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Décor Idée- the complete story
DÉCOR Idée has a relatively simple meaning- 'ideas of decoration'- but the like-named showroom at Gulshan offers so much more. It is an oasis of captivating home décor materials, a pulsating hub of sheer ingenuity, throbbing with the inexhaustible passion and energy the founders have created it with.
The chic outlet located at Gulshan 2 is an interior decorator's dream come true, and offers a myriad of house décor items like tablecloths, cushion covers, wall hangings and more. But the most interesting items on display are the furniture and the baskets made from an indigenous sea grass, 'hogla pata'.
There is a very interesting story behind the inception of Décor Idée, which should be explained before delving into further details.
The saga of Décor Idée dates back to way before its inception in 2004. Right after the Liberation War, when our country was in the mortal grasp of a deadly famine that took the lives of hundreds, there was one woman who was determined to create employment for her country's people so that no more precious lives would be lost.
Aziza Hoque, with the help of like-minded individuals and some organizations, formed an organisation who took it up as their sole motive to make the poor Bangladeshi women self-reliant so that they could save themselves and their families from starvation.
They started looking for indigenous resources that could be used in creating employment in the villages of our country and soon started a silkworm cultivation project.
It was a trial and error process and since the projects attempted did not yield significant returns, Aziza knew she would need a more solid and practical business idea that would help to ensure the continued earnings of the rural women.
Aziza's fate later took her to Belgium where she was pursuing a doctorate degree in Economics, but her insatiable desire to create flourishing employment in her country was not extinguished.
This desire later led her to create a trading company called Bangladesh Emporium along with her husband to help export goods from Bangladesh to Europe. Utilitarian cane baskets was the first item Aziza introduced at a trade fair in Frankfurt. The baskets were an instant hit at the fair and cashed thousands of dollars, which were used in the development of rural women in many villages in Narsingdi.
For the next several years, Bangladesh Emporium exported cane baskets from Bangladesh to Belgium, which was then sold in thousands in many European countries.
However, when the trend of cane baskets fizzled out, Aziza was in a dilemma as to what could be the next big thing that would help in creating employment for her country people back in Bangladesh. And in her search for indigenous resources that could be used to produce something unique, Aziza stumbled upon the hogla pata, which is a kind of sea grass found in most coastal and island areas in our country.
From then on, there was no looking back. Hogla pata was tied up in knots and the ropes could then be used to make baskets, which were very much in demand among Europeans. Over the years, Aziza and her family worked tirelessly to promote these baskets that were not only useful, but also considered very chic and trendy in Europe.
The dream of creating jobs for rural women was also realised, as hundreds of women in different villages around Bangladesh were employed in the procurement and processing of the resources for these baskets.
Fast forward to the year 2004, Aziza Hoque's elder daughter Towhida Hoque came up with the idea of opening a display area for their products in Dhaka, and thus started the journey of Décor Idée which now stands proud in a large outlet at Gulshan 2.
The whole showroom is arranged like a trendy apartment, complete with a bed and sitting arrangements stylishly bedecked with exquisite linen made especially by the craftsmen. Décor Idée now offers a complete range of items for household décor, from bed sheets to wall hangings, cushion covers and more. And of course there are a range of products made from hogla pata, like laundry baskets, fruit baskets, pen stands and other decoration pieces.
The bed sheets, cushion covers and tablecloths are made from 100% Bangladeshi Benarasi and katan in eye-catching hues and will add a regal touch to any home. An interesting touch has been added to the wall hangings by sewing together hundreds of scraps of Benarasi of different colours. Brocade batwas and purses that can effortlessly add splendour to any party outfit are also available. Each piece of creation is an art by itself and the cherry on the cake is that almost everything on offer is made from our very own Bangladeshi materials. For the innovative baskets or for the majestic linen or the creative wall hangings with a fresh new twist, Décor Idée is a must-visit for all those who are keen to accentuate the beauty of their abode with products that are not so ordinary!
By Wasia Mehnaz Minna
On The Cover
We're going flower-mad this week, and bringing in those bright blooms to liven up our personal spaces. Flip through the pages for a peek at all the colours.
"Where are your manners?" she said. "Who in this world makes coleslaw burger?" She did nothing to hide her astonishment.
I smiled and took a sip of the fresh lime soda, my mouth still full with the last bite from the bun.
"There you go again. Don't you know its bad manners to chew your food and drink at the same time?"
By Mannan Mashhur Zarif
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