(Photo: Joseph La Piana Nying Zemo Collection Spring 2011)

by Kimberly Rae Miller

Shalini Acharya

Borough: Manhattan
Profession: CEO, nyingzemo

At 18, Shalini Acharya-Holman left Nepal for the Big Apple to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology. While attending FIT, Shalini Acharya-Holman was also an entrepreneur; she owned a cashmere business for years in the height of the pashmina craze which began in the late ‘90s. Her pashminas were distributed to all high-end stores on Madison Avenue, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and also bought by editors of the top fashion magazines. She then decided to get into the rug business after seeing a pashmina rug being produced at one of her factories.

Once she saw the beauty and extremely high quality, she knew that there was potential to bring these rugs into the world of modern art. This is when she reached out to her good friend, Simmy Pappachen, about starting nyingzemo. They both decided to give a percentage of their profits to ABC Nepal, a non-profit organization that helps prevent girl trafficking in Nepal. The name nyingzemo means “beautiful things” in the Tibetan language. This is how they see their collaboration with artists, the couture rugs that come out of it, and the help that it brings to the young girls within ABC Nepal, “beautiful things.”

When we think of style most of us think of the contents of our closet, how important is it to put that same energy into styling your living space?

I believe home and fashion go hand in hand. Putting the right energy to your wardrobe and living space will bring comfort and beauty together. Both are very personal. Picking the right materials, colors, textures and style are the most important decisions in both aspects.

What considerations should people make in styling their living environment?

When shopping for your wardrobe, you tend to know exactly what you want. Therefore, while shopping for your living space you need to consider what you are looking for.

Always start with basic elements. When shopping for your wardrobe the five essential elements are a black dress, crisp white shirt, dress pants, tailored jacket and a skirt. These five basic elements in your wardrobe are your investment pieces because you will wear and have them for a long time. When it comes to your living space the same theory goes. Make sure to pick key elements, which are high in quality and well made that will last you for a long time. Make a long term investment!

What goes into your process when working with designers?

Nyingzemo, is a high end rug company. When we make our rugs, we consider every element for a client’s need and each rug is one of a kind. Extreme attention goes into the design, textures, quality, and material. Nyingzemo rugs are all hand- knotted in Nepal, therefore making a rug takes almost 8-15 weeks.

Each rug is made to order based on an original artwork created by fine artists. We have blended the new form of art to the ancient art of weaving. We consider ourselves “couture” because our rugs have high quality, high creativity and are limited editions.

The above rug is designed by Joseph La Piana , and is part of our new collection that will be launched spring of 2011.

Favorite Shopping Spots in the Five Boroughs?

Shopping for me is a passion. I love shopping for myself or others. It doesn’t matter if I am shopping for a wardrobe or a living space. I look for classic clean with some great investment pieces for my wardrobe and my living space. Diane von Furstenberg is one of my favorite fashion designers so I shop at her store downtown.

I love handbags and shoes so I invest in them. I shop at Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent on 5th avenue.

For my basic wardrobe I like going to Bloomingdales on 59th street considering they have everything as well as great deals.

I also shop in the West Village at Trace Reese, Olive and Bette’s, Intermix, Theory, and Catherine Malandrino.

Shopping for my living space would be for a beautiful rug as an investment piece. I always start with a rug when it comes to styling my living space. To me, making an investment with an amazing rug is a very important element for your living space. A nyingzemo rug is “an investment you can walk on”.

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