One of the highlights of my trip included a visit with Shyam Badan Shresthra, the managing director of the Nepal Knotcraft Centre. As a teacher, she was very interested in handcrafts. She began this company in 1984, with two other people. In the beginning, they were making and selling macrame items, but gradually started making baskets.
A traditional Nepali basket is coiled, has many color changes, and takes a long time to make.
Shresthra has researched Nepalese basketry fibers. The baskets from the Knotcraft Centre are all made with local materials. So far, she has found at least 42 plants for basket weaving. Here are some bamboo baskets.
Shyam Badan Shresthra is an amazing businesswoman with strong social and environmental consciousness. Developing this business has not been an easy journey. There have been many ups and downs through the years, but she has weathered them all. I believe that she is an inspirational figure to all.