Young entrepreneur establishes clothing line for children

While many youth struggle to find a job, 22-year old Lhamo from Trashigang is living her dream by establishing a clothing line for infants and children up to 12 years of age.

Lhamo started Mama’ Dream with the Bhutanese brand Melong a year back because Bhutan does not have a company that targets this age group specifically even though there may be a few retail shops in the same category.

“But they merely sell imported clothes,” said the mother of one adding that Mama’s Dream is not just a retail shop that sells clothing for children but that it also designs and stitches clothes.  “It is a brand for children and my son, Rigyel Semki Melong, is my greatest inspiration,” said Lhamo.

The idea of starting the children’s clothing brand was conceived after she gave birth to her son.

“Whenever my husband and I bought clothes for our son, the clothes were always the rejected goods of famous foreign brands. The next thing we as a parents give to our children after food and shelter is clothing. I didn’t want my son to grow up wearing those clothes,” she said.

After much thought, she started Mama’s Dream and created brand Melong.

She first started stitching diaper bags and slippers for her new born baby which turned out to be a beautiful start for Melong.

Lhamo studied only up to class XI at Kelki higher secondary school in 2015 but due to poor health and financial constraints, she could not complete her studies. However, it did not stop her from pursuing her passion.

For starters, she received a collateral free loan of Nu 500, 000 from the Loden Foundation.

Lhamo admires Chhimi House of Design because of its clothes that fuse Bhutanese and modern design.

Mama’s Dream also manufactures its entire clothing items in Bhutan hence creating various employment opportunities and since all the clothes are made in traditional and trending styles, it aids in preserving the country’s culture.

Once she had made enough products, she started marketing her products through social media.  However, to run the business, she had to make sacrifices of time. Also, she said that getting a good tailor in Bhutan was difficult.

“I could not deliver few of my orders on time and incurred loss. I realized that you have to finish what you take on,” she said.

However, Lhamo says that she has now grown as an entrepreneur and become much more responsible and conscious because of the experience. Also, despite working an average of nine hours a day, she is still trying her best to spend enough time with her family, especially her son.

According to her, hard work, determination and self-discipline are the three requirements to be a successful entrepreneur.

Pema Seldon from Thimphu