Sochumlo Ezong is the creative brain behind Kirona Studio. The name Kirona holds special meaning as in Naga Lotha tribal dialect, ‘Ki’ translates to ‘home’ and ‘Rona’ means ‘to build’. An architectural firm based in Dimapur, the team mostly designs and builds residential projects, and in addition to that, they also offer good quality customized furniture. The quality that sets Kirona apart from other architectural firms is the eye for detail and subtle elegant designs. There is something about keeping it simple that lends their buildings and furniture a sophisticated air.
Kirona was started in the year 2012, right after Sochumlo passed out from Guwahati College of Architecture. On the architectural front, the Kirona team has worked on corporate office buildings, church buildings, apartment buildings, museums and residential buildings. Kirona Décor came into being when she felt the need for affordable custom furniture. ‘Good quality customized furniture was very hard to find. The furniture available in the market was mostly commercial, curtly made, and prices were on the higher end.’ Although they had offered customized furniture ever since the initial stage of practice, the love and support from customers led to the launch of the boutique in July 2017. Kirona Décor- House of Furniture houses affordable everyday furniture, from vintage contemporary to fusion designs, all manufactured in Nagaland. ‘It has barely been a year so far but the response is overwhelming and so now the challenge is to deliver our best.’
Kirona designs are mostly inspired by European style, leaning towards French Country and British Colonial. ‘But we are also constantly drawing inspiration from simple things each day so that we can come up with designs that balance both functionality and aesthetic appeal.’
Of course, the journey has not been without challenges. ‘A business venture in the design sector is always filled with different challenges, be it during the preparation stage or while executing the final product and all the unseen complications that get in between. But as designers, we somehow learn to accept and adapt to this unending loop of challenges and we are constantly looking for ways to shift our focus only on delivering the end product. Finding specialized skilled labour in my area is not easy and so we are trying to train a few for now. It’s a battle every day and since our studio is in the initial stages, we are not free from mistakes and misadventures. But after taking note of both positive and negative feedbacks from our valued customers, and most importantly by God’s grace, the boutique is thriving. Another recurring challenge, as a designer, would be staying relevant in this fast changing world.’
The price of a simple end table would be around Rs 5,000 while a console table would come to around Rs 9,000. A compete living room set would cost somewhere around one lakh. However, one needs to keep in mind that the price range would primarily depend on the kind of materials used and the sort of finishing customers require. Their best selling items are console tables and living room furniture.
The studio has even delivered furniture to customers residing outside the State. ‘We have delivered some of our furniture to Tura, Shillong (Meghalaya) and Imphal (Manipur). There has been a lot of demand from people in other districts of Nagaland and other States but due to the bulky nature of the products, non-availability of packaging materials in the local market and problems with transportation logistics in the Northeast, we have been facing difficulties in delivering to these places. We are trying to work out these problems so that we can cater to people from other districts and States.’
If you want to buy Kirona furniture for your home, then you can head to the boutique or alternatively you can place orders through their Facebook page or Instagram account.
In the future, Sochumlo hopes that Kirona will continue to grow. ‘If all goes well, our next step will be to expand the business, set up more branches in different parts of Nagaland, and create employment opportunities for young enthusiastic Nagas. The list is endless and we have a long way to go. But for now, the focus will be to better our products and deliver the best we can.’
The Kirona boutique is located at Mmha Ki Building, Duncan, Dimapur.
By Meeta Borah
This article was first published in Eclectic Northeast May 2018 issue