Each artisan weaver has a motif, a small logo that they will proudly weave on their handmade piece as their personal signature.
If the motif you have on the scarf is not on this page, it is because we are still working on getting all the information together.....artisan by artisan. It is our labour of love to interview each and every artisan to tell you their story, which is as unique and beautiful as their weaving.
Pema's rapid rise from a housewife to become leader of ANA is a story that inspired many unemployed youths in Bhutan. She exhorted them in a speech, saying "With your good education, you all must aim high and dream big. Because even a housewife like me, can work towards achieving my dreams."
My name is Pema, I started working with ANA in January 2015 and was promoted to become leader 10 months later. When my hard work is seen and appreciated, I feel so happy, so proud. I never thought I would meet and be appreciated by so many people.
Pema's rise to a position of responsibility is a testimony of her serious dedication to quality and improvement, principles to which ANA hold strongly to. Her signature motif is the letter N, which stands for Never Give Up and also Needup, her son. Plans are underway to do a short documentary on Pema, with the producer of 1,000 Hands of the Guru - a Thangkha Conservation documentary that touched thousands upon thousands' hearts.
I am Dema from Thimphu. I attended the training (Weavers' Overachiever Workshop sponsored by ANA) and I learnt how to work together with other weavers to make good scarves.
Dema's eldest son, Sangay was selected to participate in the Weavers' Children Photography workshop held in November 2015. This made Dema very happy because she felt that her efforts on scarf making not only gave her financial independence, but also enabled her children to access such unique opportunities for learning. Her motif is two crosses. For photos taken by Sangay and other children, go to https://www.facebook.com/ana.kids.photography/
I am Pema and I come from Radhi in Trashigang (which is a small remote village in Eastern Bhutan). I am learning from my mother in law how to make natural dye yarn, using traditional methods. Bura Silk Gho is what we make in our village.
Pema Laatchi has three school going children. With the income she earned from scarves, Pema enabled her 18 year old daughter Rinzin Choden to continue her studies in college in Thimphu. Pema does not have her own motif yet.
Kuzuzangpo, my name is Chuki. I learnt weaving when I was 10 from my mother's sister. My motif is a Diamond and I wish that my weavings will shine like diamonds in all my Ana's eyes.
Chuki is a shy weaver who doesn't talk very much. For her, weaving is a passion. A joy. She referred to weaving as a type of prayerful meditation. With every stitch, she meditates on happiness for you who wear the scarf she made. Chuki's 12 year old daughter, Kinga Dema is the youngest participant in the Photography workshop held in Nov 2015 and one of the best. See our photography workshop in action. http://www.anabykarma.com/blogs/bhutan
Hello, I am Thukten Zangmo from Trashi Yangtse. I have three children and I weave to save for my children's future. With the income earned, I recently opened a bank account for my children's education. I feel proud to be able to do this for their future.
Thukten is popular amongst her team as she selflessly teaches them how to improve and weave intricate patterns, helping her weaver sisters to become artisans. T is her motif, which stands Thank You. And the initial of her son, Tashi Norbu, the little 9 year boy who captured the hearts of many when a video of Tashi learning photography and saying " I love you Ama for getting this opportunity to me" went viral. Click for videos: https://www.facebook.com/ANAbyKarma/videos
Tashi Delek. My name is Zangmo. With my stable income from weavings, I am confident that I can support Chhimi, my eldest daughter, to go to university.
Zangmo is a cheerful lady, always full of smiles and makes everyone around her laugh. Zangmo proudly told us that she recently opened her own bank account for saving up her earnings, as she learnt basic financial literacy and understands the importance of saving. Zangmo's motif is a "double E".
Hello, my name is Lhamo. I learned weaving from my Ama in Dagana, a village in eastern Bhutan. I have two dreams, one is for my two kids to study all the way to university. The second is to have a bakery shop of my own.
With the income earned, Lhamo now puts her daughter Kuenga to continue higher education outside of Thimphu. For us, it is heartening to see that our weavers - like Lhamo is in full support to have the girls reach higher education, not just the sons. In addition, the extra income has enabled Lhamo to take up lessons to learn cake baking which is her passion. She feels she is now much closer to her dream.
Update 2017: Lhamo runs her own bakery shop in Thimphu, so we may not see as many scarves made by Lhamo anymore as she is busy in her baking activities. We are thrilled for her.
Pema shared that happiness for her is having a healthy body, a contented heart and a grateful soul. She is contented about her present life status and her family. Her only worry now is her ailing mother, who has cancer. She is grateful to be on the weaving team because she could continue to do what she loves (which is to weave) yet provide 24 hour care for her mother at home.
Pema does not have a motif of her own yet.
I am Choney Zangmo. Since joining ANA, I have learned a lot of new things. I learnt that quality checking is so important, and Ana has given me lessons on how to price my weavings. It is so exciting for me to be a business woman.
Choney's love for her husband and family is evident, as her motif is the letter “L” . This represents the initial of her husband’s name, and expresses her LOVE for her three children.
My name is Ugyen. ANA is like my family, we look after each other. After working here, my life has changed a lot. I feel more positive, I feel happier.
With the income earned from her weavings, Ugyen supports her younger sister’s college studies, and puts away some for her children’s education. Ugyen chose the letter “U” as her motif, which is the initial of her name and also “U” (you), as each scarf she makes, it is like a gift she makes for sisters and brothers all over the world.
