Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 4, Issue 35, Tuesday September 04 , 2007



Spot Light
Parlour at your doorstep

While the advent of mass marketing swept through the previous commercial phase and brought with it dramatic changes and benefits to the business community, trends have shifted once again and marketers are slowly deciding to follow a different route. True, the Walmart's and the Macy's did well with their convenient, self-service facilities, but somewhere along the line, a contrasting element seems to be gaining importance. Understanding each consumer's demand and tailoring one's products and services accordingly makes for better satisfied customers, higher sales, higher profits and everything else that follows.

However, we need not have a BBA degree nor comprehension of Marketing concepts to see this theory put to use. From a realistic point of view, Bangladesh provides glaring examples of trades for which this technique is not just advisable, but mandatory- the make-up industry for one. We caught up with one such woman who appreciates the importance of exclusiveness just as well as her customers do and this is what she has in store.

Like many of Hasna Rahman's counterparts, a penchant for make-up began very early and only as a hobby. Never having believed this to be a prospective career option however, she only received formal training in this field years later. From Dhaka to Delhi and Bombay to London, she has acquired formal training, specialising in hair and make-up over a career span of almost 17 years.

Towards the beginning of the last decade, she took her endeavours with make-up one step further by joining Bithi's Herbal. 'Although I had already received training, I wanted to couple my knowledge with first-hand experience and even till today, I maintain that my time there gave me a lot of practical lessons. However trained or specialised one becomes, there are aspects like customer relations that can only be gained through working experience.'

Having come this far, Hasna Rahman now provides services in three different ways. She has inaugurated a parlour called Sani's Beauty Care in Banani and it has been running for over a year now, she has an unofficial parlour at home which is fully equipped and quite unlike most other people, she also caters to clients on call; going to their residents if need be. Her range of work covers everything that falls under make-up and beauty, except skin treatment. And after her latest training expedition in London, this has come to include nail and eyelash extensions as well.

Although her beauty parlour operates in the usual fashion, there are certain ground rules to the other two. At home, clients are required to come according to pre-set appointments so as to ensure congestion-free services and as concerns receiving beauty treatment at home, Hasna Rahman usually requires her customers to ask for more than just one facility so as to make her trip worthwhile. A suitable time for setting appointments is usually a couple of days in advance.

Belonging to this day and age, few women disregard the importance of appearance and yet are left struggling to allocate time to all their appointments and responsibilities in a 24 hour day. And even if they can make the time every now and then, the queues and crowds at parlours are a sheer killjoy. So for those of you who want to bring the parlour home and opt for hassle and wait-free make-up, please contact Hasna Rahman at 01716 244 826.

By Subhi Shama Reehu

Photo: Zahedul I Khan

The pricey end of the bargain

Escalating market prices are the most talked of topics nowadays, affecting the country's economy on a broader scale and my life to the measurements of a Vernier scale. Of late, no matter how alluring the heaps of lush green vegetables and sparkling silver fish may seem, I dread to ask shopkeepers the price. And not only mine, I see many more faces turn pale as they pause in front of the meat-shops satirising the juicy lumps of flesh. Whatever I intend to buy, be it even rice and daal, the prices make me count my cash again. I just wonder when or if ever the increasing prices will cease their rate of rise.

Reading about high market prices in the newspapers and personally being affected by them by actually going to the bazaar are totally different experiences, which for me hasn't been pleasant so far. The prices are so erratic that the rice I'm buying for thirty taka today is thirty-four taka the very next day. I do not dare ask the shopkeeper the reason for this illogical price hike lest he gives me the why-on-earth-you-are-here look. And even if my agitated consumer conscience does question him, the shop owner comes up with all sorts of imaginable excuses which ultimately come down to this: you either buy or go. Well, the shopkeepers have their logic in turning me away; they have ample customers to take care of. Defying the basic laws of economy, the consumers seem to increase proportionately with the prices and the markets are always hustling with crowds.

