Made in Nepal
On the well-lit shelves of The Local Project, Timro Concept Store or Alchi Ko Pasal, shoppers encounter tastefully arranged rows of bags, clothes, games, jewellery and stationery designed and created by Nepali artisans.
All these items have in common that they are minimalist, refined and chic. Many incorporate traditional Nepali themes into contemporary uses, taking Nepali handicrafts beyond their familiar forms. The social media posts of the companies that produce them show the products in action, creatively place them in everyday situations, and use them as a platform to promote a larger idea. This week, Nepali Times profiles some of these elegant new brands.
Double Ribbed Woolen Hat(Lumu Wear)
Gone are the days when wool was scratchy. Lumu Wear’s beanies, scarves and mittens are delightfully soft. Woven in sheep’s wool and lined with warm fleece, the Double-Ribbed Woolen Hat is available in an array of colours. Lumu Wear’s latest ‘Love is Love’ campaign featured straight, interethnic, inter-caste and LGBTQI+ couples and friends wearing their products while in an embrace or gazing at each other -- warmed by their love and the knitwear.
A pity that winter is nearly over.
Available in: ash gray, brick brown, leaf green, midnight black,
mustard yellow, muted beige, olive green, teal blue
Makara USB (Allaré)
Traditional Nepali iconography meets the digital age in Allaré’s Makara USB. The makar is a half-terrestrial, half-aquatic creature that is the vehicle of the water god Varuna and a guardian of gateways in Newa and other South Asian cultures. It features prominently in Kathmandu Valley’s traditional devotional art forms, including on stone water-spouts and Rato Machhendranath’s chariot. Allaré has engraved a makar on the wood that houses its USB.
Specifications: 16GB, 3.0 USB
Dhampus Backpack (Yatri Supply)
Dhampus 13L is a go-to backpack for city dwellers and spontaneous adventurers. It is lightweight and waterproof and it offers multiple spacious pockets. The smaller front pocket is easily accessible and the perfect place to keep your frequently used items; the larger pocket has a compartment to fit a 14” laptop and slots to keep your knick knacks organised.
Colours: Grey, Space Black
Cold-Pressed Juice (Nochini)
Instead of guzzling sugary, additive-filled canned or boxed juices, try Nochini’s healthier, sugar-free and preservative-free cold-pressed ones. They come in 13 different fruit and vegetable combinations, including the Hydrator (watermelon and chia seed), Beet It (beet and apple), and Revitalise (carrot, cucumber and pomegranate). When the company started in 2018, the juices came in glass bottles, but they were later sold in BPA-free plastic. Now the customer-favourite 250-ml glass bottles are back, so you can drink Nochini without worrying about creating a lot of plastic pollution.
Nochini also offers a one- to three-day juice cleanse that comes with detailed instructions. Also try their yogurt-based smoothies, which will energize you for the day. If you'd like, Nochini will even create a dairy-free option for you. The company will soon be launching +977wtr, a line of bottled water, and The Juice Wala, a more affordable version of its flagship cold-pressed juices.
Price: Rs300 per bottle
Juice Cleanse: Rs1800 (one day/three juices), Rs3600 (two days/12 juices), Rs5400(three days/18 juices)
READ ALSO: Upscaling Upcycling by Sanghamitra Subba
Kala Kathmandu’s minimalistic animal-shaped planters provide a cute home for small plants and succulents. The ceramic planters come in the form of beige-and-brown cats, tan capybaras, tan-and-grey elephants, and beige-and-white sheep. The company also sells a beautiful, earth-inspired espresso tea set, colourful vases and contemporary wall-clocks.
Payoo (Kazi Play)
Payoo, Kazi Play’s latest card game, tests customers’ reflexes and knowledge of Nepal’s endangered animal species. Suitable for players of any age, Payoo is a great way to learn about wildlife while enjoying some friendly competition. It consists of 57 cards with colourful
illustrations of animals like the Bengal tiger and the Himalyan tahr, and players must find the match between their card and the card on deck. Kazi Play also has board games like Samrajya, which takes players on the journey of Prithvi Narayan Shah’s conquest of Kathmandu Valley, or Bhatti, a fun drinking game that can be an extension to Samrajya.
READ ALSO: Arniko's skateboards, Paavan Mathema
Earrings (Sí by Sichu Khairgoli)
Sí presents bold, minimalist, and geometrical handcrafted silver jewellery. These earrings are a favourite of designer Sichu Khairgoli, who sees them as embodying the refined simplicity and contemporary nature of the brand. All jewellery is made with genuine silver and semi-precious and precious gems from Nepal, India and Thailand. Khairgoli also custom-designs jewellery.
Price Range: Rs2,000-Rs15,000
Skateboard decks (Arniko)
Arniko’s sleek, modern and carved decks are not just skateboards, but works of art. Kathmandu Valley artisans intricately engrave the Indian Apple and Eucalyptus finish of the Canadian maplewood boards. You can opt for the standard geometrical designs with Arniko insignia or ask for custom work. Arniko also makes trendy apparel, bags and furniture.
Price Range: Rs4,000-9000
Variations: Pointed, Curved
Premium Dark Chocolate Mustang Apples and Roasted Pistachios (Nana’s Delight)
Nana’s Delight’s Mustang Apples and Roasted Pistachios variety is the first of its new Premium Dark Chocolate line. While the cacao is imported from the Philippines and India, the Mustang apples are from Jumla and the nuts from around Nepal. The apples add a sweet, tangy bite and the roasted pistachios give a pleasing crunch to the 70% dark chocolate bar.
Price: Rs90 (small)/ Rs450 (large)