In conversation with Kanchan Didi | Lokta Paper Artisan | Meet the Makers

In our Meet the Makers series, we bring you the story of Kanchan Didi. She  make crafts from lokta paper like photo frames, boxes, notebooks, photo albums, etc. In this blog, know her better in her own words.

What’s your name?

 My name is Kanchan Koju.


What is your age?

I am 44 years old.

 

Where are you from (city/town/community)? 

I am from Byasi Tole of Bhaktapur district, 44810, Nepal.


Which products did you make?

I make crafts from lokta paper like photo frames, boxes, notebooks, photo albums, etc.


How and when did you learn your craft?

I am really blessed as my husband has been a great role model to me. After marriage, I got an opportunity to learn this craft which has been taught by my husband. So, since 2006 I have been engaged in this business and I really love my work.


What space do you work from? (House, workshop, yard etc.)

We have a small factory built in our own house. So, I do all my work from there.


Where do you get your materials to create your craft? (Ex.Lokta bush )

I get all my materials from Panauti.


What’s your favorite thing about creating your pieces?

Every time I create something I really feel the pride of being skilled and independent which inspires me to work further. So, I really love my work.


What is your least favorite part? 

The thing which I don’t like about my work is that we are facing labor turnover for quite a long time. So, this has really affected our work economically. As every time we have to teach new employees about the work, it consumes more effort and time.


What inspires you to create?  

I really like my work so I would say my passion and determination inspires me to create more and more.


Do you work alone or with others?

There are 2 other employees beside me and my husband. So, all the work is done by us, the four members together.


How long does it take you to create one piece (on average)? 

As there are various processes involved in the craft production, it will take about a day to make a paper.


Who do you think will wear/use your creation? Do you have a message for them?

The people who want to use environmentally friendly materials will be using my products. I want to tell them to keep using our products as they are environmentally friendly and biodegradable and they don't degrade the environment.


What is your biggest dream?

My biggest dream is to expand my business and inspire women that even after marriage we can work and become skilled and independent.

Team Né Nepal is proud to have Mrs. Kanchan Kaju as one of our artisans. We wish her the best in all her endeavors and also wish her dream of empowering more women turns into a reality.

If you enjoyed reading the story of the artisan, do comment below and help us spread the word in your social media to support the local economy and encourage the talented artisans like Kanchan Kaju.