Step inside Tibet Handicrafts, the colorful, exotically scented shop across from the Laguna Beach Post Office, and be swept into a world where clothing and home goods are made by hand and beneath the need to pay rent, lies the intention to help others.
Squares of exquisitely patterned, hand dyed, vintage cotton and silk saris have been reimagined into one-of-a-kind bedspreads, jackets and pillow covers. Using resources born in the Himalayas, yak wool has been transformed into sumptuous throws. Rugs depicting tigers and luck-bringing “Wind horses” have been hand woven, 100 knots per inch. And the smell of incense and the chanting of Buddhist monks encourage a look within.
Soon after Tenpa Dorjee opened his shop a decade ago, it was apparent that this shop owner had more than business on his mind. Born in a Tibetan refugee camp in central India after his parents fled Tibet as China rampaged across the Roof of the World, Dorjee has spent his adulthood aiding his impoverished home village.
Dorjee’s commitment to help others less fortunate is contagious. Three times he has lead a group of locals on aid trips to the remote, dusty village in central India. Known as the “Sharing Light” group, which includes the Lamb family, Susan Brown Madorsky, Pam Wicks, Robin Pierson and the Neighborhood Congregational Church, Laguna Beach has helped supply the village with solar lights and is building a sports complex for the Tibetan youth. Tibet Handicrafts: 384 Forest Ave. Suite #5 (inside Lumberyard Mall) (949) 715-1043