The pandemic is hitting the economy hard, and many businesses have had to shut down. Even in the Northeast, a lot of small businesses and brands are feeling the pinch. Therefore, now is the time to find out more about local brands and businesses and do your bit to support them. There are many brands in the Northeast that are producing quality products, and many businesses offering excellent service, that can stay afloat during these tough times with a little help from you.
We put together a list of noteworthy brands and businesses that you can support in the coming weeks and months. Remember that these entrepreneurs are not only putting the region on the map but are also promoting employment and contributing to the economic growth. They can use all the support they can get.
If you are looking for Northeast-inspired posters for your home then this is the brand that you should check out. The artwork is very different from what you are likely to find in stores across the region or even on online shopping sites. Not only that, they offer a variety of striking products like notebooks, fridge magnets, postcards and more.
There is no doubt that NEST has a great collection of goods that is perfect for those who want tasteful souvenirs, but that is not all, it is also a great stop for those who want products with a connect to the Northeast, and is not only stylish but also functional and convenient.
They also have jewellery, which is a recent addition. The collection is perfect for those who want something traditional and yet modern and edgy. They have accessories for both men and women. Although priced towards the higher-end, the items are quite different than what you will find in the market. If you are looking for something unique for yourself or for a loved one, then do check out the collection by NEST.
If you love to read then you should check out the titles by this homegrown publication house from Nagaland. Although the publication house is not very old, they have made quite a name for themselves in the regional and national circuit for showcasing new and upcoming talent from the region. While many talented writers from Northeast India have been able to publish their work with national publications, many lesser-known writers miss out on the opportunity because of lack of exposure. This publication house aims to give local talent a platform to showcase their work, and also help the world see, or rather read, what Northeast writers are capable of.
The best thing about PenThrill is that they are all about the variety. They have all kinds of books for all kinds of reader, so you are sure to come across a book that appeals to the bookworm in you. With PenThrill, you will not only find quality content but will also come to know and appreciate underrated writers from the region. Their books are available in select book stores across Nagaland and can also be found at ilando.com.
Honestly, with the way things have been so far, it would be difficult to get through this year without a glass of wine. When it comes to good wine, we all know the big brands that are famous the world over but we tend to overlook the small, local wineries that also deserve equal attention, if not more. Made from kiwis, Naara-Aaba wine is made in Arunachal Pradesh. If you have ever been to Ziro valley for a music festival or on holiday, you must have seen and tasted this local wine.
Loved by locals and foreigners alike, this wine is in high-demand. Priced at INR 1200, it is available for purchase on their website. Unfortunately, the site does not allow Cash on Delivery and all orders must be prepaid. The payment procedure and the options available are listed on the website. If you have any queries, you can even get in touch with the team through their Facebook page.
If you love chocolate, then you are going to love the goodies made by Hill Wild. In fact, even if you are not a fan of chocolate, this local company from Manipur will make you see it in a different light. Made with local ingredients, their chocolate bars are not like the ones you find in your local neighbourhood store. Now, you may wonder, how crazy can the flavours get? Well, you can sample local fruits like plum and wild apple, but if you are really feeling adventurous then you can even try out flavours like black rice, king chill and perilla seed. With Hill Wild chocolate, you can always be sure one thing, your taste buds are in for a fun ride.
The best thing is that they are not very expensive. Priced at INR 160 for one bar, they are definitely a must-try. If you want to sample some flavours or want to buy some for your friends and family then you can order from www.thenortheaststore.com.
If you are the type of person who cannot fully wake up in the morning without a cup of steaming hot tea then you are going to love this brand. Northeast India is home to countless tea gardens and much of tea produced here goes into making some of the most popular tea products you will find at the supermarket. But there is something very special about Dweller Teas, and that is the flavour profile. The different flavours they offer will make you wish that you can taste them all in one day.
They have some flavours that you may familiar with like Ginger Green tea and Pure Lemongrass tea but they also have lesser-known flavours like Fruity Rosella Olive tea, Gotu Kola tea and others. The best thing about the tea bags is that they are not merely tea dust that you can find in a lot of product but actual tea leaves that give you a more bodied flavour, something that will help wake up your senses every morning. They may be a tad more expensive than other tea bags that you may find in the market but the quality is worth the extra money you spend.
While Northeast India is usually associated with tea, there are a lot of coffee drinkers in the region as well. It might be surprising to some that the region has quite a few roasting companies that are doing quite well. One such company is Été Coffee based in Nagaland. This local brand has fans across the region and beyond. The quality of the coffee beans is top-notch but that is not the only reason why this brand is loved by many. Été Coffee is also focussed on ethics; they ensure that the farmers and resources are not exploited and they also make sure that the employees are given their dues.
If you want to taste farm to cup then this is the way to go. If you are ever in Nagaland then you should definitely visit the Roastery where you can buy packs for yourself and your family. But, if you are not planning to travel anytime soon, then you can also buy their products on their Facebook page. If you know your coffee, you will be pleasantly surprised by this quality homegrown coffee.
This brand is all about beautiful accessories. Made in Nagaland, the earring, neck pieces and other trinkets are show stealers to say the very least. Although it is a small company, Gutouch has showcased its products in different venues and festivals. Handmade with love, this brand has it all – originality, quality and care. One of the best things about Gutouch is that they offer different styles to suit different tastes; and so, you can be sure to find something you like from their collection. What is most striking is the pop of colour and ingenuity that you can see in the products.
The trinkets come in different price range; and can be ordered through their Facebook page. The brand is quite popular among people in Nagaland. In fact, cultural icons, Tetseo Sisters, have also been seen wearing their products. If you want to add to your accessories collection, then do check out this local brand that has so much to offer.
PART 2 will be released shortly on the website.
This article was first published in Eclectic Northeast May 2020 issue.