By Nancy Johnston, Tengri Founder
I wrote my business plan on a chocolate wrapper
The idea behind Tengri was conceived when I was travelling with friends and staying with herder families in Mongolia. It was fascinating to see the delicate and interwoven relationship between people, animals and the land, and I developed a deeper understanding and respect for the bond between the herder families' livelihoods, their yaks, and the Mongolian landscape.
I also discovered how the Khangai yak – an indigenous wild species found in the Khangai mountains of western Mongolia – could help preserve this nomadic way of life. These native animals support biodiversity and help to prevent land desertification by allowing plant species and wildlife to regenerate and thrive. Khangai yak fibres are as soft as cashmere, warmer than merino wool, and hypoallergenic.
Using my knowledge as a professional systemic social worker, I was inspired to write my first business plan there and then... on the back of a chocolate wrapper, in a dimly lit ger (yurt). My aim was to bring sustainable fibres to the forefront of the global textile industry, to the benefit of everyone involved – herders, designers, manufacturers, and customers.
Back in London, using my modest savings and with the support of an extended network of friends in fashion, design, community development, marketing, business and product development, Tengri – a business dedicated to sustainable luxury – was born.
See our journey as captured by CNN – Great by Design
Did you know…
Tengri means “Sky God” – the primary deity of a pantheon of gods who governed all human existence and natural phenomena on earth. The words “Tengri” and “sky” are synonymous, the physical appearance of Tengri was unknown and considered to be timeless and infinite, like a blue sky. These qualities and the meaning of Tengri are what inspire us.