We're more than halfway through December and the festive vibe can surely be felt in the air. With Christmas and New Year's coming up, Friday has come up with a list of amazing locally made, unique gift ideas to pamper and shower love on your family and friends.
In Kathmandu, where fashion brands come and go all the time, one has been in the limelight for the last year. With the inspiration of not being afraid of expressing yourself, Broché came into being as a way of assembling fabrics into timeless fashion - a means of self-expression and creativity. "Driven by passion and determination, Broché creates clothes for both men and women that are canvases of expression and give consumers the ability to be themselves, feel good and stand out from the crowd," explains Binay Gurung, Business Advisor of Broché. They produce clothes with much love and care, with teams involved in the best fabric selection and providing a high quality assurance. Currently you can find Broché on Instagram and also at their store located at Chhaya Center, Thamel.
With over 20 years’ experience in the shoemaking business, Caliber Shoes rebranded itself with the vision of crafting design and comfort in footwear, stirring domestic production and manufacturing. With 6 months warranty and high-quality materials providing a high level of durability and aesthetics, Caliber Shoes is up to date with new trends and is always striving to meet the many needs of its customers. Aman Gautam, Director at Caliber Shoes says, “We had a plan of opening 25 outlets in a time frame of five years from when the brand was established, but with our dedication and love from our customers, we completed that target just in 3 years’ time which is something to be proud of.” The brand has in fact opened its outlet in Malaysia as well, which is literally taking our country’s name internationally and proving that Nepali brands can do wonders. Caliber brings you an exclusive collection of functional and fashionable shoes including sports shoes, casual footwear, formal shoes, boots and much more. Wearing these will notch up your style quotient—staying cool and confident with the pride of owning a local made product at the same time.
In 2014, HattiHatti founders, Swedish couple David Geiser and Charlotte Mellkvit, came to Nepal and saw the necessity to help Nepali women and girls. At the time, they sold Swedish chocolate balls in farmers’ markets and raised money to support one girl. When looking for more sustainable approaches, they found out that saree fabrics are easily available in Nepal. Thus, HattiHatti was established; they collected old sarees and trained young women to upcycle them into beautiful products: teaching both sustainability and tailoring. HattiHatti's products are not only empowering women, they are also beautifully refashioned clothes and accessories such as kimonos, ties, pants, dresses, headbands, and others. Their products can be ordered through social media or bought directly from The Local Project Nepal at Jhamsikhel and Le Sherpa and Timro Concept Store at Bakhundole.
Lakhey Nepal was born out of love for Nepal and a passion for fashion designing. After graduating from IEC college of arts and fashion and gaining experiences in the field of Nepali handicrafts and fabrics, Erina Shrestha started Lakhey Nepal, a womenswear brand made in Nepal. "What makes us unique is that we produce our fashion line from scratch - from fabric making to designing,” explains Erina. Currently focused on womenswear, their ready-to-wear collection includes everything from overcoats, pants, shirts, skirts and much more. With their official outlet in New Road, they also do business through Instagram. Erina, who's also working on launching a menswear collection called Lakhey Men, says, "Buying from a small business is equivalent to supporting a dream of designers, fabric makers and everyone else involved in this venture of producing high quality clothes that leaves you feeling proud of supporting a Nepali brand and the whole country.“
Coming from a tech background, Suraj Raj Pandey, Chief Executive Officer of Fibro, originally had no intention of getting into the apparel business. But after exploring the Nepali manufacturing industry, he learned about manufacturers based in Kathmandu to work together; these were hubs that once produced apparel for world-renowned brands and still had the capacity to do so. Fibro mainly works in the untapped area of smart casual segment. Suraj adds, "Our designs are locally inspired and the price range compared to the quality of the product is reasonable." This online business started off with waterproof, wind resistant winter jackets last year, and now has a line of unisex jackets, men’s chinos, polos, and unisex sweatshirts. When asked why people should buy local, Suraj says "I wouldn’t recommend people to just buy from Fibro but to purchase local wherever possible, because the capital stays inside the country. A stronger local economy means stronger you, I and everyone economically."
A group of friends already working in the fields of architecture, interior design and furniture making decided to create a design studio and workshop where they could all work together. "The goal was to combine metal work and carpentry along with a proper design studio, allowing us to design and make fine and exclusive products for the Nepali market.", says Niraj Joshi, co-founder of Metalwood Nepal. As you might have guessed from its name, products are made with a combination of metal and wood, and everything is made by hand with local materials, done to perfection despite their simple and sleek designs. Since Metalwood doesn't have large stocks the brand takes orders and been producing furniture like dining tables, desks, coffee tables, chairs, and sofas, to name just a few along, with custom-made kitchen cabinets, wardrobes, shelves and much more. Their home accessories in copper and brass which include pendant lights, table lamps, and flower pots are also popular with customers. The products from their line of furniture can be seen on their website and Instagram page, with a few of their accessories being sold in the outlets of Local Project Nepal in Jhamsikhel and Lazimpat.
After more than a decade of living abroad, Rabi Malla, the force behind Kolpa Nepal, came back the in hope of giving back to the community. With his interest in Nepali products and the amazing skilled local workers, he decided to look further into the core of the local craft industry and found it to be quite vast. Kolpa Nepal is currently located in Jhamsikhel and is the hub giving the right value and exposure to the unexplored crafting community of Nepal. The young entrepreneur started Kolpa Nepal about five years ago with their signature totebags sporting creative prints such as the bald eagle, ampersand, @ symbol, and penny farthing. Now, Kolpa Nepal is growing steadily with hundreds of unique and authentic Nepali handicrafts showcased in their outlet such as camera straps, leather wallets, MacBook covers, nettle market bags, backpacks, placemats, baskets, seating stools, sukul, lamps and much more: all made with the raw materials of Nepal by local people from all around the country and also suitable for modern living.