KATHMANDU:The demand for local handmade products is increasing at a good pace even among local Nepalese as well as providing employment to the local handicraft making community.

Products such as ceramic ware, home furnishings, copper vessels, locally made cabinets and felt items are hot selling locally made products.

“All our products are hundred per cent handmade authentic Nepali goods, and the demand for them is increasing over the years,” said Meera Bhattarai, founder and executive director of Dhukuti.

Dhukuti is a retail outlet for Nepali Craft Trading Pvt. Ltd. It provides employment to 1200 people of which ninety per cent are women craftsmen. According to Bhattarai, the local market has begun to appreciate and take on more Nepal-made products. “When we started, our local clientele was only about five per cent. Now, it has gone up to more than thirty-five per cent,” said Bhattarai. People in the valley are increasingly becoming aware of locally made and sold products and breaking the stereotype that handmade goods and local handicraft are only for expatriates and tourists.

“September to April is the peak time when our sales are very good. At other times, sales are moderate but stable,” said Bishnu Shrestha, manager.

Another authentic handmade products shop, Mahaguthi, is a non-profit making store which works to promote micro and small artisans and producers, “The local market is increasingly becoming receptive towards buying locally made products. At our shop, home furnishings top the list as they are unique as well as inexpensive,” said Mamta Dangol, sales representative at Mahaguthi.

According to Dangol, forty per cent of the customers who make purchases at the store are Nepalese, “Due to Nepalese also buying handicrafts the trend is rising every year and sales are also increasing yearly.” She added.