From "Moonshine Ink"
By: Kara Fox
Walking into Jai Yen in Kings Beach is like stepping into a cozy shop in a foreign land — colorful scarves adorn the walls, cast iron tea pots sit next to Asian statues, pieces of unique jewelry are stashed in dishes nestled in corners, a fire warms the small cabin, and the owner offers you a cup of tea. With all the products coming directly from Thailand, Nepal, and Bali, owner Christy Lee Smith offers customers unique products rarely found locally.
Smith, who has owned Jai Yen for fifteen years, works directly with artists and small businesses in Thailand and Laos, and hand selects high quality clothing, jewelry, home décor items, handicrafts, and spa products, all shipped directly to Tahoe. Incline-based nonprofit Changing Lives Nepal provides jewelry from Nepal, while Smith’s friend sources stonework from Bali.
Smith and her husband, Mai, have a home in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where Smith spends half of the year. This allows her to work with small clothing and leather companies to produce Jai Yen and Thai Artist Collective products. Working directly with the artists also allows Smith to keep her costs down for customers. “I try to keep it simple in life and business, while having a very hands-on approach to Jai Yen,” Smith said. (Continue and read the full article here:)
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Tahoe Specialty Shops
This unique little shop in Kings Beach on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe sells beautiful items from Thailand and Laos. There is also a small tea garden where you can order some tea and relax in the shade of the pine trees with the nearby sound of water. The owner travels to Southeast Asia every year to purchase items that she sells at reasonable prices in this darling, little shop. You can pick up handmade items for the home, clothing, jewelry, hats and scarves, Buddha and Ganesh statues, bamboo handicrafts and handmade paper items. The shop also offers free wi-fi.