Store owner follows in his father’s footsteps

March 4, 2022

Racks of clothes at Nepali Clothing and Cosmetics, located at 4048 Saw Mill Run Blvd.

Photo by Asmita Pokharel

Racks of clothes at Nepali Clothing and Cosmetics, located at 4048 Saw Mill Run Blvd.

Ten years ago when Dev Gautam opened Nepali Clothing & Cosmetics, there were very few places where Nepali refugees could find traditional attire. 

Seeing an opportunity and taking inspiration from his father’s business in Nepal, Gautam began serving the Pittsburgh area’s Nepali community in the spring of 2012.

“I worked with my father at his store in Nepal from a young age, and followed his footsteps to pursue a business career,” Gautam said. 

Today there are many Nepali-owned businesses in and around the Pittsburgh area, but being one of the first was tough for Gautam and his family. 

“At first we were very worried about how we were going to get our supplies, as we did not have any knowledge of the trading aspects of American businesses,” Gautam said. 

Gautam said he got in touch with his friends back home and slowly worked out all of his problems. In doing so, he slowly learned how to grow and expand his business. 

“When I left Nepal with my family, I had never even dreamed about being able to open my own store. America really has been the land of opportunities for me,” Gautam said. 

Some of the traditional clothing items sold at Nepali Clothing & Cosmetics are the popular daura suruwal sets for men, which are three-piece sets consisting of a slip-knot shirt, pants, and a hat; and chaubandi choli, which is a slip-knot blouse for women, typically worn with a fariya, which is a skirt. They also provide items for pujas, which are religious ceremonies, such as agarbathis (incense sticks), diyas (small oil lamps), and a variety of accessories suitable for all events. 

“We value our customers and get our motivation from having meaningful conversations and providing them with satisfaction,” Gautam said. 

Longtime customer Tika Chauhan is impressed with the store’s commitment to fulfilling the customer’s needs. 

“Every time I go there, the store’s owners are very dedicated to helping me find the highest quality products their store has to offer,” Chauhan said. 

Dilisha Neopaney, a Baldwin sophomore, said the store is helping the Nepali community maintain its traditions. 

“As Nepali people integrate into American society, it seems some of us are starting to forget the beauty of our cultural clothes,” Neopaney said. “This is why places like Nepali Clothing & Cosmetics are very essential to our community. They make us feel more connected to our pasts.”

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