Meet another special lady, Lapynshai Syiemlieh. She is lovingly called Hep (little sister); works part time in Muezart and part time in the Guest House of the parent company Chillibreeze. She is new to Muezart but has had a long association with Chillibreeze. She was happy to share little stories from her life with us.
Hep (extreme left) with the girls in our studio office
The need to earn made her start young
One of eight siblings, she was born and brought up in Shillong. Here is her story about her early years on Chillibreeze.
Hep's early days in housekeeping
Hep started her career in Chillibreeze as a part of the housekeeping team
As you can see, her life was not easy. A mom when she was still a teenager, she needed to work to support her family and did just that. She found meaningful work and a nurturing environment in Chillibreeze and her life changed. She has been raising her children on the values she imbibed in the company.
Her Mantra – ‘New skills to learn? Bring them on’
When she was given the choice of moving to Muezart she jumped at the idea – as she knew that there is bound to be something new for her to learn. Hep is enthusiastic about discovering new skills and using them. She has done that before in Chillibreeze – while helping the housekeeping department she had learnt computer skills and helped upload data and files for the Accounts department. Hep has a child-like curiosity.
Muezart – a new playing field
When Hep joined the Muezart team in September 2019, she had had no exposure to Eri silk. Every day was a new learning for her, which kept her energized and busy. This sense of wonder and love for learning remains with her to this day.
Her duty in Muezart varies, from winding yarn for the team that knits Muezart’s products, to pounding the processed cocoons, to helping with natural dyeing. Muezart is helping hep gain knowledge about yarns, fibers and apparel.
Hep working with Muezart yarn
Where she adds value in Muezart
Hep helps in experimenting and measuring the yardage of our yarns. She even gets to spin Eri silk yarn and plying it. Her attention to details is what makes her stand out.
“She now knows how to measure a yarn's yardage in just a few minutes. She knows the difference and usages of all Eri silk fibers. She's beginning to learn how shawls, scarves, beanies, are made (woven or knitted). She also gets to learn about cocoon processing and loves it.
Being in Muezart has really taught Hep about deadlines and now she’s always anticipating things and asks a lot of questions about why we do what we do, and we love to see that in our team. It shows that she’s not doing things as a task. She does it because she knows the purpose”, says Miranda, a Muezart Associate.
Where does Hep think her talent lies?
Her reply is surprising.
I love Cooking. As I work in the guesthouse, I get to try new recipes and it thrills me when people say that they enjoyed what I made. Often, I go home and cook the same recipe for my family. They love what I make. Everyone in my family circle reach out to me when there is a party at home or when we go on a picnic. It means extra work, but I love it. I enjoy baking. I love experimenting baking different types of bread and pastries. Talking of picnics, I love taking my kids on a picnic.
What is working in Muezart like?
At Muezart I am challenged to do tasks that seem impossible to me, but with grit and determination it becomes possible. It helps that I enjoy learning. A big bonus for me is the group of talented colleagues I work with. Talking of grit and determination reminds me of a villager from Ri Bhoi district of Meghalaya, Kong Tmung. Muezart works with her. She is a master at natural dyeing of Eri silk. She inspires me. She has vast knowledge on natural dyes but continues to experiment and teach the younger generation. The way she embraces nature and her work really inspires me.
Tell us about your childhood - How your days would go?
As a young child, I loved to study, play and dance and I loved pets, especially cats. I remember I grieved a whole week when my cat died after giving birth to 4 kittens. After that I took the responsibility of looking after her kittens. I was so happy that I was able to feed them day and night. I used to ask for pocket money just to buy milk for my kitties. That’s my most memorable moments from my childhood.
Hep's motherly instinct can be seen by her love for pets
What was your expectation from Muezart before you joined?
Well, when I first joined Muezart I knew I would learn new things but didn’t know that I’ll be learning so much. I didn’t even know much about Eri silk. As I had grown up in a city, I had not heard about it. Now I realize that Eri silk is a part of our culture and tradition.
Every day is a learning for me. I feel that all this exposure will help me become a more capable mother.
Any interesting stories about your life before you took on a paid job?
Mmm... let me think...
OK. So, I got married at a very young age, so I had a lot of responsibilities both personal and professional.
One interesting story that I can share. Like many teenagers, I did not listen to my mother ☹. As a teenage mom I thought that Life would end after giving birth and that I won’t be able to study or learn anything. Surprisingly, that was not so. My mom tried to force me to go back to school but I didn’t listen to her. I wanted to work as I thought only with money I could do the best for my children.
Luckily, I continued my schooling through an evening school and completed my 10th grade. I studied in the Government Girl’s School in Shillong, till 9th grade, and did my Board Exam from Savio evening school.
“Working in Chillibreeze and Muezart is like studying in a college!” said Hep as we finished our chat with her.
Thanks for taking the time to get to know Hep and the other Muezart makers.
There are many such Heps, Ridas and Baphis around the world – young, rising from humble rural backgrounds, and working hard to pursue their dreams of a stable livelihood and a happy family. Inspiring isn't it. Do you know of anyone like that? Please share their story.