Hand embroidery, an ancient art form, is practiced by a handful of artists today. Akali Swu from Nagaland is one of the few artists who continue to work with needle and thread to create beautiful pieces. It all began in 2017 as a hobby and after receiving positive feedback, the orders began to flow in. Hence, “Li-Mheghi” came into form and since then, she has been running this venture single-handedly.
We had a quick chat with Akali Swu, an entrepreneur from Nagaland to talk about her venture, “Li-Mheghi” which deals in DIY seasonal gift items, hand embroidery pieces, etc.
Hi Akali, please introduce a little about yourself.
Hello! I am Akali Swu, a resident of Kohima, Nagaland and I am an entrepreneur who deals with DIY seasonal gift baskets. I run a small business called, “Li-Mheghi” where I take custom orders to embroider. Li-Mheghi in Sumi dialect means “A girl’s treasure”.
What inspired to start your venture, “Li-Mheghi”?
I started my venture ‘Li-Mheghi’ in the year 2017. Initially, it was just a hobby where I took custom orders from family and friends. The orders I made were well received and I started getting more orders from wider audiences. So, in order to create a space where people could find my work, I started a page on Instagram and it has led to me to ‘Li-Mheghi’.
Beautifully hand embroidered piece of three ladies by Akali Swu
Hand embroidery of a bird cage in a hoop frame by Akali Swu
Akali’s some of her amazing DIY embroidery pieces
Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Yes, I have always wanted to be an entrepreneur. It was my dream to have a business of my own after I finished graduation.
What are the challenges that you face while running your venture?
The hardest challenge was to convince my parents about my passion – that business was what I wanted to pursue. They were concerned about my financial stability and wanted me to secure a government job. But eventually, they realized that business was what I was really passionate about and they have been very supportive me till date. I have learnt through my journey so far that one should always pursue their passion.
Hand embroidery of a Sumi (naga-tribe) couple| by Akali Swu
Beautiful Embroidery on a tote bag by Akali Swu
Some of the many embroidery collections of Akali Swu
Please leave some details about your products.
The products that I sell are all custom embroidered hoop frames, totes, pouches, headband, handkerchief, etc.