Shristi S. Shrestha: prithvi cafe and core fitness studio

Never someone to be tied to a desk or taking orders from someone else, Shristi Singh Shrestha says she is lucky to have found a job that is perfect for her.

Never someone to be tied to a desk or taking orders from someone else, Shristi Singh Shrestha says she is lucky to have found a job that is perfect for her. Well within a year of starting Prithvi Café & Bar and Core Fitness Studio in Sanepa, the young entrepreneur has quickly learned the ins and outs of the business.

The universe’s conspiracy

Taking in account the three things that matter to her – dance, working with the earth, and animals, Shristi says that about a year ago, everything was conspiring her to get into work she really loved. Having already worked with animals for the past eight years, Prithvi Café and Core Fitness Studio allowed her to step into new ground. One of the ventures of the Prithvi Hollistic Centre, which she calls a life-long project, the café promotes healthy eating by working with the earth. As for the fitness studio, for someone who has always had a passion for dance, fitness, and teaching, it seemed only natural. With a laid back and welcoming environment, both her café and fitness studio have created quite a buzz.

Lessons learned

Never a business person, she says that entrepreneurship is also about being head-strong and taking everything into account. “Work is your best teacher,” says the 30-year-old, who admits that she didn’t have a clue on how to start a company, much less two. She has learned that being successful in Kathmandu is about creating an environment for sustainable development while also being responsible. Financial planning, more than other things, is more important while running a company. Shristi says that “you need to know how to get the economic ball rolling”. Being patient, well-organized, and responsible are critical aspects to getting what you want, how you want it. However, in a market as competitive and unpredictable as Kathmandu’s, owning any kind of enterprise is both risky and challenging. She knows this, and believes that one should always be a step ahead of the market, always ready with a back-up plan. “Passion can motivate you, but you have to have direction,” she says. Shristi tells me that the satisfaction she got when her first customer walked in was well worth the obstacles she had faced.

Follow your heart

The recently married entrepreneur says that she has been very blessed with a husband that she has known for fourteen years and a close group of family and friends that support her; she couldn’t ask for more. However, she knows this isn’t the story for many women entrepreneurs in Nepal. To them, she says: “Hold on to your seat. People will tell you otherwise, but don’t falter to what they say. Follow your heart.”

Future plans

With her vision to promote a healthy lifestyle in Nepal, Shristi plans to build a sustainable organic environment where they are able to connect with the farmers and housewives of Nepal. She already has a small farm in Baneshwor set up for the project. The café owner also plans to run programs such as ‘Let’s Talk About Animals’ and ‘School of Thoughts’ – which meets once a month in her cafe to watch documentaries and discuss topics ranging from quantum physics to religion – in hopes to develop a sense of community. She says that she is sure “more [programs] will come up as we bang our heads together”.

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