Sangay Wangmo, 32, from Lhuentse, was an animator by profession. She has a diploma in animation. She began her career in creative work in 2017, tagging her hobbies of toy development at the Changzamtog Start-Up Center.
Sangay’s creations include figurines and decorative gift items and souvenirs made using sawdust, stone powders, and resin, among other raw materials.
She had spent approximately 1mn dollars to launch her business.
However, after discovering that most artistic products sold in our country are imported, she decided to turn her childhood passion for art and craft into a reality.
“When I was younger, I loved playing with dolls,” Sangay Wangmo said, adding that collecting toys was her childhood passion from a very young age.
Sangay said that her creative works are gift items and souvenirs, first by sculpturing and then casting. “I can make multiple copies by making one item,” he said, adding that gift and souvenir items are made based on the customized demand, looking at the interests of people.
She shared that it is throbbing to know that Bhutan spends millions of ngultrums every year to import toys from other countries. Everywhere she goes, she sees that almost all toys in the Bhutanese markets are imported.
She said that with the motive of substituting the import of souvenirs and gift items from other countries, she has started her business, “With such things in mind, I started making items similar to those imported.”
At the beginning of her career in creative work, she could not offer employment opportunities as her work was the idea base. However, when children come forward with an interest in art and craft, such as painting and sculpting, they work with me as temporary workers.
Meanwhile, her model work ranged in price from Nu 100 to Nu 500.
The price of her model depends on the price of imported raw materials, the time taken to complete each model, and the number of people involved in each model.
“Keeping a certain amount of profit based on that, she calculates the cost for each model,” she said.
Sangay said that the approximate time taken to complete one model solely depends on the size and detailing; for small, she said it took her about 1-2 days, and if it is a larger size, it will take around 3 days to build her model for the master copies.
So far, she hadn’t come across any unhappy or unsatisfied clients. “As I make products based on clients’ demands, I haven’t received any bad or negative comments from clients,” she said.
A founder of Sangay’s creation also said during the cottage and small industries (CSI) trade fair when she gets to display her products, she receives many positive comments from people, with some even claiming that the quality is great at a reasonable price.
She believes that the most important skill for art and craft is creativity. “A good toy designer needs to have an innovative mind and the ability to create new toys or improve existing ones,” she said, adding that she loves creating something out of nothing and that she finds it easy to come up with new ideas and implement them into her designs.
One unique product from her creative work is traditional stupas or statues with an incense stick standing by their side, which makes her product different from others.
However, there are huge challenges pertaining to her work. “It is hard to get raw material as it has to be imported from another country,” she said, adding that when she receives more orders, it is difficult to adjust her monthly wages for temporarily hired workers.
like other entrepreneurs, she said it is also perplexing to get market and financial investment-related.
In the near future, Sangay shared that she wants to extend her product to other districts apart from Thimphu and Paro. “I want to increase the number of employees and set up my permanent production house,” are some of her plans in the pipeline.
“I am passionate about my work of creation, so I make sure to keep an eye out for any new developments in my production work.”
Nidup Lhamo from Thimphu