All posts filed under: ENTREPRENEUR

Discover passionate entrepreneurs and read their stories

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Dili Khekho of D’Cafe, Kohima | Coffee Lover and Biker turned Cafe Owner

Biker and adventure seeker, Dili Khekho is now busy running his own cafe -D’Cafe in Kohima. The coffeephile was trained under the Americans at Bodh Gaya. Having acquired the knowledge about the popular umber beverage, he decided to start a cafe that served the drink while making the customers lounge on bean bags with the crisp aftertaste (finish) of the crema lingering on their tongue. Hi Dili, tell us how a biker who’s travelled around comes to open a cafe – in a place like Kohima? Whenever anyone uses the word, biker, it’s evident that he/she is someone who enjoys moving from one place to another but also finding pit stops for food and drinks. These pit stops are essential to refuel, regenerate and refresh. What better beverage to refuel your mind and body than a dose of caffeine? D’Cafe is more than your refueling point, it is your temporary home. Most customers who visit the cafe, always tell me that the cafe is “A place like home.” And how did it all fall into …

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Sustainable Fashion from Meghalaya | Meet Iba Mallai of KINIHO Clothing

Scudding through the abode of clouds, comes Iba Mallai and her line of clothing, Kiniho- sown in tradition and sewed in heritage, the fabrics are a manifestation of earth and art, of passion and fashion but most importantly, of roots and responsibility. Born to a middle class family in Diwon, Meghalaya, Iba, a fashion enthusiast is a serious and a driven entrepreneur. As she labours to get her label going, she hasn’t forgotten that the only push ahead, comes with strengthening community development. Hi Iba! Tell us something about yourself My name is Iba Mallai. I graduated in BBM and completed my Fashion designing course from JD Institute of Fashion and Technology Bangalore. I am constantly enamoured by exquisite colours, traditions and art forms. My deep rooted love for nature and growing up in a community that weaves and dyes their own fabrics has triggered me to re define that Fashion is not only about wearing trendy clothes but also wearing responsibility in the heart. Responsibility to preserve our heritage and basic ethics of sustainable responsibility. …

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Sipping on Childhood Dreams | Meet the Founder of Dweller Teas – Eli Yambem

Fresh, dynamic and young Eli Yambem brings us a story not very different from other young entrepreneurs of today.  Yambem was living the good life being a financial analyst at multinational firms in thriving cities like London and Singapore. But, a few years ago, Yambem had an epiphany.  And that’s where her story gets unique. Eli found the disconnect of staying away from her family and her home exhausting. But when she did begin looking for opportunities to move back home, she found there were none. Instead of sitting back and lamenting about it, Yambem took charge of the moment and asked herself, “Can I do something about it?” “I was born in Imphal (Manipur) and left home at the age of 12 for education. Fourteen years later, I decided to come back to live close to my family and work on Dweller full-time. Prior to this, I spent three years in London and Singapore, working as a Financial analyst and auditor respectively.” Inspired by the pure nature and culture around which she grew up, Yambem …

Shoe Designer – Kaka Sumi, Tells us the Story Behind his New Collection

  Artist discovery is indeed a self fulfilling journey. Each one of them has their own unique and fascinating story to share – and that is what makes their art special. The craft may not be new, but the artists’ journey is their own. So it is always exciting to get to know them, and share their story. We recently met up with Kaka Sumi – a shoe designer from Nagaland, who just launched his new collection of men’s sandals (available at Roots & Leisure Marketplace. Details below). We had a chat about what makes him so passionate about shoes, and of course – his new collection.   Hi Kaka! We love what you are wearing – especially your sandals! Tell us a little bit about yourself.  Hey thank you! These are Kaka Sumi sandals 🙂 So glad to be having this conversation with the R&L team. Ok as an introduction, I am a 28-year-old shoe designer who has had a lifelong obsession with beautiful things – especially shoes. I have just launched my own brand …

A Quick Chat with Aienla Jamir, Founder of Rustique Edge – Your Vintage Craft Heaven

Meet artist and entrepreneur Aien Jamir from the beautiful hills of Nagaland. She is the founder and co-ordinator of the production house, Tinted Light Studio and also the owner of Rustique Edge.  Tell us about your venture, Rustique Edge. Well, we make customized handmade products  – across home decor items, bridal accessories, gift items, leather crafts, precious gemstones jewelry, and traditional Naga gears. It’s something very close to my heart, as I have always enjoyed collecting, and taking inspirations from vintage items – be it clothes, crafts, home decor etc. So when I finally decided to start my own venture, it had to be around an activity that I love doing. So I picked vintage and crafts, both of which has kept me occupied and inspired throughout my life. Sneak peek of Rustique Edge decor. #crystals #crates #rusticwedding #rusticdecor #localbrand #nagaland A post shared by Rustique Edge (@rustique_edge) on Dec 9, 2016 at 11:24am PST    How has your upbringing (your roots) influenced your work? I have always been inspired by my mom, who is an artist – …

