kokonor I jumped at the chance, not knowing at all what the future held. Linda lived in India for almost ten years, marrying a beautiful Tibetan man and having their first child there before returning home. Tenzin is our main communicator via skype with the women but Sangmo's english is very good so our emails back and forth across the continents also work just fine.
I open a bag delivered from the workshop with such excitement- to see what wonderful things the woman have worked on. After oohing and aahing over the children's clothes Linda and I have begun a women's range, which will be ready for sale this coming winter. These will consist of linen smock like dresses- basic and classic.
The first items from Kokonor we had made was our bestselling pencil and crayon rolls. The beautiful patchwork patchwork quilts look so lovely in both cot and single bed size.
kurta style shirts are lovely. Perfect if your children go to a school that does not have a uniform, like mine. Other shirts can get so hot so I'm always on the look out for something light and cool. The fabrics are all gorgeous as well but my favourite is the salmon colour and the yellow!
Our new cord baby booties are so sweet. Don't let the fiddly looking buttons on the side fool you, there is velcro underneath making the notoriously fiddly wiggly baby-shoe-dressing that bit easier.
Finally, the girl's kaftans are perfect for covering up in summer. Made with 100% cotton they are sure to remain light and cool. My lovely little friend Sadie, who modelled the kaftan for me, has several kaftans. Perfect for her sun sensitive skin and it keeps her mum happy.
So the future for these 7 women is exciting. We would love to employ more! Keep a watch for our women's winter range and our children's range is going to include the sweetest jackets ever.