Located in the heart of Kohima town in Nagaland, Soren Odyuo is a craft maker whose work embodies the sentiment that “local is lovely”. Each handcrafted item on display in her shop encourages viewers to slow down for a moment, to look, to touch, and to listen. Her handmade crafts celebrate the colorful and exuberant aspects of life and serve as a reminder that a hobby can be both joyful and productive.
Soren shares that she started “Handmade By Soren” when friends and family encouraged her to make something worthwhile out of her remarkable gift for transforming ordinary materials into works of beauty.
“Every piece of craft in my store is unique and made by hand with love.” ~ Soren of ‘Handmade by Soren’
R&L: As an interior designer with a passion for creating beautiful handmade crafts, how do you manage to balance these two full-time jobs?
Soren: Yes, managing two full-time jobs can be challenging, but I enjoy both of them immensely. I work as an interior designer with Zynorique Consultants, an architectural firm based in Kohima. Being in the creative field, my hobby of creating beautiful handmade crafts is a natural extension of my work.
“I am passionate about all forms of crafting, from embroidery, crochet, and paper crafting, to my newest obsession, decoupage, which involves decorating an object by gluing colored paper cutouts onto it in combination with special paint effects. I have loved making handmade art since my school days, and I still remember how important it was for me to always score an ‘A’ in S.U.P.W. (Socially Useful Productive Work) 😊”
Coaster set handmade using decoupage by ‘Handmade by Soren’
R&L: What inspired you to take up crafting seriously?
Soren: My mother was undoubtedly my biggest inspiration for taking up crafting seriously. Despite having her right hand permanently paralyzed, she used to sew and stitch beautifully while also working full-time. She was an incredible designer, and I have the utmost admiration for her work ethic, dedication, and creativity. Her ‘Never Give Up’ attitude inspired me to do my best and pursue my passion for crafting.
R&L: Can you tell us more about the products you make, and where can people purchase them?
Soren: I have focused on creating a wide variety of handmade products that range from paper crafts to jewelry boxes and magazine racks, and they are reasonably priced at a maximum of INR 2000. I also take up orders for hampers on occasions like birthdays, Mother’s Day, weddings, Christmas, etc.
My products are available at Corner Space, located at Jail Colony in Kohima, and The Urban Rust, located at Duncan in Dimapur.
- R&L: What are your plans for the future?
Soren: Right now, I’m working on a prototype for a non-toxic box that can be used to store edible items. This idea struck me after I went to the Maker’s Market and saw many local entrepreneurs showcasing amazing food products, sourced and made locally in Nagaland. I want to promote their products and encourage them by providing cute boxes to package their food items into Christmas hampers.
Even while freelancing for interior design projects, I always look for local workers. Times are changing now, and the new generation of Nagas is evolving into an enterprising and hardworking lot. So, we should all aim to support each other and promote local talent.
“I really appreciate Roots and Leisure and would like to thank you guys for providing a fantastic platform to help local creators showcase their work and connect with a wider audience. It’s important to have such platforms that promote local talent and encourage the growth of the creative industry in Nagaland.”
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