Li-mheghi: A Girl's Treasure

(Left) Akali Kibami, founder of Li-mheghi (right) some of the products
(Left) Akali Kibami, founder of Li-mheghi (right) some of the products

Morung Express News
Kohima | September 8

For decades, craft making such as embroidery was considered as just another hobby for women. Today, there is a growing appreciation for craft making where successful careers are being crafted out of this hobby. Li-mheghi, an online store on Instagram, which specialises in embroidery crafts, is one such example.

“Initially, it started as a hobby where I made a few custom orders for my family and friends. The custom orders I made were well received and I was getting more custom orders from wider audiences. So, to create a space where people could find my work, I made and managed a page on Instagram and it has led to me to the present day with Li-mheghi,” says Akali Kibami, founder of Li-mheghi.

A full time home based business, Li-mheghi in Sumi dialect means 'A Girl's Treasure' which began in 2017. The online store caters to a wide range of products such as pouches, aprons, embroidery hoops, handkerchiefs, tea coasters, sling bags, totes, and more recently masks-each customised and personalised for the clients.

Kibami was introduced to the art of embroidery while working at Ikali Studio, where under the mentorship of Ikali Sukhalu her interest grew. After she left Ikali Studio, Kibami developed a serious interest in embroidery which she built up through online tutorials and social media platforms. Today, Kibami runs a full time business at Li-mheghi where she not only caters to clients and orders in Nagaland but her products are delivered all over the country.

While there will be a few struggles in starting one's own business especially in craft making, Kibami believes that it is possible to make a living out of craft making in the present day with the growing appreciation for things that are handmade. “And especially with the pandemic, more people are exposed to art and craft making and are being able to give more time to spare and turning  to learning craft making and making a living out of it,” says Akali.

For the young who wishes to pursue a career out of craft making, Akali advises, “Not everyone will understand or support you in what you do but one should not be discouraged. Have full faith in yourself, have patience and work hard.”