After Mona taught herself the art of Doll Making, she and Karma employed their first Tibetan trainee in the spring of 2007, then a second, and so gradually growing to the current workshop size of twelve to sixteen craftswomen. Mona trained the first few women herself. Thereafter the most confident Doll Makers took on the task of teaching, while she stepped back – becoming rather a guiding hand, supervisor and quality controller, besides looking after the overall running of the workshop together with her husband.
Dolls4Tibet’s first tailor was a single mother who came to the workshop to cut the fabrics, but otherwise worked from home as this enabled her to look after her child whilst earning a living. Since the model worked well, the project continues to offer this opportunity to two of its employees. Besides them there are two full-time and two part-time tailors designing and stitching the dolls’ garments within the workshop.
In response to this, Mona developed Dolls4Tibet’s beautiful Himalayan Angels, which are made by between one and three women in their own time. Furthermore, two local women with great knitting skills are working from home and making attractive woollen outfits for the Steiner-inspired dolls.
While Karma and Mona continue to be responsible for all organizational matters, quality control and marketing, Dolls4Tibet also acknowledges and greatly appreciates the generous support of friends and well-wishers: Valuable business advice, creation of outlets, photography, graphic design – the list is endless.
Although Dolls4Tibet aims to retain a small-scale, informal working atmosphere that remains adaptable to the individual needs of its team, the project is also eager to fulfil its social ambitions and so further expansion is required.