Local artist helps women in Tibet - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Local artist helps women in Tibet

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Carrie Beachey is a mother of two, a Middlebury resident, a painter and a knitter. Her father was an artist and that is where she was introduced to it. In middle school her interest in painting picked up and continued to grow. So then, "It kind of became a big part of my life," Beachey said. "It was a big distraction in high school." 

Then Carrie become a mother and realized that painting was not very practical when raising two small children in the house. Her creativity did rub off on to her son, Jacob Beachey and daughter, Nona Beachey. "Well I like to just draw and doodle," Nona said. "I like to like kind of figure things out and draw stuff and make things move on the pieces of paper," Jacob said. 

Carrie did not retire from painting but decided to take up knitting. She invested much of her time in this skill and it would lead her to a business opportunity. Carrie would cross paths with The Rocking Yak founder Bret Colledge. The Rocking Yak is a company based in Tibet in which local women sew and spin gloves, hats, and other garments. Both Carrie and Bret had different roles in the company which started in 2008. 

"I was here in the United States with the love of knitting, learning everything I could about knitting and the yarn industry," Carrie said. Colledge was living, and still does, in China where he was learning the language and building connections with the Tibetan people.  

Currently there are over 80 Tibetan women working with The Rocking Yak. The goal of the company is to create sustainable jobs for the villagers and help those living in poverty get out of it. "I've always wanted to use my creativity and my artwork to help people," Carrie said.  

Carrie says the time she has spent working with The Rocking Yak and Colledge has not only been a rewarding journey for herself, but for her children as well. "It's been a real learning experience for them as well and that's neat as a parent to watch your kids learn more and gain an affection for another culture that's different from their's." 

Carrie hopes to take her children to Tibet this fall. The plan is to spend three weeks there working on projects with the women and getting to experience the culture firsthand.

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