I feel privileged to walk out of the market with essential commodities and a contented mind for winning yet another battle. Now I may quit thinking about the soaring price for sometime. But people living on a shoestring budget fall into great distress when they go to the bazaar and return home with a handful of shopping wondering where all the money has gone. Especially the middle and lower class find it difficult to make both ends meet and finally cut down their list. It's no different a scenario for the rich also as the increasing prices affect their well maintained lifestyles to an extent. If the prices keep on galloping like this, the term 'essential commodity' will soon need to be redefined befitting our meagre requirements.

It is high time that this increasing market price is pulled up by taking proper measurements and letting people survive with dignity. After all, food is one of our basic rights.

By Rajeeb

Check It Out
Floral fiesta

Although flowers are a roadside availability in most streets of Dhaka, very few endeavours are actually taken to promote the love of blooms and blossoms. Once in a while however, even flower lovers are entitled to have their floral delights, for example, through annual orchid exhibitions that are held in a private home in Gulshan. The exhibition will showcase orchids grown or tended to in Bangladesh by members of the Orchid Society of Bangladesh and the exhibition will run from 9am to 5pm on the 7th and 8th of September with a minimal entrance fee of Taka 10. For a change of taste, detouring from the usuals of exhibitions dedicated solely to fashion, visit House # CEN C2, Road # 95 Gulshan 2.

Sweet Water Lobster @ Sheraton

From the 2nd to the 9th of September, Dhaka Sheraton's Vintage Restaurant will be promoting a culinary endeavour titled Sweet Water Lobster and they will be showcasing this delicacy in a four-course menu. Each course will feature a different cooking method paired with unique and complementary flavoured combinations during this week-long promotion. The Sheraton Hotel's culinary team invites you to come and enjoy the warmth of the mahogany wood ambience of the Vintage Restaurant while taking part in a truly worthy culinary journey. For more information, please call 8330001 Ext 4220.

-LS Desk


Save your shoes
'Tis the season of trudging through floods yet again! Aside from looking like a drowned rat, you inevitably run the risk of ruining your favourite pair of shoes, not to mention developing foot odour if you're not careful. If you want your footwear to make it through the rainy season, check out these tips.

Extra, extra
Always bring an extra pair of shoes (and socks, if needed). Certain types of black shoes tend to leave nasty blue-black stains on your feet or socks when they get soaked. That's why it's crucial for you to change shoes right away once you step out in the rain. If you're anticipating a major downpour, bring a pair of sturdy rubber boots or flip-flops.

If you don't want to bring something bulky or if your shoes are made of rain-unfriendly material like suede, buy a pair of foldable plastic zip-up boots that you can slip on over what you're wearing. Check out the department stores in malls and see if they carry these. Also, bring a waterproof bag or even a sturdy plastic bag you can use to put your soggy shoes in, in case you get caught in a flood on the way to school.

Whitewash your shoes?
If you get yellowish mud stains on your white shoes that can't be removed even after intense scrubbing, here's a trick: either brush it with vinegar, or thinly rub some toothpaste on it (the white, opaque kind is better) and let it dry. Most of the time, you won't even notice the difference.

Newspapers' other usage
Don't make a habit of storing damp footwear inside the closet, or else the trapped moisture will cause the glue or rugby to become soft. Moisture can also cause rubber soles to crack, especially if your shoes haven't been used in a long time. Instead, stuff the insides with balled-up newspaper and leave it overnight so that it can absorb all the moisture. Unlike tissue paper, it won't leave sticky white shreds all over the interior, and it's more environment-friendly to boot.

Air the actual way
Never leave your shoes out to dry under direct sunlight, especially if they're made of leather. They can become cracked and dry as sandpaper, which can cause your feet to chafe. Mop up the water as best as you can and air out the shoes at room temperature.

Sweet-smelling or stinky?
Having a problem with smelly footwear? Put a container of baking soda or some charcoal in your shoe closet to keep moisture and bacteria from accumulating.

-LS Desk




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