Growing up, we both were taught that our life choices can make a difference in this world. Preston comes from Canada and is a perfectionist who loves the intricacies of business. Mirjam comes from Sweden and is a people person who is creative and as passionate about knitting as anyone you’ll ever meet. As our stories merged and we have explored the world together, we have become convinced that social entrepreneurship and job creation, not handouts, are the way to bring lasting change to developing communities. In 2012, we, together with our 3 children, moved to Nepal to pursue this conviction. We were quickly confronted with a world much different from our own – a country deeply affected by the enslaving cycle of poverty where injustice is a sad reality. We heard story after story of hardship and injustice but were at the same time amazed by the resiliency and generosity of the people we met. We quickly fell in love with the country and its people and have made it our home ever since.
4 years and much experience later in April 2016 we officially launched Dinadi in the modest space of our own living room in Kathmandu. During that first half year we trained our first 40 knitters, moved into an office space, created our first collection of 5 designs in 3 colours on Kickstarter and quickly saw the campaign exceed our goal by more than 200%. We were humbled by the massive response to our products and quickly realized there was a demand for what we were making – high quality, sustainable and ethical unisex winter accessories. It became clear to us that our personal conviction was shared by many and the movement of conscious consumption was growing.
We followed up Kickstarter with our first full collection in 2017 and were picked up by stockists in 8 countries across the world. We trained another 20 women in order to fill growing production needs while also launching our online webshop.
We’ve now hired Nepali managers who oversee much of the day to day running of Dinadi in Nepal and have seen our knitters lives impacted through our community and financial stability.
We still live in Nepal and believe it is an important role we play at this stage in Dinadi’s growth. We still do everything in-house initiated by ourselves whether it being knit training, design developing or marketing. By living in Kathmandu, we can be hands-on involved, oversee all areas and maximize transparency and social impact. We are committed to see our social mission carried out in the day to day running of our business and can proudly say that our Nepali managers are a part of furthering both the social mission and high-quality production.
One thing is for sure, Dinadi wouldn’t be what it is today without the time and efforts of many amazing people we’ve been privileged to work together with. From our employees to interns, friends and family, stockists around the world and customers who purchase our products all share in Dinadi’s story and all are part of Dinadi’s impact in the nation of Nepal.