By Tamish Giri
During the lockdown in 2020, Niharika Singh, a multimedia graduate with a passion for artistry and jewellery, had a moment of inspiration. Fuelled by her love for digital marketing and a desire to express her creativity, she founded Surface Nepal, a jewellery brand empowering individuals to embrace self-expression through fashionable accessories.
Since its launch, Surface Nepal has been offering classic and unique jewellery pieces by building a community of loyal customers and promoting Nepali art and culture globally. Surface Nepal has quickly made a name for itself in the jewellery industry. With a focus on self-expression, versatility, and sustainability, the brand has built a loyal and diverse customer base. From its humble beginnings with a limited collection to its current range of captivating designs, Surface Nepal continues to evolve and grow.
"We launched our first collection online with limited pieces and received an amazing response. We immediately launched another collection and kept on adding designs as per our customer’s requests," shares Niharika.
The startup embarked on its journey with a small collection of just 4-5 designs, primarily focusing on minimalistic contemporary jewellery. From earrings, necklaces, and rings to bracelets and brooches, Surface Nepal today offers a diverse selection of high-quality pieces that customers can experiment with and build their capsule jewellery collection.
The journey has been both challenging and rewarding for Niharika as it required a lot of consistency and commitment. "I’m so grateful for all that I’ve learnt and the community of loyal customers that we’ve built. So many customers have turned into my friends who are so supportive that it makes my heart so happy," Niharika shares with joy.
With a committed team and the support of her family and friends, Niharika has been able to navigate through any obstacles that arise. From design selection to product shoots, editing content, and implementing marketing strategies, Niharika embraces every aspect of the business with enthusiasm and gratitude. Surface Nepal offers customers the convenience of placing orders through its Instagram page. Additionally, for those who prefer to try out products before committing to a purchase, the store organises weekly pop-up stores at different locations. Customers can find updated details about these pop-up stores on the store's Instagram page.
The startup has successfully cultivated a community of customers from all age groups and genders who appreciate the brand's versatility and timeless designs. The target audience for the brand is individuals who seek versatile and classic pieces of high quality and affordable prices that allow them to create a capsule jewellery collection.
Encouraging individuality and self-expression, the brand understands that each person has their unique aesthetic. By offering services such as gift box customisation, product exchange, jewellery care guidance, and home delivery, Surface Nepal strives to provide exceptional customer support and an enjoyable shopping experience.
Niharika, just like Taylor Swift, believes in embracing her creativity and expressing herself through her designs. Assisting her in ensuring smooth operations and excellent customer service is her brother, Raj Bahadur Singh, who heads the operations and customer services department.
"When we initially launched Surface Nepal, we had limited capital to work with. As a result, a significant portion of our sales during the early stages of the business were reinvested into its growth. We recognised the need to allocate resources to various areas such as inventory management, brand development, marketing initiatives, and operational expenses," she adds.
Investing in inventory was crucial to offer a diverse range of jewellery designs to her customers. Simultaneously, she focused on developing her brand identity and establishing a strong presence in the market. "Marketing efforts played a vital role in reaching our target audience and raising awareness about our offerings," she adds.
To ensure seamless day-to-day operations, Niharika has allocated funds for operational expenses, to provide top-notch customer service and maintain efficient processes.
Proudly made in Nepal, Surface Nepal emphasises sustainable production practices. While many Nepali brands focus on handcrafted jewellery, Surface Nepal utilises moulds for manufacturing, which enhances consistency, reduces production time, and ultimately lowers costs. By choosing moulds, the brand ensures that its jewellery maintains excellent quality while remaining accessible to customers. Additionally, Surface Nepal continuously evaluates and refines its marketing strategies to align with customer demands and different events.
During the initial stages, Niharika tried samples from various artisans and workshops for quality checks. She took help from her family and friends to wear the jewellery for quality checks on finishing, longevity, durability, etc. As different workshops have different specialties, she found the ones that gave her the best quality, and she has been sticking to them ever since to deliver the finest craftsmanship to her customers. "We’re constantly talking to new artisans and experimenting with new designs, along with doing regular quality checks during the arrival of stock and dispatch to the customer," she adds.
As a growing jewellery brand, Surface Nepal has been fortunate to attract a loyal and diverse client base. Niharika has experienced positive growth since the beginning and has a high repeat customer rate. Her sales come from various places such as online, pop-up stores, wholesale orders, etc. "We continuously evaluate and refine our strategies for marketing our products as per customer demand and different events," shares Niharika.
Niharika has been constantly collaborating with various brands for giveaways and shoots, along with maintaining good personal relationships with influencers for honest reviews. "Our last collaboration was with Inari (@inarisilk) for a magazine shoot," she shares.
As a startup brand, Surface Nepal recognises the importance of promoting Nepali art and culture on an international platform. The brand envisions becoming a trusted and well-known name in the industry while staying true to its core values of affordability, sustainability, and inclusivity. By expanding its presence to a wider audience, Surface Nepal aims to foster an appreciation for Nepali craftsmanship worldwide and minimise its environmental impact through ethical practices.