I had the chance to meet Mingma who welcomed me in her shop/workshop. I met her last January in the art market, and that’s how I discovered her beautiful and ethical shoes brand.
For the first time, I found a dhaka design used for shoes! The Dhaka fabric used is called Palpali, commonly used for the « topis » (the traditional Nepalese men’s hats). You will find in this collection a nice line of ballerinas with a beautiful fabric of allo (the natural nettle of the Himalaya) which is also mixed with cotton.
Photo : Mingma in her shop, preparing the Summer collection
As usual, I start the conversation by asking…
How did you start Paila ?
Since 2013, I have been very interested in the handicraft sector of Nepal. I was doing a lot of research on crafts, fashion accessories and clothing. I wanted to take the time to develop my concept. Thus, it came to me to work with shoes since it has not been very much exploited yet.
Then slowly, I worked on my idea, I launched Paila in 2015 and over time, I also left my job to work solely on my business.
What is the meaning of the ladybug visible in the Paila’s logo?
I’ve been thinking about the logo for a long time. I was sure about the brand name, it was a certainty. For the logo, the idea came to me during one of my travels … We actually consider the ladybug as a cute, feminine insect and since our childhood everyone tells us that it brings luck. Then I have added four small Ds letters for Diki, my middle name since I wanted this logo to represent me in a subtle way.
In the countryside of Nepal, we see beautiful terraced rice crops. I wanted to pay tribute to this beautiful landscape with the beautiful colors. During the harvesting period, colors change; thus the blue fabric strip (dhaka palpani) symbolizes this change of color as if it was the same appearance of the very green rice in the center of the terrace.
Let’s see the workshop, follow me!
It was a beautiful day to glue while listening to great music!
The craftsmen are talking, but still stay focused on their work.
Mingma tells me that they all have a background experience in leather making shoes factories. The difference is that they have better working conditions and better wages than before.
She also tells me that it was a challenge at the beginning for her to make them work initially on these models of ballerinas
They had their own ways of making the shoes and I had my vision too! But we ended up being on the same page.
Since the beginning, I have decided to have my own workshop to be independent and especially in regard to the production. This also results in having more responsibilities, making sure that you pay the wages to your staff , set up sales objectives and be dedicated 100% to your brand.
On this picture (left-side), have a look at the stock of the uncut soles and the different materials and fabrics laid on the shelf. You wish to make your own shoes too!
Continue the discovery of Paila