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The 9th through 14th century Angkor period reveals the wonder of Cambodian design and creativity. Marvelous structures, exemplified by Angkor Wat, assert the culture’s devotion to quality design. Through to the 20th century, villages incorporated the creation of fine linen, pottery, jewelry, and more, maintaining valued traditions. Sadly, these art forms came under threat during the reckless destruction of the Khmer Rouge regime. Rajana’s mission seeks to resurrect the creative talent that until recently has been deserted. Rather than simply adopting purely western designs into Cambodian village workshops, Rajana identifies and takes advantage of the valuable methods and designs unique to Cambodia, and pair those methods with stylistic and modern designs. With 100 producers through Cambodia, Rajana represents a journey through the “Kingdom of Wonder,” with each product representing a different way of life and style. We believe that Cambodia has something unique to offer, and we want to share it with others.
Rajana was founded in 1995 by Cambodia Action, a UK-based NGO working to relieve poverty and promote the Christian faith, and employed Cambodian young people who had been working in a Refugee Camp in Thailand. Rajana continued to develop, both as a quality retailer and supporter of sustainable livelihoods, and In 2002 Cambodia Action and Rajana cooperatively sought to reshape Rajana as an independent Cambodian run non-profit social enterprise. In 2003 the Cambodian Government granted Rajana the right to be a “local association,” completely Cambodian-run and independent of Cambodia Action. Since that time Rajana has expanded its retail presence into Siem Reap, vastly developed its product line, and moved beyond the “small business barriers” to become a significant producer, retailer, and exporter of fair-trade crafts.