Teela, in the Tamang language, translates to ‘what’ in English. Bigya Ghimire, the spearhead of the Nepali lifestyle brand Teela, was searching for a word to represent this new company she had an idea about, when she came across this word and it depicted the image she was going for regarding the brand. Also Ghimire wanted a Tamang word to represent the brand because she claims that her husband Anupam Lama’s cultural background has always fascinated her.
Although Teela is primarily Ghimire’s brainchild, it is actually her partner and co-founder, Priyanka Sharma, who fundamentally runs and financially invests in the brand. Ghimire calls herself more of an advisor for the brand and calls Sharma the chief owner of Teela.
It all started when Ghimire’s sister, who lives abroad, requested Ghimire to send her a jewelry item that was her own design. Since Ghimire herself is not a fan of the kind of heavy jewelry designs that are popular in Nepal, she decided to search for something that was a bit more simple but appealing. Ghimire was so fascinated by jewelry making and its designs that she actually enjoyed the hours of research she had started putting into finding that perfect design for her sister.
“It was then that I came across ‘pancha dhatu’. I liked the concept of it and how it was scientifically good for your health but I didn’t like the kind of designs of jewelry that were generally made out of it,” explains Ghimire adding that she wanted to play around with different designs using that alloy. So she created a few designs that she thought would look good when made out of ‘pancha dhatu’ and showed them to Sharma. Ghimire also suggested the idea of opening up a brand that would bring these designs to life. Sharma liked the designs and they started working on the proceedings to officially launch the brand.
A month later, in late April this year, they finally started selling their products through their Facebook and Instagram pages. Although Teela still primarily works with ‘pancha dhatu’ to create their products, they have started branching out to incorporate the use of other metals and raw materials too. Sharma suggested the use of silver for products because she says ‘pancha dhatu’ is a very difficult alloy to work with and a lot of designs actually come out pretty different to how they originally designed it to look. She mentions that they are also working on a leather bag line made out of Nepali leather. “We have already sent in the designs to a company for these bags. We are just waiting for them to send in the finished products,” says Sharma.
Ghimire reveals that the designing process is a well-kept secret and that only the crafters and the Teela team know the details of the designs. “In the Nepali market, copying designs is very common so everything is kept under wraps before finally releasing the product on our social media pages, namely Facebook and Instagram,” says Ghimire adding that they work very hard to come up with unique designs and concepts and thus don’t want their designs to be copied by every mainstream brand out there. She also adds that most of Teela’s designs are inspired by geometric shapes. She believes this is why most of their designs look so simple and elegant. Even the leather bags line is inspired by geometric shapes.
Currently, besides Sharma, Ghimire, and the crafters, Lama, Ghimire’s husband, is the only other active member in the Teela team. Since he is a graphic designer by profession, he is the one who sketches out all their designs. And though, till date, the company is only being run via social media, Sharma reveals that within the next two weeks, Teela will also have permanent display outlet at the Prazada Restaurant in Baluwatar, Kathmandu.