Let’s talk about mountain goats

Let’s talk about mountain goats

There’s a lot of things we could talk about today, but let’s talk about mountain goats.

No, not The Mountain Goats, though teenaged me wouldn’t stop talking about them.

But these mountain goats.

The Chyangra Goat, a hairy mountain goat from the Himalayas who just so happens to produce the world’s most expensive cashmere wool.

And that goat, for the tiny amount of wool that each one produces, helps support rural communities throughout the Himalayas with the Chyangra Pashmina brand.

But to go beyond exporting a product that has international renown means bringing that renown back to the community that product comes from.

The next step – and it’s a step we’ve been working on this week – is thinking about how to bring that attention in a way that supports said community. 

How do you create something so irresistible that people can’t stop talking about it… and actually go to see it?

To me, there seems to be four parts to that story.

First, you have to write the story. Get it down on paper. That helps with documentaries like this one

Next, you have to share the story. Get nerds with email letters to share what you’re doing.

Then comes selling the story. You need people to buy it (hello, tourists), and people to buy it from (hello, organizations and locals and tour guides). 

Then comes the fun part.

Then we get to live the story.

Because when that transaction happens (When Tourist Meets Tour, my favorite Billy Crystal movie), then that story gets lived out. Tourists can live it with this charmer and their support helps rural communities also continue to live it as well. 

But right now, there’s not an easy way to visit these goats.

And so their story remains a story to tell and to share as rural communities, organizations and local governments develop ways to connect tours and tourists, the storytellers with their audience.

And it may take some time to work on that story, given what’s going on in the world.

So take that time, figure out the story you’re telling, and then you’ll find a way to get it out there.

Because it doesn’t take much for that story to break out, to get passed around, and to become real. 

Of course, it takes setting up some systems. It takes dividing up the work. And it takes convincing people to come (which is certainly easier with a face like this), but it’s not everything. 

It’s not automatic.  

It takes a good story.

And it takes the right people to tell it.

About the author

Alex Jeffries is the founder of Passport Creative. An award-winning producer and writer, he is now dedicated to tourism communication and development. He is based in Paris, France.