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Happiness and Health in a Loaf of Bread | Meet the Couple Behind Craft Bread, Bangkok

  Haven’t we all heard the saying: big cities harbour bigger dreams? So then, what made this couple set up a beautiful bakery in a tiny village about 30 kms away from Thailand’s biggest business hub, Bangkok? We’ll let Angsumarin Lauruengtana ( age 35 ) and Nikorn Sripongwarakul ( age 35 ), founders of The Craft Bread, speak for themselves. Tell us how it all began : how you met, and how you guys started Craft Bread. Angsumarin : We met at Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand, where we both majored in Film and Photography. After we graduated, Nikorn worked in the film industry  as director of photography, and I joined the airline industry as a flight attendant. We were friends for many years before we became lovers, and we finally got married in 2010. My husband Nikorn, later joined me to build ‘Craft Bread’ together. It all started when we began making bread with our own hands. We enjoyed the learning process and got better at it, loaf by loaf. Like all handcrafted products, we think that making good …

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Meet 21-Year old Co-founder of Cafe Bae, Nagaland | Talikumla Aier

Sometimes amid writing tales of ingenious entrepreneurship, we find a gem that rocks our perspectives about life. Today we feature a quaint little cafe at Dimapur called Cafe Bae, whose story is unique because it has both the elements. Cafe Bae’s story begins with a friendship between two little girls in a small Naga town and goes on to stand as a testimony of everything that they achieved as twenty-year-old businesswomen. Meet Talikumla Aier, co-founder of Cafe Bae, as she takes us through her journey as a young entrepreneur at 21. What made you think of owning a cafe business at such a young age? My co-founder, Late Anushri Jain and I had been best friends since Class 6. We grew up together and basically spent most of the time in each other’s company.  As youngsters, we realized that Dimapur didn’t have many spaces where one could hangout without burning a hole through their pockets. And if you manage to find such a spot, it generally doesn’t have the quirky decor that could draw one’s attention.  So, we decided …

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Lady Behind ChanChalee’s Embroidered Crafts | Natchalee Kongcharoen from Thailand

Our foray into discovering Thai entrepreneurs never ceases to amaze us. From innovative cafe owners to passionate bakers, and even baristas making a big difference in their local communities, we have just scratched the surface. Every new story tells us something more about the Thai brand of resilience and patience. Today, we bring a new face into the mix. Meet designer Natchalee Kongcharoen, who is the founder and designer of ChanChalee. What is ChanChalee all about? ChanChalee was founded in 2016 as a clothing store.  At present, I am a graphic designer by profession. My work on ChanChalee works as a secondary source of income. But it’s my primary source of inspiration in life. I am also inspired by natural fiber fabrics. Most of my design ideas come from just touching the natural fabric and thinking about the kind of embroidery that will look the prettiest on it. It also feels good to adopt a clothing material that has been manufactured in an environmentally conscious way. “I am also inspired by natural fiber fabrics. Most …

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Limhathung from Nagaland – Founder of Baafoon, Talks About His New Venture.

“Hi! My name is Limha and I am the father of Baafoon. I am a designer/artist by day and sleeping by night. I am in my early twenties, finished my studies and now work time for Baafoon. Now I am Baafoon.” Meet Limhathung from Nagaland, a young artist /graphic designer, turned entrepreneur. He is the founder of Baafoon – an online store that sells the geekiest, coolest and most kawaii (cute) products. When and why did you decide to start a venture of your own After barely finishing my studies in animation film design (I failed in most of the subjects), I found myself being bored and broke most of the time. I was not happy with who I was turning out to be. So, I started using the internet more often and decided to put it to good use. Then I got to know about some really successful entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, Mark Cuban, Jack Ma, Binny Bansal and others who inspired me to start my own venture.   I started out by living …

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Sustainable Fashion is the New Cool | Meet the Indo-French Duo Behind ‘Indigenous Industries’

Fast fashion fatigue is the new buzzword; and so is global warming as the apparel industry has an alarmingly high carbon footprint. And that’s why, more people are getting into responsible and sustainable practices of manufacturing textiles. Today we have one such company called ‘Indigenous Industries’, co-founded by an Indo-French duo. Here is an excerpt from a brief chat with co-founder Vincent Decléty. Vincent Decléty, a French expat joined hands with Aadil Ansari from Ahmedabad to start ‘Indigenous Industries’ with the aim to promote natural dyers and textile craftsmen – and in the process make sustainable garment manufacturing a reality. Vincent inspecting the freshly dyed Khadi fabrics | Indigenous Industries Vincent, tell us what Indigenous Industries is all about? My business partner Aadil, from Ahmedabad and I (from France) have been designing textile, manufacturing it, dyeing it, and either selling the end fabrics, or manufacturing garments for other brands or our own Indigenous Industries. We pride ourselves on the quality of our dyes and the originality of our fabrics. Today, we manufacture for brands from India as well as from …