Fashion designing is like a real-life canvas. Everything painted on this canvas gives a story and ignites passion. From the fabrics used to the small details carved in the design, fashion designing lets an individual tell a story of their own. Parallel to such definition is Bijay Gautam’s story.
Bijay Gautam is the CEO/Creative Director of Be Labels. From incepting fashion designing to starting a fashion house, Bijay’s journey gives a narration of bag full of dreams that are giving his designs a safe home to reside. He has been pouring his creativity and diligence in every design and his contribution is marching to bring a wave of newness in Nepalese fashion industry. Bijay’s venture, Be Labels is an emerging fashion house of the country. The store has been recognized for its qualitative, ethically priced, eco-friendly and creative designs.
The Story Behind Be Labels
The passionate designer unravels the story of the inception, “From media houses to telecom company, I had initiated many career choices in my life. It was high time to decide- what I really wanted to be.”
Bijay was always fascinated by his presence in the creative space and clothing was one thing that had weaved a connection with him. He had already realized the scope of the ever-evolving clothing market and most of Bijay’s friends who were into fashion designing played a contributing part to make him uptake the idea of pursuing fashion designing.
The journey of starting Be Labels was built from careful steps. Before starting the fashion house, Bijay took his time to research on his idea for more than two years and worked with a fashion designer in India to gain expertise in the skills in fashion designing. The chapter of his mundane cooperative life finally ended when Be Labels was officially launched in 2015.
As it is said, entrepreneurship gives the taste of risk, Bijay took the risk. Unlike his family members who didn’t choose to start an enterprise of their own, Bijay decided to step into the entrepreneurial ambience.
This decision was a risk, but he was determined for he already knew what he needed in life. His family was never judgemental about what he had decided to initiate and till date, they stand by his side to support his work.
Introducing Be Labels
Known for creating subtle and vibrant designs, Be Labels has a unique story behind its naming. The naming ‘Be’ might be guessed as an initial syllable of Bijay’s name but this ‘Be’ defines to ‘be someone’, to be futuristic, to be happy, to be inspired and Bijay believes fashion is all about being someone.
The store is a home to beauty, elegance, and vibes of colorful inspiration. Exclusively, adorned by women’s clothing, the details of the Sarees, the delicate work in the colorful ‘Cholis’, the exquisite looking dresses give the pristine definition of the store trying to bring a wave of newness in the fashion standards of Nepal.
Sarees with unique touch are the magic of Be Labels. But, Bijay not only wants to define Be Labels through sarees but also bring out other collections that would well fit every age group of people. Promoted by SEED Equity, Be Labels is currently operating in the valley, but have been reaching to the customers from Nepal to international locations.
Recently, Be Labels launched a summer collection named ‘Jewels of Nepal’ that incorporated 120 Nepali buttas in its designs. Bijay aims to showcase Nepali culture in his designs as much as possible. Everything that is made in Be Label’s designs comprises of natural fabrics. They despise the use of polyester, spread words for an eco-friendly phenomenon and ethically price their commodities.
When asked about the stereotypes that hit about being a male and a designer in the conventional society, he shares he is not doing something path-breaking but infers that the notion of tagging gender biased roles is a wrong idea. “It is historically proven that people who stitch, tailor, master and make dresses are men. My mother had her clothes tailored from a man.”
Bijay mentions whenever people come to him, wear his designs and appreciate his work, they spark him the feeling of ‘a moment to live for’. He appreciates his clients pointing out minor flaws in his designs and gets a motivation to do better by such gestures.
“Everything doesn’t come with inspiration. Inspiration is something you need to make and the difference is it’s you who determines how you shape the inspiration. Just like a painter who narrates a story through his artistry, parallel to such instance, designing is all about one’s expression of thought and an art of storytelling.”- Bijay Gautam, CEO/ Creative Director, Be Labels
Challenges and Future Plans
Currently, Be Labels is coping up with the challenges presented by the Nepali market. Bijay shares “This market demands an arduous effort. It gives a major challenge of being able to sustain the business. The cycle of creating designs, giving a market to the designs and attracting the customers sometimes proves to be hindering the growth.”
Unlike previous times, where people didn’t place fashion as their priority, the passionate designer mentions that the wave of fashion consciousness has touched Nepalese. But he emphasizes that they lack a proper recognition of exclusively made designer customs and the bulk of ready-made costumes.
As the commodities of Be Labels are all eco-friendly and a problem arises when the resourceful materials are not available in the country. Sometimes they have to get outside the country to retain the use of natural fabrics in their products.
However, these challenges don’t seem to break the optimistic and passionate dreams for his enterprise, Bijay shares, “Be Labels is not a hobby anymore. I am learning to work for myself. I have the ardent desire to run my enterprise like an enterprise. I am working to sustain Be Labels in the entrepreneurial milieu. I realize that I have become more focused in terms of my creations and as an individual. But this doesn’t mean that I am done.” Aligning Be Labels to a systematic business process and adopting a disciplinary strategy is the key Bijay wants to set as a future plan.
To the aspiring entrepreneurs
Be fearless. Stay focused. Work hard and don’t complain.
Startups for better Nepal!
Presented By: Kabita Sen