Yala was the name given to Patan by the Newar people, the historical inhabitants of the Kathmandu Valley. Patan is also known as Lalitpur, which means city of fine arts.
As the home and workplace of the Nepal’s most talented artists and artisans, we chose Patan as Kathmandu Yogi’s local hub of activity.
On our last visit, we had the pleasure of meeting Patan/Newar native, Pravin Chitrakar, the CEO & Founder of Yala Mandala, an ethical handicraft collective and gallery whose mission is to showcase and preserve Nepali arts and craftsmanship.
Pravin founded Yala 25 years ago with the intention of preserving local cultural heritage, sharing it on an international level and elevating local artists and artisans.
Today Yala Mandala consists of two mid-size workshops, one dedicated to textiles, weaving and sewing and one to jewelry, metal work and paper crafts as well as a five-story gallery in the heart of Patan that hosts a myriad of cultural events.
We were extremely touched and impressed by Pravin and the Yala team’s dedication, passion and accomplishments over the years and wanted to support their excellent work and bring it to our customers.
Yala Mandala is one of the new partnerships that we initiated on this recent visit. This is one of three new partnerships we are presently focused on making sustainable.
In a few short weeks, coinciding with the one-year anniversary of the earthquake that wreaked havoc on the Kathmandu Valley and took the lives of thousands, we will launch our Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign with the ambitious goal of creating sustainable work for nearly 100 Nepali artisans.
Stay tuned to meet more of our partners in our “Meet the Makers” clips posted weekly leading up to our Kickstarter campaign launch.
To learn more about Pravin and Yala Mandala visit http://www.yalamandala.com/.
Video Credit: Brooke Herbert Hayes