The Milam Clothing Store on Ramoche Road in Lhasa, Tibet is crowded with customers. The small storefront displays products including blouses, T-shirts, jackets, sweatshirts, sweaters, belts, wallets, shoes, and pants, all of which are designed by the owner Tsering Tashi and another designer. Tsering Tashi said that they have designed dozens of types of clothing.
Tsering Tashi, who graduated from Shanghai Normal University with a bachelor degree in education technology, got the idea to start a business while in university, and put his plan into action.
"The business atmosphere in Shanghai is very strong, and there were many people starting small businesses at our school. At first, I tried to get started at school and sell Cordyceps on Taobao (one of China's popular e-commerce platform)," Tsering Tashi said. "I started my own business from sophomore year and earned some pocket money."
After graduation, Tsering Tashi's family persuaded him to become a teacher, but he wanted to be free and adventurous. He finally chose to start his own business. After careful consideration, he focused his entrepreneurship on a Tibetan cultural product that had not yet been commercialized.
"I have a unique sense of Tibetan culture, and I hope to inherit and develop Tibetan culture through my own efforts," said Tsering Tashi.
He had saved more than 20,000 yuan (2952.3 US dollars) from working and borrowed some money from friends and family, and in 2014, the Lhasa Milam Culture Communication Co., Ltd., a company rooted in local culture and cultural design products, was formally established.
He said: " ‘Milam' is a transliteration from Tibetan and means ‘dream'."
Taking into account the reality of the company's economic interests, Tsering Tashi decided to focus on clothes design and sales. In his view, clothing is the most basic and most visible transmitter of Tibetan culture.
As the patterns and designs of the clothing are full of ethnic characteristics, and prices are affordable for common people. Milam Clothing Store has attracted many consumers of different ages since it opened. After two years, moving steadily forward, Tsering Tashi has had his retail stores opened in Lhasa, Nagchu, Shigatse, Lhoka, Nyingchi, Ngari, Chengdu, Xining, and Gannan. Its products are being sold within China and abroad.
Of course, as a cultural communication company, Tsering Tashi's business is not just in clothing. In just one year, his company developed the world's first Tibetan language artistic typeface input method: the Milam Tibetan Language Input Method, which includes 15 new fonts, further improving the database of Tibetan fonts. He has reached agreements for long-term strategic cooperation with many schools and obtained national patents for material research and development
Basing on local culture and looking outward to the global market, Tsering Tashi has realized his "entrepreneurial dream" with "modesty, dependability, diligence, and responsibility".