'My wish is that the charity projects we choose are as varied as possible. For everything we do, is all about the people.'
– Lise Aagaard
WHAT ARE UNIQUES
“Uniques” is the term covering a truly special part of the Trollbeads collection. These are one-of-a-kind beads created at Trollbeads workshops in India and Africa and sold worldwide. It started as a small charity project but has later grown into an important part of Trollbeads, both for the company and for our customers.
“If you really want to help people in third world countries to develop economically, you must teach them what it is that you are successfully doing.” These few lines in a magazine inspired Lise Aagaard to start this amazing Trollbeads journey: To teach those in need to make glass beads; giving them an opportunity to express themselves & create art.
The First Workshop
In 2005 Lise and Peter Aagaard set up the first workshop in Dharamsala, Northern India. It was a program set up to help Tibetan refugees. The workshop was funded by what is called a “soft loan”. This means that if the business does not make any profit, the debt does not have to be repaid; and if the business turns out to be a success, the invested money must be repaid and then transferred into other self-sustainable projects.
The refugees in Dharamsala were set up in a workshop where they could produce the glass beads they were taught to make. Also, a shop on the high street was set up for them to sell the beads. The shop turned out to be to much of a project and was closed for the bead workers to focus on the glass art.
How Did It Work?
At first they were producing glass beads inspired from patterns delivered from Trollbeads, but as skills and creativity grew, they started making their own designs, some of which have become part of the Trollbeads collection and founded the base for what would become the Unqiues collection. In 2009 the project expanded and a second workshop was set up in Jaipur, India. This workshop had a focus on helping women with a challenging background or an illness
Building on their experiences from the India projects, Trollbeads founded the Malawi Workshop in 2010, which gave a group of challenged young people with health issues the opportunity to learn the artistry of making glass beads.
Passion for Uniques
In 2012 Trollbeads started the fourth workshop. This time it was in Dehradun, India at the foot of the Himalayas where the focus was to help exiled Tibetan men. Trollbeads has helped set up workshops and train people in the art of making glass beads since 2005.
The first project was a great success and it was clear that these people had a creativity that could not be ignored. The workshops have creative freedom, which has turned into many beautiful and unique glass beads, giving name to this stunning collection of beads: Uniques. A collection of one-of-a-kind glass beads.
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