Dharmashop.com went online in November of 1999. We started with just a few items, then after a family trip to Nepal I really got excited about helping to support Tibetan artisans living in exile. My sister spent a year in Dharamsala, India, the seat of the Tibetan government. She was so touched by the Tibetan people and helped me to find artisans living in India.
I started the shop in Orlando, Florida where I lived from 1998 to 2001. I worked out of my apartment at first but we grew larger and larger and soon I moved home to Michigan and started renting warehouse space for the containers of incense, jewelry and Tibetan ritual items. My wife, Christy, joined the DharmaShop team full time in 2002. We now work long hours to keep on top of our growing business. We travel to Nepal and Thailand every year to work with our artisans, create new products and visit Buddhist holy sights.
Our goal is to build not just a customer base, but a community online that supports the Tibetan, Newar and Nepalese people. We donate a percentage of profits to Tibetan charities and in 2003 we started the DharmaShop.com school program to build schools in rural Nepal. In 2006 we joined The Tibetan Nun's Project to support ordained women living in exile.
Christy is a Master Gardner, artist and yoga practitioner who also loves to volunteer at our son's school when she's not working in the office or making jewelry for DharmaShop.
Sander is a licensed pilot, musician, volleyball coach and runner and enjoys fixing old watches, riding motorcycles and traveling as much as possible.
Our son, Carter, is 8 and he loves to swim, play soccer, volleyball, baseball, hockey, and read anything and eveything. He collects carniverous plants and bugs and hopes to, one day, have a live jellyfish or snake. He is working on becomming a black belt in Isshinyru karate as well.
We live in Michigan with our cats Katsu and Tempura and our chickens who gives us plenty of fresh eggs. Sadly, we said goodbye to our last of many sweet greyhounds this year. We continue to support greyhound rescue and pet adoption organization.
Thanks for being a part of our community!
Sander and Christy Cohen
May the frightened cease to be afraid
And those bound be freed.
May the powerless find power
And may people think of benefiting each other.
- H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama