“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” | An exclusive with Enterpreneur Toyi Swuro

(Northeast Unsung Heroes Awards 2019 winning Enterpreneur, Toyi Swuro, from Phek, Nagaland)

Our Bureau,

Kohima, November 18 (NE): Toyi Swuro, a 25 year old guy from Phek makes a place for himself in the state as well as national level with his passion for leather handcrafts.

Toyi is the son of Pora Swuro, havildar 5th NAP Police Phek Bn. from Phek Town originally of Phughi Village. The young Chakhesang guy, Toyi Swuro received an award as an entrepreneur, at the Northeast Unsung Heroes Red Carpet Social Awards 2019 from Hon’ble Governor of Maharashtra in an event held at Mumbai on November 15, which is a First-of-its-kind.

(Toyi Swuro receiving Northeast Unsung Awards 2019 from Hon’ble Governor of Maharashtra)

Toyi studied hotel management, but in pursuing his passion for leather handcrafts, Toyi started the business of manufacturing leather shoes including belts, bags, sandals, earrings, mobile covers and also repairs shoes, in a small way in Phek Town. Speaking to NagalandExpress, he said that since high school days, he repaired his own shoes and helped repair even family and friend’s shoes.

His shop ‘Craft Gallery’ earlier known as ‘Fine Cobler’ is located in Phek Town, where all the products are handmade by a team of 5 people which includes a lady cobler. The lady cobler cum business partner is Votalü Luruo from Runguzu village under Chozuba area.

(Toyi Swuro with his business partner and Craft Gallery team)

An exclusive interview with Toyi Swuro:

Journey as an entrepreneur; Toyi started the Cobbler bussiness on April 2018. Ever since he was in high school, he started repairing shoes and all kinds of footwears. The idea to manufacture footwears comes from within and this is something which no one else is doing in our state yet, Toyi said.

Being supported by a single parent and the eldest of five siblings, life had been challenging always and lots of responsibilities were left upon me as there were no sponsors or any department to assist me. I invested an amount of 2300 to buy few raw materials from Kohima to do the repairs and stitching. On the other hand, I repaired shoes for school kids free of costs and also give cobbler training to underprivileged kids”.

“With time slowly my work began to grow by the grace of God and was able to employ few youths to work as a Cobbler, Toyi added. As of now we are so grateful that we are manufacturing locally handmade Footwears such as Flats both for gents and ladies, Purse, Wallets, Bags, Earrings, Mobile covers and all types of leathers, rexine and foams at a reasonable rate. Our Product price range comes in between 300 to 1800 which varies from different designs and material qualities. We also supply the products to other districts.

(Hand made products of Craft Gallery at Phek)

On being asked, when people are running behind govt jobs, what would be your message for young people? Toyi said, “I would like to Challenge the Youths specially in Nagaland to start taking up the manual labour work and show the courage of Dignity of Labour as no work is too small when one does the hardwork and generate income there is nothing to be ashamed of rather we should be proud of doing the labour work. We should keep away our ego and shyness and venture into manual labour. If we don’t start this by ourself now when will we start and how long do we want our parents to support us?

It’s high time we start to humble ourselves and learn to embrace the art of humility rather than sitting at our comfort zones and debating through social medias as keyboard warriors talking about “CHANGE”.
Change is seen for those who seek, for those who endure. “I say we walk the talk”. Change starts from us. I choose CHANGE from within. Are You?”, added Toyi.

Sharing about his feeling after receiving Northeast Unsung Heroes Red Awards 2019, Toyi said, “First, All Glory and Honor to God for His wonderful blessings, I feel so great and excited winning the award of 1st North East Unsung Heroes Red Carpet Social Award 2019 held at Mumbai. It is often said that “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. Taking this privilege, I thank ma’am Rebecca Changkija Sama Founder Red Carpet Social Award and her team for nominating me as the Unsung Heroes 2019 for which i am here today as one of the awardee, secondly i thank MLA Kuzholuzo Nienu for sponsoring me financially to reach Mumbai for receiving the award. Also, thank my team- The Cobblers “Craft Gallery ” for always cooperating and never giving up on me. I thank all my friends out there for your love and support, i share the award with you all. I thank my 5th NAP Church, Phughi Village and Phek Town for your moral support. I do not take credit or glory rather I Praise God for His wonderful works and blessings on Craft Gallery”, Toyi added.

Sharing on the future plans for the business, Toyi said, In next few years we are aiming to upgrade to large scale manufacturing shoes and all types of leather products with the finest qualities once we install the machineries. We are looking forward to employ more youths in our States in this particular field. We hope and believe that the State Govt. will Assist us with machinery or financial aid to start the project soon through some Government schemes or loan.

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