When I’m talking to fellow female business owners, whatever industry that may be in, it’s always interesting to hear how they started on the path they’re on, and how they built their business from scratch.
One such woman is Sharon Shi, founder of Nepalese artisan brand Chaccra, who I met (virtually, albeit) recently. Launching the brand only last year, Chaccra is still very much in the infancy stage of inception if you compare to the big names in interiors but is already making waves with its quality craftsmanship and signature Himalayan style.
I was excited to discover more about the artisan homeware brand and how this entrepreneur took a step back from her career in the tech industry to turn a pipedream into a reality.
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk about establishing Chaccra and what shoppers can expect. Let’s start with the decision behind the launch?
My very first independent trip to Nepal was 10 years ago. I was very impressed by its richness of culture and the warmth in its people. I went there again in 2016 volunteering. That trip put the thoughts into my head: what is a sustainable way to help with the local community and development? And how could that partner with my passion for design and decor, and appreciation of culture? That was the starting point of the whole project.
Can you explain the meaning behind the brands name?
The name Chaccra is taken from the Hindu concept of Chakra and we hope that through our collections we can help to deliver positive energy and inspiration to people.
I love the meaning behind that, especially as I would describe myself as a spiritual person. How closely do you work with the Nepalese craftspeople?
We collaborate with local crafts workshops and/or small businesses. As a business, we work to the best of our abilities to support their income needs in a fair environment, working with businesses on a
The customer could regard it as a functional art piece. Tibetan rugs are very durable and can be passed on for generations; carrying with it a collectable message of design appreciation.
Why do you think there has been
I think nowadays people are overwhelmed by too many choices, the oversupply of things has made people want to go back to basics, seeking uniqueness and wanting products that have meaning and longevity. Products that are made with care, by real hands, things that reflect their values and ways of living. This is why artisanal products from artisanal communities are important and precious.
How would you describe the Nepalese style?
Nepal is an interesting place that’s very heavily religious. Hindu and Tibetan Buddhism are coexisting harmoniously in their culture, which is interestingly reflected in their style. I would call it the Himalayan style. You can see a lot of intricate symbols and drawings, bold colours and chunky/woody rustic mix. When it comes to the world of interiors, Himalayan style has so much to offer for you to play with and modernize
Can you tell us a little more about The Chakra Design Collection? It’s obviously a more premium product, but what can the shopper expect?
The Chakra Design Collection is our very first collection that plays with Nepalese culture in a modern context. We started with the vision that every piece should have a story to tell and a positive energy that the customer can experience. I think the customer could regard it as a functional art piece. Tibetan rugs are very durable and can be passed on for generations; carrying with it a collectable message of design appreciation.
What’s next for the brand?
With feedback from the London Design Festival, we are continuing to play and experiment with our designs. We are collaborating with more designers as well as setting up our community support program. Our products are available online, we are open to partnerships and are always happy to meet designers who are interested in collaborations and what we do. From December this year, our products will be available for viewing and purchasing offline in the RB12 store in Shoreditch, London too.
And finally, what piece of advice would you give to someone looking to start their own business? Is there something you’ve learned that you wish you’d known at the beginning of your journey?
One thing I would definitely advise on…(and something I’m still learning how to do this myself!) – learn how to find the right balance between your own aspirations and what your customers want. Especially for the creative community that’s a ‘must learn’ ability to survive. I’ve also learned that, at the end of the day, it’s all about the underlining message you want to deliver to your audience. It doesn’t matter if it’s a personal or brand message. If the message is delivered right and resonates with your audience, especially on an emotional level, sooner or later you are accepted.
As a shopper, are you
Discover more about Nepalese artisan brand Chaccra by visiting its website right here.