Q and A with Nancy Johnston, Founder of House of Tengri

by Apr 25, 2023

What do you love most about the brand you have created? 

Connecting customers of House of Tengri directly with the nomadic families, animals and environment from which our products are derived from. 

Have you always wanted to work in this industry?

No, I never thought my professional training as a social worker campaigning for environmental and social justice would bring me into luxury fashion and textiles.

What are you most proud of? 

I’m proud to have built a global community that spans East to West, creating ‘The Tengri Way’ as a new and regenerative paradigm to create the change I’d like to see in the industry

What advice would you give to someone keen to start their own business but unsure where to begin?

Begin with knowing yourself deeply. There are a gazillion ways of starting a business and it’s best to start with you and your why, which will define how you begin.

Who is one of your biggest inspirations – either professionally or personally?

My parents.

As immigrant refugees fleeing war, settling in a new country. To witness grace, resilience and compassion in handling life’s challenges is something I’m grateful for and inspired by every day.

If you could attribute your success to anyone who gave you your big break?

The herder community for putting their trust in me on my first visit to Mongolia back in 2013. Also my customers – a tribe that support the Tengri manifesto, notably my first customer who fell in love with our vision from across the Atlantic and also became our first investor.”

What’s the hardest thing about your job?

Understanding everything about running a business, in addition to understanding global and local geopolitical forces which affect my supply chain.

Which part of your job do you most enjoy?

I love learning from different indigenous communities about their culture, ancient customs and unique way of life.

Do you find it easy to balance work and play?

Yes, I’ve successfully designed my work to be a manifestation of my play!

About Emily Eaves

Co Founder and Editor at To Work or Play, Emily has been Freelance Copywriting for over 10 years. She is passionate about food, drink, travel, design and finding ways to keep her two children out of trouble.

With a background in Luxury Restaurant and Hotel PR, Emily moved from London to Dorset in 2019. She now spends weekends at the beach and daydreams about her vegetable garden.