Whadda Fish Designs is an illustration-based company of two friends, Elsa Thapa and Kishor Maharjan. Elsa was interested in designs since her childhood, so she started her career in t-shirt designing since 2014. But it was only in February, 2016 that she created a Facebook account to post her designs as a personal project.
Elsa then went on to collaborate with one of her college friends Kishor in February, 2017, and started to produce their creations.
For those who have no idea what Whadda Fish Designs is, the store is located at Pilachhen, Patan and offers illustrations on different products like posters, badges, mugs and calendars. The team is also planning to add fabrics to their list.
Whadda Fish Designs has been providing design services to big and small businesses. She has an old habit of using cuss words. When Elsa was working as a t-shirt designer at Threadpaints, she was not allowed to swear. As a result, she had to pay fine every time she used cuss words. “Hence, I came up with the word ‘Whadda fish’ whenever I had to swear. Then during the fourth semester of my bachelor’s in IT, I unintentionally made a logo for Whadda Fish. So, I decided to keep that as a name of my Facebook page.” Elsa looks after the design, while Kishor manages the production.
Initially, the duo faced many challenges in production and had trouble finding designs that justified their vision. They also had financial crunch and had to deal with their ‘skeptical families’. “Most of our customers are between the ages of 18-44 years. They have their own style of designs and illustrations. It is fun to work with people who come with creative ideas,” she said.
Elsa said, “Mood and surrounding inspired me to make designs and illustrations and I want to open our own store in near future.” She added, “Turning my hobby into business with minimum budget and maximum effort is my definition of a start-up.” Just like other startups they want to grow Whadda Fish as a company and develop as a lifestyle brand in the future.
Elsa’s aim is to educate people about the importance of design and the magic it does to turn an ordinary idea into an extraordinary piece of art. Elsa thinks one must understand the essence of design to create a good design. Some of the designs and illustration are made in paper with ink, while most of them are made with the help of the illustrator software.