18 years old Thungchibemo N Ezung, founder of PIPO might be most probably one among the youngest jewellery makers in Nagaland. PIPO is a homegrown jewellery brand catering in customised handmade jewellery to every client, with its jewellery style ranging from 'basic stud earrings to statement earrings and necklaces.’
PIPO, according to Ezung, means a collection of accessories and clothing in the Lotha Naga dialect.
For the young jewellery designer, jewellery making began with his fascination in the fashion industry and a dream to develop his own label /brand. “This jewellery making was a minimal way to develop my skills and create opportunity for me that I started it in the year 2016, visually learning the art of crafting,” says Ezung.
Starting PIPO for Ezung has been an ‘incredible and fun’ journey with a lot of ‘learning through the process.’ One challenge was the limited availability of materials in the State where he often has to procure the materials outside Nagaland, and sometimes from overseas. PIPO jewelleries are made from semi precious stone beads, crystals, quartz stone beads, infused with different metal components for jewellery and a touch of Naga designs.
“Our collections are limited editions that we mostly don't have more than two designs of the same pair. It is all about giving customised handmade jewellery to each client,” says Ezung. According to Thungchibemo, his clients are mostly from Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai and neighboring states such as Arunachal Pradesh. Today, PIPO jewelleries have also reached the UK and Bangkok.
A student at Dainty Buds Higher Secondary School, Kohima, Ezung usually works during his free time and also when he “feels the need to give time to it.” Balancing studies and making jewelleries continues to be a challenge for the young student.
Significantly, Ezung is one who is breaking stereotypes in an industry that is mostly female-dominated. “It has always been about ignoring all negative impression and being more focused on what the future might hold for me,” says the young entrepreneur who holds the view that even if it is a female dominated industry, what sets apart an individual is his/her zeal and passion.
A major achievement for the young lad was being able to host his very own exhibition in the year 2019 where the first Nagaland Handmade Jewellery Exhibition was held. The exhibition created a platform for many jewellery designers in Nagaland showcase their creations.
At just 18 years of age, Ezung advises youngsters, “It's up to you as an individual to make the right choice of what you would want to do but make sure to keep a check in reality, and that anything you do sustains till the end.”
Morung Express News