Gyelmo's story is very different from our other artisans. She didn't learn weaving until she decided to join ANA, an enterprise her friends are part of and are excited to be in. She is motivated to learn the designs for scarf and to make new friends. So, she learn weaving within a week. Yet her skills are so good that one cannot tell she is new at this. Gyelmo's story motivates the younger girls to also consider being part of our organisation, a platform to showcase their potentials and talents.
Kuzuzangpo-la, I am Sonam Choden. As a happy mother of 4 kids, 2 teenaged daughters and a pair of teenaged twin boys, I really feel lucky that ANA gives light in my life. Due to serious headache, I am not able to sit for long long time to weave the traditional Gho and Kira. With scarf, it only takes one to two days to weave. This way, I can continue to do what I love.
Sonam believes that parents are responsible to ensure their children get good education, and also learn useful skills. She said that Ana by Karma is helping her become that role model of a parent, as she is learning a lot since she joined. “S” is Sonam's motif.
I am Tashi Lhamo, from Trongsa, Central Bhutan. I feel very proud when I see the photos of many overseas sisters & brothers wearing the scarves I weave. Although I have never travelled out of Bhutan, my scarves do. It is like a part of me is traveling to faraway places.
She chose the letter “A” as the motif, with each A woven into the scarf, she is grateful for her “Ata” & “Ana” all over the world who recognised her talents. Ana means sister and Ata means brother in the Bhutanese language.
My name is Sangay, I started to learn weaving from my mother when I was 14 years old. Before, I only weave for my family, making material for their clothes. Now I am happy that I learnt to weave scarves too, the technique is different. I enjoy weaving scarves for ANA, because I not only learned something new, I also made many new friends in the weaving community.
Sangay started to weave with ANA in November 2015. She placed all her hope to her only child, a girl who is studying in Grade 12. She uses the letter “I” as the motif on her scarves. She wants herself to be a positive inspiration for her daughter to study hard for her own future.
I am Kezang Wangmo. Since joining the team, I feel my family, especially my husband give me more respect. They now see that I have a special skill and talent that is admired by many foreigners.
Kezang Wangmo is one of our shyest weavers, often hiding her face when she speaks. Yet, she speaks of her work with pride. Currently she doesn't have a motif of her own.
My name is Tshewang Choden. My happiest moments are when I get to meet my Ana and Ata from another country. Since joining ANA, I have met many foreigners who came to our homes and show much love for our work. It is so special for me.”
Tshewang started with Ana by Karma in January 2016. She chose the letter “E” as her motif. It means“Education” as she knows education is the key for her two young children’s future.
“Hello, my name is Karma Dema. In the past, I feel I cannot do anything. However, ANA sees my weaving skills as precious. This helped me feel good about myself and my skills. I am learning more advance weaving skills.”
Karma joined the team in November 2015 when sales started to take off in China because of our Happy Officer, Helen Pu. Karma decided to have “H” as her motif to thank Helen and all her China based Anas & Atas (sisters & brothers)
My name is Yangki and have two sons and one daughter. Before I use to weave Gho and Kira (national dress of Bhutan) only for my family. Since joining ANA, I am proud because I am weaving scarves for many sisters and brothers from other parts of the world.
Yangki started with Ana by Karma in December 2016. She chose the letter “Y” as her motif. It means "Young” as she believes that all young people must work hard for their future.
My name is Sonam Choden and I am married with three sons. Before joining ANA, I am a housewife, we depend on my husband for everything. Now, we feel more secured because we have extra income and we also have some to save for our son's future. I am very happy to be a member of ANA.
My name is Sonam Zangmo and I have three sons. Before I use to weave Gho and Kira (national dress of Bhutan) and now being a member of ANA I also learn how to weave scarves as well as it helps me and my family, its my first time meeting with international people and weaving for them. I feel very excited to be working with ANA.
She chose the Bhutanese motif as it symbolises good tidings.
My name is Yeshi Lhamo and I have two daughters. I am very happy to be a member of ANA and it helps my family as well as gave me knowledge of how to weave scarves. I am given training by the other weaver sisters' who have been with ANA much longer. I feel like I have found a new family.
Yeshi joined our team in December 2016.
My name is Chime and I weave rachu for friends. (Rachu is the shoulder scarf worn by Bhutanese women during ceremonies). One of the ANA weaver sisters' saw my rachu and asked me to join the team to make scarves. Within two months I joined, I have foreign Ana and Ata come to my home to see my work. I feel so proud. My husband and sons are also proud of me.
Chime's life is centred around her children, ensuring that they have a bright future.
Our Weavers for Elegant Shawls Series
Kinzang comes from Silambi village in Monggar, a village famous for its fragrant lemongrass. Kinzang started weaving when she was a little girl, and she is one of the artisan who weaves the Elegant Shawl series, requiring very fine weaving to give the shawl a silky smooth feel.
Hailing from the eastern Bhutan village of Pemagatsel, Kesang was taught weaving from a young age and she uses the Karma emblem as her motif. This is because Kesang wishes good karma to all her Ana and Ata who come forward to support and encourage weavers like herself. Kesang is also one of our weavers who specially weave the Elegant Shawl series.
Gyembo who comes from Zhemgang learnt weaving from a neighbour uses her talents to save for her son's future. She uses the Hor motif on all the Elegant Shawls she weaves.
Trendel is from Zhemgang, she uses Dorji as her motif as the symbol Dorji is for protection for the person who wears the Elegant Shawl. Like many of her weaver sisters, she learnt weaving when she was a little girl. For Trendrel, weaving is her happiest way of being a provider for her family.
Our new weavers in training