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stories

stories, inspiration and news.

Entrepeneurs there and here.

Sanjaya
from Artisans Workshop in Kathmandu.


When did you start your company, Sanjaya?

'I started Artisans 11 years ago, but I have a long experience in this business. I used to work with a friend of mine and we always talked about what we would do differently. What we wanted to improve in order to grow. Some people don't like to receive feedback from customers, we loved it. And I still do. Feedback makes you grow.'

 

Is your family in the same line of work?

'I come from an artistic family. My father is an art collector and when was small boy, he took me to his shop sometimes. He would introduce me to a customer from Europe and I would sell him a painting. That's how I've learned to deal with customers. I still keep the final customer in my mindAlways.'

 

What else did you learn from your parents?

'You can learn from your mistakes. They're not bad. My parents have always been very supportive. Maybe that's why I am always positive, why I keep talking with colleagues and search for new ways to extend our business and take it to an ever higher level.'


How do 
you celebrate successes?

'Once a year we have a small gathering of all the artisans and staff in the workshop, where we dance and have lunch together. That's a lot of fun and we forget all about our work that day, we just enjoy each other's company. Before the pandemic, if we met a deadline for a shipmentor reached a target, we used to go out for lunch together. Sometimes we go outdoors, go trekking, you get so much energy from nature and from acting like little children. We all feel recharged for the next working day. Every day is a birthday, a new day and a new life to me. I start every morning by paying a visit to everyone in the workshop, have a little talk. How's your family? How are your children? And if they have a problem, they can share it. That's how you grow close.'"

 

Do you celebrate birthdays in Nepal?

'Well, we have lot of religions here. I'm from Buddhist family. So when we have a birthday we go to a temple to worship and in the evening we have a small party. We get together with family and close friends. Everyone brings food. And yes, there's cake for the birthday guy or girl. 'Eventhough it's not cultural tradition in Nepal, due to the globalization people have started adopting different traditions as well.'

 

What's your favorite birthdaycake?

'Well, I'm a pure vegetarian so any eggless cake is fine.'

 

What is the best gift you've ever received?

'That was a long, long time ago. My uncle gave me a Parker pen 40 years ago, after visiting Europe. I was studying in school at the time, so it was a big thing for me. A very special moment.'

 

When you have a strong team, there’s nothing you cannot do.

 

Who would you like to wish success?

'Not a specific person, but the entire team. They're all important. The artisans, the people at the office. But also my homefront, my family. When you have strong team, there's nothing you cannot do.'


Minke & Carla

From Imagine giftstore in Amsterdam.

 

How did you end up at Imagine?

Minke: 'At that time had a boring, unsatisfying job. And really wanted to work with my hands, create things. got that opportunity here. started with one day a week in the workshop, making coatracks for children. Gradually that became more and more. In 2004 Carla and became co-partners here, within a few years the two of us were running the store by ourselves.

Carla: 'did interiordesign for children's ooms, but for a while I had been walking around with the idea of starting my own children's store. And then Imagine crossed my path.'

 

Which is now already 15 years ago...

Minke:' Yes,and this place still feels so good. The customers from back then still come hereIn those days because thehad childrennow they shop for gifts for their friends or for themselves. We really are a neighborhood store with very cozy atmosphere. Customers love coming hereeven if itjust for a chat.'

 

How do you celebrate successes?

Carla'Together with the Imagine team. We have close and loyal team of colleagues who we've been working with for long time. For us it is already a success when someone walks out of the door happy. It's all in the little thingsAttention for each other and sometimes with the whole team, the four of us, raising our glasses.'

Minke: 'I had to think about your question for moment. Maybe because success is usually linked to growth, but that's not true ofcourse. For me it's about marking the moment. And yes, also paying attention to the success of others. With a presentor a sweet note. Pause for moment.'

 

How do you celebrate your birthday?

Minke: 'When my children were little , I started to decorate our house with lotof streamers, birthdayhats and a gifttable in special theme: rainbow, glamour or tropical. The funnthing is, my daughters are now 12 and 15 years, that they do the same for my birthday now. It's really become a tradition.'

 

What's your favorite birthdaycake?

Carla: 'Every cake my daughter makesYou can taste the love in there.'

Minke: 'Lemonmeringue. With raspberries on top.'

 

What's the best gift you've ever received?

Minke: 'I'm very much into makingt ea. Last year my children gave me one of those old-fashioned tiles that they had printed with 'Tea is always a good idea'. Such a great gift.'

 

Who would you like to wish success?

Minke: 'Everyone who's doing something positive or thinking about it. Something to bring people closer together, for the world or something caring or loving. Just like when you started your business. It makes the world move in the right direction.’

 

 

 

Preview: minke-carla