Do It Yourself (DIYs) and handmade items are all the rage these days. And there are too many reasons why many people have taken to making things for themselves. With such leaps of progress in arts and lifestyles, people have developed eclectic and particular tastes that fail to agree with mass-produced items that generalize designs.
Tassel Kingdom caters to this very need of customized designs. They take in personal requests for customizing earrings and also produce ones that are mostly in demand. An undertaking of longtime friends Stela Shakya, Krisha Bajracharya, and Sulakchhana Shakya, Tassel Kingdom is a small-scale initiative of the trio. They began in their own circle, gifting friends and families a few of their own creations. Enthused by the reactions, they opened an account on Instagram to officially sell their products. The reception and the support that poured in was nothing short of fantastic.
The trend of customizing jewelry beyond the staples of gold and silver is one that caught on quite late in Nepal. Masala Beads was one of the first companies to embrace personalizing designs and the three friends aspire to do the same. They had always wondered what it would be like to bring their ideas and visions into form. Years of coursing through the web on jewelry designs had given them a fine eye for good designs. What did they not have to make earrings? Surely, not ideas. That they had in plentiful.
The three had recently completed their Bachelor’s degree so they had time to spare. With intents clear, time and everything else clicking right, they set off to making earrings of their own.
“We had been doing crafts from a very young age so fashioning and creating things came secondary to our nature,” says Stela explaining how the idea of creating never seemed burdensome or even impossible to any of the three founders of Tassel Kingdom. They set on to the wholesale markets of Ason to fetch materials and it was here that they noticed a popularity of tassel items. There were tassel bags, belts, curtains and even a few earrings. Being the crafters they were, they were instantly hit by a wave of designing ideas for tassel earrings.
They began first with work distribution. One would do the hoop molding, the other the weaving and the other the assembling. They would rotate and counter-rotate their patterns but it never seemed like work to them. “We have been friends for a long time so sitting together for hours brainstorming ideas and then making the earrings took us back go the old days when we made crafts,” claims Stela adding that the work feels therapeutic and that there is nothing else they wish they would otherwise be doing.
They started out in September 2017 and a lot has changed since then. Stela, Krisha and Sulakchhana now hold jobs of their own and find their days occupied with work. Despite this, they have continued making earrings and still come up with new designs. They still sit together, all three of them, intently making the earrings, albeit a little irregularly now than before. But that in no way means they will be giving it up altogether because crafting earrings is something they are addicted to.
Soon they plan to launch a program whereby they will train women to make earrings and hopefully earn their keep. “It’s a skill that can be learnt very easily. We wish for women, especially those who haven’t had formal education, to have a semblance of financial freedom and this is probably one way they can do so,” explains Stela.
Admittedly, Tassel Kingdom has limited itself to simple designs but this, they say, is because simple designs look more classy and elegant than elaborate, complicated ones.
The three remain quite hesitant in expanding their venture despite a great deal of requests. They intended this to be a small initiative to explore their creativity and never wanted to make it a full-fledged business. “We had certain ideas for earrings which we couldn’t find here in Nepal. Instead of wondering where we could get them and searching high and low, we simply made what we wanted and decided to share them as well. It’s that simple,” concludes Stela.