Mohita Bhimsaria from Lilsherpa-House of Craft, born and raised in Nepal, always dreamt of being an entrepreneur. After completing her Bachelor's in Business Management from Bangalore, she pursued Jewelry Designing and Diamond Grading at the International Gemological Institute, Mumbai. She then worked as a jewelry designer in a jewelry manufacturing company called Fabjewels and was mentored by one of India's leading designers, Divya Batra Das, for five years. She gained vast knowledge and wisdom through Das’s guidance about the industry and was able to understand different metals, pricing, designs and the need to understand the market through preferences.
Her brother Yugam and Mohita started Lilsherpa-House of Craft in 2018 in Bangalore to spread beautiful products that are handcrafted in Nepal. They started experimenting with the market and soon decided to launch the jewelry in their home country Nepal. A holistic approach to personal adornments designed and inspired by art, culture and nature, Lilsherpa- House of Craft presents a collection made by local artisans using sensible design and a variety of materials.
Mohita says, “Being born in the land of the Himalayas, I have always been close to nature, and the amalgamation of thoughts has finally boosted my creativity and inspiration. My designs are inspired by the beautiful streets of my home country, where love meets positivity. The local artisans have played a significant role in shaping my dream, and I owe them this journey that I have begun.”
THE DESIGNER GIVES FIVE TIPS THAT ARE IMPORTANT FOR A BRAND TO STAND OUT IN THE MARKET:
1 USP of your product To start a jewelry business, you need to know the USP of your brand. It's a vast industry, and sometimes being sure which space you don't want to be involved in is also critical. Lilsherpa's Jewelry collection is a couture that can enhance your everyday look and help you style with minimal and subtle characteristics.
Keep yourself updated about your industry. I have made it a point to understand the business, market fluctuation price ranges, different jewelry brands and perspectives, exciting ideologies and trends, people's tastes, and also keeping an eye on what the actors are wearing; which brand and at which event. I feel it should be there at the tip of your tongue.
2 While designing my first collection,I was very well informed about other design houses having a specific style and wanted to have a completely different outlook for my own. Our first collection "Brahmand Collection" was inspired by the celestial bodies in our national flag. You should keep yourself aware of being your unique self and staying close to your originality and brand.
3 Consistency and patience are two essential characteristics one should develop to keep your business intact and going. Every company goes through different phases, and you need to relax to go through all of it with a positive mentality. Lilsherpa is continuously growing, and there is a lot of work that goes into it. We have a small team, and we are growing slowly and steadily to reach our goal. I believe every good thing takes time to bloom, and hopefully, we will see Lilsherpa get to that stage soon in my lifetime.
4 One should always be ready to learn new skills. Sometimes you won't have enough time or money to complete a task. When we started Lilsherpa, my brother and I used to do photography, catalogues, articles, web designing, accounting, packaging etc. There’s a lot of work that goes into bringing a small business into the market and building contacts. One should not get overwhelmed and should go on completing the task and organizing for the day to get ahead.
5 For businesses today digital marketing is vital. Facebook and Instagram have taken the online business to new heights, and maintaining your presence in this space will help you reach a larger clientele. I have done many courses and will continue to do more, so that I can understand trends and also follow them to increase my reach. A marketing standard you have to and should maintain so that your audience stays interested and you form a strong and long lasting relationship.
Skills needed in your role as a jewelry designer?
A basic knowledge, in my opinion, a designer should have is an idea about perfect shapes, aesthetics, precision on sizes and a pretty good clarity on CAD and 2D drawing software. Your inspiration and goal will change as you go through the process, but your end goal should be clear to get the exact combination. It takes plenty of experience to reach that stage, and I feel with time, I want to get even better at it.
What is your typical day at the office?
I have a small team, and every day is like a lot of work. Since my entire sale is based online, much of my work goes into maintaining stock and deriving sales through Shopify using various plugins and social media channels. I am always on the go to learn new things for the business to grow. Some days I fully engross myself in making a new collection, and some days are spent in perfecting them with the artisans, discussing all day long. All the jewelry that I have designed for Lilsherpa are chic and minimal, which automatically speaks about your personality. Since I am very hyper in general, I have a lot running in my mind even though I have allotted work and I know things are working smoothly. There are days when I have many discussions regarding numbers with my father, trying to understand how to do what and how to decide on accounting methods.
?What do you love about your job?
I love everything about what I do. I have always wanted to start something of my own, and today I have realized that a lot goes into making a brand. Each day is a new learning experience, and I take it very positively. Since childhood, I have seen my father work on his terms, and I always wanted that for myself. My parents have always encouraged me to be where I am today and support me in whatever way they can. When you are starting something, you also need to know that patience and hard work are the only way you can reach the top, and nothing comes easy in life. I have been in this field since 2015, and every day is a new challenge that I love to face and solve. Also, let me tell you one thing; since the time I started Lilsherpa, I have learnt so many new skills, it's so exhilarating.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I am a joyful person, and seeing things from a perspective is the key. I live in a country surrounded by lush mountains in Nepal, a multi-cultural country with a beautiful history and heritage, and my inspiration is my home. I also love travelling to countries with beautiful history and views to get a fresh breeze of ideas. I try to bring a straightforward yet different outlook to my designs, and every piece has a story.
What are some of the current jewelry trends?
I feel that trends keep changing every year, and lately, people are more drawn towards chunky and statement pieces with beautiful color combinations. I don't generally follow an inevitable trend but keep myself updated. I like to know what's happening around me, so I stay aware and keep myself focused on what I don't want to do. Jewelry is a vast market, and to get lost in their beauty is very, very easy. it is difficult to come out of that glamor, and still think of doing something unique by staying very simple.