Their Majesties Meet with Bhutan’s Young Innovative Entrepreneurs
For years, His Majesty Druk Gyalpo Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck would meet with his people from different walks of life at the Lingkana Palace. His Majesty would speak to them about life, their work, their worries and their daily rituals of everyday life. This time, a lucky group of young innovative entrepreneurs received a special audience from the King and Queen, leaving them inspired and with an aspiration to do so much more. Their Majesties also visited their workplace.
“This morning I, along with an intimate group of entrepreneurs, had the great privilege and honor of receiving an audience with Their Majesties, The King and Queen to discuss the development of our various endeavors. Their Majesties wanted to encourage us to take a step further into our respective fields in order to create a self-sustaining and progressive environment, which would also help inspire other young aspiring entrepreneurs. I felt extremely humbled that Their Majesties would take the time to meet with us. This experience and support we have been shown has been extremely encouraging, for myself and the rest of the group and we are grateful.
We were pleasantly surprised at the opportunity to be granted an audience with The Gyalsey as well, which was made apparent by our uncontainable smiles as he captivated our hearts with his vibrant personality and sweet nature.”
– Kunzang Choki, Owner of Junction Bookstore in Thimphu.
“It was such an unexpected and extraordinary thing for us to have Their Majesties The King and Queen visit our cafe today. Everyone is overwhelmed. Their Majesties spoke to the staff, even tried some of the pastries, and deeply inspired us all.
My sister and I both went through other jobs before deciding that this is what we wanted to do- this is what makes us happy. When we started out, we wanted to also do out bit for our community, and when we were approached by Lama Shenphen to recruit recovering addicts, we thought it was something we could do. We have hired a few boys and girls who are on the journey of recovery, and there have been some success stories- one of our cooks, who has been sober for 3 years, is a valuable employee. But we have had struggles, there have been difficult times. His Majesty talked about how we should think of our roles not only as people who can inspire and encourage others by doing what we feel passionate about, but also as mentors for young people who work with us. This visit has motivated us so much– we feel that we are doing something worthwhile.” – Tshering Yangchen, Co- Owner, Central Cafe
“Their Majesties visit and advice has given us so much encouragement. His Majesty took personal interest in the stories of our staff, and has asked to be updated periodically about their progress and success- challenging one of the boys who is a recovering addict, that if he stays clean and works seriously for six months, His Majesty would personally help him.”
– Phub Zam, Co-Owner, Central Cafe.
“I always enjoyed drawing as a child, and everyone told me it was something I was good at. I wanted to go to art school, actually, but then I ended up studying computer science and working at a bank.
I used to make my own clothes, for my friends and family, and it was something I really enjoyed doing. People wanted to buy my stuff. I got a training opportunity and learnt to do this in a professional way, which was a big confidence boost. Eventually, it felt like the natural thing to quit my 9-5 job and take up designing full time. I opened this store for my line, CDK, five months ago.
I have learnt a lot over the past few years. Now I have a clear vision for my line. I am working to put things in place to fulfill that vision. For example, a lot of the materials and especially dyes that I use are natural. I love the colours and quality you get with natural dyes, and I want to expand on the concept, and eventually go 100% eco-friendly. I also want my products to be wearable and not just for the runway.
Bhutanese fashion I think has the potential to make it big because of the uniqueness of our designs, and I look forward to the future.
I feel that in our country, when you are passionate about something, and willing to put in the hard work, there are a lot of opportunities to achieve success.”
– Chandrika Tamang. (Chandrika owns the fashion line, CDK)