Tucked away in the streets of Chengdu shoppers can find Blue Sheep Handicrafts & Giftshop. Surrounded by restaurants and other stores, the locals frequent this area as well, telling me that we have come to the right place. Continuing inside the store, I am surprised by how spacious the shop feels, even with so many unique items on display. I immediately spy a few items that I wouldn’t mind adding to my personal collection. Here I meet Dr. Ray, a woman who radiates joy and compassion.
Dr. Ray is a British lady who has spent most of her life living and working overseas. She is passionate about taking healthcare where there is none, and in 1999 started running surgery camps in Tibet. However, she soon realized that for Tibetans and the other ethnic minorities she was working with, it was very hard to pay for necessary things such as healthcare and education if you didn’t have a very good source of income. As a result, she and her husband began offering skills training to the locals in sewing, carving, carpentry, painting, and beekeeping, etc.
But the problem still remained: even with the skills, if you can’t sell your products to a larger market, how do locals make the necessary money to support their family?
The answer came in the form of Blue Sheep. In 2014 Dr. Ray opened the shop, and now buys from over 35 producers. These producers are selected for their quality, fair trade principles, and ecological sustainability, but they also represent over 600 people who are directly involved in the creation of these products. These direct beneficiaries have others relying on them for the income as well, so it’s not hard to see how this little store in Chengdu is truly impacting lives in China! Most of the profit from the Blue Sheep goes back to the producers to provide even more enterprise training, or to assist in disaster relief efforts.
When asked what she wanted her customers to know, Dr. Ray says that the Blue Sheep is a “one stop craft shop with a difference where you shop with a purpose!” There are stories attached to most of the products, and information is also available on a rack at the front door about some of the different suppliers.
If you do stop by and get a chance to meet Dr. Ray, ask her how she named the shop, and she will tell a story of woman versus sheep at the edge of a cliff.
地址：一环路南四段高升桥北街1号， 成都A 区1楼35号商铺。
Address: Shop 35, A Qu, Gaoshengqiao North Street (Near Walmart at Roman Holiday Plaza)