With all the animal life around us, it was difficult to resist replicating it in our raw materials. Our first toys were a byproduct, made from left over material. Dechen’s sister Sonam Yeshi created a yak which became as one of a kind in character as those in the pasture, the striped Sonia Rykiel yak and the bright colored Arnys yak among them. The bears took on strange shapes and slowly, we developed a full menagerie including horses, sheep, pigs and even a fox. Later, we switched from left over fabrics to felt, which lent itself well to the product.
Imaginary creatures were eventually added to the collection. Though the yeti is considered real, and its description sounds like that of a very fierce and unpredictable brown bear, we created the Norlha yeti in another spirit; that of the shy earth spirits that inhabit the upper reaches of the Plateau’s grassland.
We always tested the toys with the office children who came every day at 4 o’clock sharp after school and would take note of their favorites. We also distributed the early trials to the children and kept the strangest trials for display on the office shelves.