DIY : every D.I.Y lover’s paradise! – Nepal Entrepreneurs’ Hub – Medium
With the ‘Do It Yourself’ (D.I.Y) culture on the rise, the search for proper arts and crafts supplies can go on and on. Especially in a country like Nepal where arts and crafts supplies aren’t easily available, many are bound to chafe against the annoyance of not finding the required materials to create their masterpiece. Shahishnuta Singh, an entrepreneur and also an arts and crafts buff, recognized this problem and opened the first and only D.I.Y shop in Nepal- ‘Rowshie’.
Singh says that never had she thought that out of all things, she would open an arts and crafts supplies store. After getting a degree in marketing and visual arts from the US, she came back to Nepal. Even though her sojourn at the land of dreams lasted for about eight years, she always knew in her heart that she wanted to do something in her own country. Also having come from a family of a business background, she wanted to do something in this sector only but didn’t know what exactly she would do. Having always had a love for arts and crafts, the D.I.Y culture was always intriguing for her. But she realised that the materials weren’t as easily available here like in the US. She thought it was high time someone brought a vicissitude in this situation. With a lot of deliberation and research, she decided to address this problem and make sure arts and crafts supplies were accessible to the people.
The recently opened store offers a wide range of products to its customers. From basic craft supplies to baking supplies to decorative items, it has it all. Not only has Rowshie made it easier from craft junkies to get what they want, it has also made many window shoppers’ time worthy- perusing through these pretty items has definitely made many people get their hands dirty and get into arts and crafts.
The understanding of the concept of the D.I.Y culture and the love for arts and crafts is more palpable among the present generation than the previous ones. Many still consider arts and crafts insignificant and not the best field to start a business in. Singh says it was the same with some of her family members as well. Though she always has had their support, she says they were quite doubtful about the how the business would turn out. The emerging and not fully developed D.I.Y culture and the uncertain roads of entrepreneurship can justify them having second thoughts. It was also because they already had successful businesses in full-of-scope areas whereas arts and crafts didn’t seem very promising.
“But I was always ready to take risks,” says Singh. With so much passion and dedication within her, she was fearless to embrace the uncertainty. She says, “The challenges are there but the smiles on people’s faces when they get what they want keeps me going.”
Patriarchy still prevailing in the societies of Nepal, Singh feels empowered by being one of the women entrepreneurs in the emerging entrepreneurial ecosystem. Though things are definitely not the same as before, there are still a lot of vicissitudes yet to be seen in terms of gender inequality. Singh says that the notion of arts and crafts being majorly associated with only the female gender is very orthodox and needs to change. “Arts and crafts are for everybody,” she says. Having recently been married, Singh has a share of new responsibilities on her shoulders. Due to that, time management has become quite a task for her. However, she is very thankful to have a very supportive husband and the in-laws as well.
When asked about her vision of Rowshie in the years to come, Singh says that
she definitely wants her company to grow. She wants her store to have different branches inside the valley and outside as well. She is extremely optimistic about her store’s future and is very happy to be doing what she loves doing.
For the ones taking baby steps in the roads of entrepreneurship, she says that you shouldn’t be afraid to dream big. It’s okay if others don’t think the same about your idea, your belief in it is all that matters. She also says that it’d be foolish to think that success will happen overnight. Unless and until you’re sedulous in your work, you won’t reach where you want to be.