In 1999, Sander and Christy Cohen decided to take a family trip to Kathmandu, Nepal. This trip inspired Sander to start on online website dedicated to supporting Himalayan artists. As our small business started to grow, Christy decided to join the team full time in 2002, and for the last 20 years, we are so happy to see support for the Himalayas continue to grow!
DharmaShop is different because our main priority is to support artisans directly, and we travel to Nepal every year to maintain relationships and make sure our sourcing is ethical and sustainable. We never buy from Chinese factories or street vendors. We go directly to the artists themselves. As jobs are hard to come by in Nepal, DharmaShop continues to grow and strengthen our network of artists in the Kathmandu Valley. Our goal is to build not just a customer base, but an online community that supports Tibetan, Newar, and Nepalese people and their craft.
For the last 20 years, our small business in Farmington Hills, Michigan continues to expand and we simply couldn't do it without our amazing team! We now have grown to employ 7 people plus the best mascot we could ever ask for - Katsu the Office Kitty! From shipping, photography, customer service and operations, our team wears many hats, and they make sure your experience is as custom and amazing as the artisans who handcraft our products!
Meet some of our amazing Tibetan singing bowl craftsman from the Kathmandu Valley! Our lead singing bowl suppliers are also experts who specialize in sound therapy, healing, and sound baths. The 4th and 5th generation artisans who create our Tibetan singing bowls use traditional methods to ensure that each bowl is entirely handcrafted and finely tuned. Check out our Singing Bowl Page to watch a video of these artisans at work!
A majority of our prayer flags are handcrafted by Kuisang and her team! Every single one of our flags are made by the hands of Tibetan artisans in Nepal. Many of our competitors will sell Chinese copies of prayer flags, but we are proud to work with a woman-lead team who continues to use traditional Tibetan methods for making prayer flags. They specialize in the traditional wood block style of printing along but also practice modern screen-printing techniques.
Here is our friend Dipendra and his team of mala makers! We work directly with them to supply almost all of our handmade malas and wrist malas! Dipendra has a vision to employ as many artisans as possible to help them work independently and march towards a better life for themselves and their families. We absolutely love visiting his shop just outside of the Boudhanath Stupa, enjoying some tea and designing malas with him and his team.
Many of our best-selling Tibetan incense are made entirely by hand in a breezy and comfortable room in the main building of the Khachoe Ghakyil Ling Nunnery. Shirjana is head of operations for incense productions at the nunnery, and she helps many of the Tibetan refugee women by providing work and an education. Making incense is the main way to raise funds and a part of the women's practice. All proceeds from the production of this incense goes to support the nuns and the surrounding community.
Meet Shiksya and Matian! They are the lead production managers for our knitted wool items including our Large Woolen Hand-Crocheted Blanket. Their amazing team includes over 8 women who hand knit or crochet all of the Himalayan wool items you see in our collection. They also help train and teach their craft to other women, as this consistent work can help them provide for their families as well as lead a more independent life.
Every detail matters when it comes to our statues, which is why we love working with a 5th generation crafting family who continue to use traditional techniques for these exquisite pieces of art. From hand carving, to painting delicate and detailed designs, each statue feels as unique as the artisan who created it. Here you see Meenu Shakya hand painting a statue. Her work is unique and especially meaningful as it allows her to stay home while raising her two children. We are the first shop to offer these masterpiece statues to the Western public.
Here is the incredible team at Wild Earth in Nepal! We absolutely love their mission, which is to create an all natural product and empower women in the process. Their work flow is beautiful. Working from an open and airy home outside of Kathmandu, a team of women create each batch of soap by hand using traditional Tibetan and Nepalese ingredients. In the wake of devastation caused by earthquakes in Nepal in 2015, your choice to buy Wild Earth's soap helps revitalize a vibrant economy as it nurtures and rejuvenates your skin.