“She was never quite ready. But she was brave and the Universe listens to the brave.” ~Rebecca Bay
Minakshi’s journey is a testimony to one such story of indomitable bravery. Born and brought up in Silchar, Minakshi is a 24 year old free-spirited, extremely hardworking and dedicated graphic designer. She currently stays in Guwahati and owns two clothing and designer ventures – Nisaomai and Hill Pand
In a recent conversation with one of our correspondents, Bishal Nath, Minakshi talked about her journey, dreams, struggles and future projects.
Hailing from Silchar and a student of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Minakshi has always been a tomboy who thinks outside the box and dreams of doing something different. As she couldn’t make handpainted T-shirts, she started drawing, writing and scribbling, which, in her words, was a way to express herself better. With no financial backup and zero experience in the field, she decided to give it a try and started everything from a scratch. At the same time, she was battling with mild depression and was undergoing medication for the same. Soon, her love for designing became an escape route . Her dreams trumped over her depression.”So, it was an escape from everything, society and all bad things.”
Nisaomai, which loosely translates to “my dreams” in Dimasa language, was started by her in the year 2016 as a simple hobby, with an urge to do something creative. With time, she realized the need to take it to the next level and thus, started taking bulk orders for different projects and companies. With time, she started putting her style in them. She has also designed T-shirts for the Polo Towers, one of the biggest chain of hotels in NE India. She took a few courses to hone and improve her skills as well. Her mentors would inspire and motivate her by asking her to plan and follow those accordingly.
Some of the persons who have helped and inspired her immensely throughout her journey are Abhijeet Dutta, founder of Concept Education, Soma Laishram, a well-known Manipuri actress and singer, Alobo Naga, an award-winning artist from Dimapur and Archis Patil, Indian footballer. When asked how she approached them, she replied “There is no fixed way to contact anyone. You just have to keep trying.”
In October 2019, she started another designer company by the name Hill Panda. When asked about the name, she coyly replied: “Hill represents the whole Northeast where I belong to and Panda represents the shy part of my personality.” Having sold more than 5,000 T-shirts through her company, Hill Panda and 10,000 plus T-shirts through Nisaomai, over such a short period, Kemprai, slowly but surely is making a name for herself in the designing industry. She also has two separate Instagram handles for Nisaomi and Hill Panda, where she posts about her work regularly.
CLICK HERE to follow her work on Instagram
Recently, she has also started posting videos on her Instagram handle, which according to her, is a way to spread positivity in these trying times. “People are always quick to point out the bad things but seldom appreciate the good in others. So, I wanted to spread some positivity.” Though a bit sceptical about the continuation of the same, she is at least happy making videos in the lockdown. Beneath the extremely ambitious young woman, lies a lively girl who enjoys eating and listening to music in her pastime.
When asked about her plans, she expressed her wish to have a proper workplace and hire people and have a team as dedicated as her. As of now, she only has interns working for her. She is optimistic about making a change and leaving a mark. Her post-COVID plan is to plant one sapling against 100 sold T-shirts.
Her message to thousands of youths excited about doing something: “If you are truly interested in anything, go for it. There is never a right time, there’s nothing called perfection. If you are dedicated and confident enough, you can acquire ability with time because talent is a process and it takes time.”
At a time, when there’s so much of hatred, negativity and self-doubt within and around, Minakshi Kemprai’s words come as a refreshing gust of summer wind. From being a girl who did not know how to set the pricing, deal with customers and look after the logistics to being the independent owner of two designer companies, Minakshi indeed, has come a long way and her journey is an inspiration to all of us.
Team Cachar Chronicles wishes all the best for her future endeavour and hope many young girl will take some inspiration from her.