Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 3, Issue 38, Tuesday May 9, 2006



Shop Special

Charmed by Chondon

Chondona is a fashion designer who satisfies the artist in her soul. Chondona had lived in San Francisco for 11 years where she used to make paper jewellery for a venture called 'Two Women'. She then moved to Connecticut for three years where she had a boutique called 'Arshi'. When she and her family re-located to Bangladesh, 'Arshi' was re-named 'Chondon Apparel & Accessories'.

As you enter Chondon, you are assailed with a vibrant collage of fresh colours, peppy accessories and prints. Her palette of colours include everything from dull gold to vibrant greens and pinks; burnt reds, oranges and yellows; and nautical blues in navy, cobalt, turquoise and sea green. With unusual prints and exclusive surface ornamentation, the ethnic ensembles seem to have a stylish, contemporary makeover. The striking range of saris, kameezes and kurtis come in comfortable kotas, classic silks, and evergreen cottons.

Chondona keeps on feeding her artistic soul by ever-increasing her knowledge base. In addition to the courses on crafts she completed while in the States, Chondona has also earned a diploma from Designers' Inspiration. She has used the age old patchwork and appliqué (potti) using different motifs, crafted into asymmetrical shapes giving her clothes a bold, larger-than-life effect. There are scintillating sequins in bright colours and in combination with pitta work and thread work. There are tie-dyes in ethnic patterns. Charming coins, teamed with wooden beads, has also been used to give the sophisticated gypsy look. The designer saris and shawls with vivid appliqués and kaleidoscopic embroidery running through the length are bound to be a hit with the fashionistas of today. Chondona even coordinates her outfits by designing chic bags in matching colours, as well as jewellery using silver, gold, oxidised metal, semi-precious stones and the meena technique.

So if you're looking for apparels and accessories that aren't your run-of-the-mill stuff, pay a visit to Chondon at Hs. 19 (new) - Block E1, Rd. 96, Gulshan 2.

By Simin Saifuddin

Boarding on the Book Express

4th of May 2006 was apparently a happy day for the readers: it was marked by the opening of a new high-street bookstore called the Book Express in Banani. From its looks and its collections, it will- needless to say- rival similar stores such as Words n Pages and Omni Books.

Book Express is a sister concern of the Etc. bookstore. When asked what difference this particular store has to offer, the Manager Ismail Chowdhury pointed out that- unlike Etc., which has recently diversified into clothes, toys, etc. - Book Express will cater specifically to the readers. The ambience is comfy-yet-classy, with couches that invite people to sit and read.

There is also a coffee shop: "Coffee World" where you can order various types of coffee beverages (ice latte, cappuccino, espresso, etc.). You can also sit with your coffee mug, as you read. For any purchase above Tk.500, you can pick up a complementary coffee from Coffee World- a pertinent form of marketing, but nevertheless, a pleasure to the buyers.

The Book Express holds a sound collection of books. Its stock ranges from fiction novels (I happened to pick up a Stephen King novel, by the way) and travelogues to children's storybooks and non-fictions. It also maintains an assortment of books from local writers.

There are also DVDs. While the section accommodates many classics and old-time favourites, I also came across a handful of "new arrivals" movies. You may also find music DVDs, concerts, DVD sets of popular television series.

Chowdhury revealed that for now, he wants to focus on the store itself and the customers. Nevertheless, he does go on to suggest that the Etc. Corporation does have future plans- primarily to establish a wider market by setting up a few more similar stores. This, he states, would make their services and products available more widely accessible to the consumers.

The store is situated in Banani (House-98, Road-11, Block- C). It is open seven days a week, from 10 am to 11pm.

By Saadi

Family needs

A superstore that started back in 2001 on Rabindra Sarani, Sector-3, Uttara with a vision to provide shoppers with high quality essential commodities at reasonable prices, will soon complete its sixth successful year.

Last March, Family Needs inaugurated its second outlet on 51 Sonargaon Janapath, Sector-7, Uttara to meet the demands of their growing number of customers. Today Family Needs serves over 7000 customers, 6800 of whom are Privilege Card holders. The holders of Family Needs Privilege Cards enjoy one-fourth of the superstores monthly profit, which is indeed a totally new business practice in our country’s context.

Family Needs strategic aim to sell better quality products to customers at the best market price has been very successful. The superstore sources all its products directly from the growers, manufacturers and importers; as a result no middleman is involved in the procurement process.

The general manager of Family Needs Mir Md. Shamsul Alam related to us that Family Needs has always strived to serve the community.

The traditional profit-making approach is definitely there but what has added value to their attitude is their desire to help the society through business.

Family Needs would offer a whole range of car servicing and bill payment facilities to its customers in the upcoming days. For instance, as a working woman you often don’t get time to pay your bills on time. To save you from the hassle of going to the bank to pay your utility bills all you would have to do is dial Family Needs and one of their reliable staff would shoulder the responsibility of paying your bills.

Family Needs is also planning to provide households with practised electricians, plumbers and other skilled technical people at reasonable prices in the near future. So the next time anyone living in Uttara requires an expert electrician to fix the TV, all they would need to do is call Family Needs for help.

Family Needs is a perfect place for those who are looking for a store that would sell an extensive range of products under one roof.

By Wara Karim

On the cover

With Mother's Day coming up on May 14, we pay a special tribute to the special women in our lives. Check out our stories on Centrefold

Model: Riffat and Rawan
Photo: Zahedul I Khan


We're back, and this week, we bring you some more tips to help you chill even when it's roaring hot outside.

Misty Freshness
Fill up an empty atomiser bottle with fresh water, and stash in your bag, along with a napkin. When it gets really hot, spritz a little on your face, and clean up. It's an instant refresher. Not recommended if you've got make-up on, but then the lighter the make-up in summer, the fewer clogged pores. If you can't find an atomiser bottle, try experimenting by fitting an old insect-spray nozzle (washed clean, of course) onto a hand-wash bottle.

Handy hand-fans
The Victorians had their elaborate feather fans, the Japanese have their pretty paper ones, and we've got our cute haat pakha, available in simple palm-leaf form, or more decorative, with nakshi kantha and other embellishments. In the season of power-cuts, when air conditioners are unreliable, there's nothing like having one of these babies around to beat the heat.

Icy and sweet
This is the perfect season for ice-cream, but repeated trips to Movenpick or Club Gelato are tough on the wallet. Here's how to bring the parlour home. Rustle up some lemonade, or Tang, or any of your favourite cool drink, pour into an ice-tray, stick toothpicks in, and then put it in the freezer. Let it freeze for a few hours, and then voila! You've got your mini popsicles. Experiment with flavours, and call your friends over for an ice cream party.

Well, that's enough for this week. On a parting note, the news these days is full of heart-rending stories about water shortages and power outages, and images of people trudging for miles to find water to drink, cook and bathe with, and students cramming for exams by candlelight. Keep their suffering in mind, and don't waste. Turn off the tap when you're not using water (while shaving or brushing your teeth), and turn off electrical appliances before leaving a room. A little bit goes a long way.

By Sabrina F Ahmad



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