16 years ago, Norlha was taking down the tents that had been our Atelier’s first home and moving into the newly constructed workshop on the other side of the dirt road that marked the entrance to the village of Ritoma. It was an exciting time, one of cleaning new spaces, moving looms and materials, and sharing our first meal under our new roof.Each year, November 13th starts like any other day at 8:00 a.m. with breakfast in the Norlha cafeteria. After that, the day takes a different turn, with the dining area morphing into a kitchen, artisans putting aside weaving, felting, and tailoring, and putting all their skills into making over 1000 momos. Those not partaking in kneading, chopping, or shaping dumplings help prepare for the day’s most exciting event; the annual draw. 120 gifts of Norlha products ranging from felt phone cases to large Yak Khullu wraps are packed into bags and boxes, with the auspicious number of 108 usually holding the most coveted prize.This year we celebrate our anniversary with our 102 local employees, among whom 55 have been over 10 years in the Norlha family, participating with skill and dedication in the journey that began on that autumn day of 2007. Each year, as more employees complete their decade at Norlha, we award them a yak khullu scarf to thank them for their dedication and participation in our success.
November 13th is a day that marks the passage of time. It celebrates the people who have come together to make Norlha possible and a chance to look back at the journey we began 16 years ago as a community bound by enthusiasm, artistry, and discovery.