The young entrepreneur works in multiple sectors ranging from notebooks, premium bakery and poultry farming.
"Entrepreneurship is something you inculcate within yourself; it’s not a style, it’s a way of doing something differently,” says Shriya Shakya, the founder of Chiya Notebooks and The Patisserie Nepal.
Early Life and Education
Shriya Shakya was born in Chitwan and raised in Kathmandu. She completed her schooling at GEMS School. Later, she completed her BBA in marketing specialisation from Kathmandu College of Management. The Shakyas are goldsmiths by profession. But her dad wanted to try something different and started poultry farming. “My major source of inspiration is my family. The artistic skill traces its roots back to my ancestors. My maternal grandfather was also a skilled goldsmith who used his hands to create gold articles,” shares Shakya. “My parents encouraged my sister and me to complete our studies. Their primary focus was to educate us to make us independent.”
Before starting Chiya Notebooks, Shakya was doing an internship in a poultry business in Germany. It was a three-months internship. Her priority initially was in the poultry business. But while working in Germany, she discussed the idea of notebooks with her partners. Hence, Chiya Notebook was conceived.
Chiya Notebooks and The Patisserie Nepal
Chiya Notebooks is the trademark of MK Educational Pvt Ltd which was officially established in August 2019. The main inception of the idea lies with her artistic background. “My partner encouraged me to showcase my art in the notebooks and believed that people would love notebooks with a touch of art,” she shared.
Chiya Notebooks are seasonal products linked to schools and colleges. “ When the academic session begins, the order for the notebooks reaches up to 4,000-5,000 units. During holiday seasons like Dashain, it drops to 400-500 units per day,” she added. Shakya and her partners sell regular notebooks, novels, pens, and poetry books. Chiya Notebooks has five promoters, including Shakya, and five employees.
The Patisserie Nepal is an online-based opulent Parisian-style bakery serving cakes and sweets. It was established in 2020, and the idea behind this business was her involvement in the poultry business. The Patisserie Nepal currently employs 12 people.
Talking about Chiya Notebooks, Shakya faced difficulties initially as there were many dominant sellers in this niche market. The customers were initially not convinced by a new brand.
While starting The Patisserie Nepal, he main focus was on the quality of bakery items. As the business was online-based, it was difficult to operationalise the whole process like marketing, delivery, and customer service. Shakya crossed these hurdles in both businesses by focusing on branding and maintaining a strong social media presence. The branding of Chiya Notebooks and The Patisserie Nepal was given utmost priority, and gradually, many customers started to like their products.
Message to Female Entrepreneurs
“As a woman entrepreneur, you need to be confident in yourself. I understand that in the initial phase, one might feel isolated, but you need to overcome that phase and rise above it,” says Shakya. Additionally, she also emphasised following one’s passion. Chiya Notebooks is booming, and amongst the many factors which led to this success, Shakya’s passion for art is one of them. She discovered her passion, followed it, and created ways to share it with the world.
Shakya is a visionary working towards perfection. For Chiya Notebooks, she plans to bring notebooks, journals, and diaries, under the premium category. Currently, the notebooks are priced between Rs 60 and Rs 150.
Likewise, she also has many plans for The Patisserie Nepal as well. Currently, the business is functioning online. She has plans to open outlets in different parts of the Kathmandu Valley in the future.
Family Life and Hobbies
Shakya is a woman with strong work ethics. In the starting phase, her team used to work late till 1 am. But she never had to face any problem with her parents. They fully supported her throughout her journey. Now that Shakya is married, her husband and in-laws also provide her immense support and encourage her to grow the business further.
The founder of Chiya Notebooks is deeply passionate about skincare, art, and journaling and loves creating content related to these on Instagram and YouTube.