Story by Marshall Ward; photography by Sara Geidlinger
Souvenirs of Tibet offers a variety of free-trade items from Tibet, including yoga apparel, meditation items, costume jewelry, and hand-knitted yak wool blankets.
Established at the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market in 2019, owner Deki D’Andrade says the vision behind her shop is “to promote and bring awareness to the beauty and cultural lifestyle of Tibet.”
D’Andrade is one of five inspiring women entrepreneurs that the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market is recognizing through March in celebration of Women’s History Month.
At Souvenirs of Tibet, visitors will find a variety of costume jewelry, including earrings, necklaces, and rings made with strikingly beautiful coral stones. Many of the pieces are inspired by the Buddhist traditions of the Himalayan nation.
“Tibetan Buddhism is symbolically interwoven in Tibet’s art, literature, music, and social customs,” explains D’Andrade. “The way Tibetans live and conduct life is based in a deep sense of spirituality. Traditional clothing is influenced by these religious principles. The Tibetan concept of wearing jewelry is not meant for embellishment but for spiritual means.”
Visitors to Souvenirs of Tibet will also find meditation items like Tibetan daggers (phurba), hand bells (Dril-bu), cymbals (tingsha), thunderbolts (Dorje), and singing bowls.
D’Andrade says each item holds individual purpose and symbolism when monks conduct meditative prayers and rituals.
Located in the Market Tent, Souvenirs of Tibet is hard to miss, given its gorgeous display of hand-knit yak wool blankets.
“These yak wool blankets are exceptionally versatile, especially during the fall and winter months,” she says. “They can be used as a shawl or scarf during the day and as a bed or sofa blanket during the night. Yak wool is beneficial as it is a lighter type of wool that provides a great deal of warmth and breathability.”
D’Andrade is “deeply grateful and appreciative for the opportunity to provide Tibetan representation” at the St. Jacobs Farmers’ Market.
“I absolutely love being a part of this culturally diverse community,” she says of the market atmosphere. “Once you set foot through those doors, you easily feel the warm friendly vibes of all those around. It’s exciting to experience people visiting my booth and curiously asking questions about my homeland.”