The Dropenling brand was established in 2001. The brand marks high-quality craftsmanship by Tibetan artisans as well as innovative culture-based design.
Recognizing that most Tibetan-style products sold within Lhasa and in other cities are not produced by Tibetans, we have endeavored to help Tibetans improve their craft skills, develop innovative products, and become competitive in the world market. Dropenling brand handicrafts herald a new era of Tibetan craft and innovation.
In 2003, Lhasa Villages (LV), was created in the heart of the old town of Lhasa. Lhasa Villages is a Tibetan-owned social enterprise that was established to serve Tibetan artisans and promote Dropenling brand crafts through its two Lhasa stores.
In 2009, the Tangtong Handicraft Development Center (THDC) was established in the town of Shangri-la (also known as Zhongdian), located in the mountainous Tibetan region of Yunnan. THDC provides another outlet for Dropenling brand products and expands production of handicraft into nearby Tibetan communities through skills training programs.
Many of the artisans who supply crafts to LV and THDC live and work in rural areas of the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) and Yunnan Province.
The Dropenling mission is to improve skills, knowledge and resources for Tibetan artisans so that they can preserve their heritage, create high quality and innovative products, and earn income and recognition.
As social enterprises, both LV and THDC are committed to fair trade, and thus artisans receive fair wages. Many of the artisans work at home, around the schedule of their traditional farming activities. The cash income helps many families to educate amd provide health care for their children.
Our Dropenling brand training programs supported by professional designers and technical expert, have resulted in new lines of products, such as children’s toys with Tibetan themes. These programs have resulted in establishment of artisan-run workshops, and have opened the door to a wide range of new markets.