Bangladesh is beautiful. So is Fall. The magnificence of the two came together this year at the Fall Meet-Up 2016. To embrace the new season with absolute Bangladeshi tradition, MIB Spirit – Made in Bangladesh, Ajo – fast casual and relax dining, SM Products and Headoffice Communication organized the Fall Meet-Up 2016 from October 13 to October 15 at the MIB- Spirit Studio, Dhaka. Besides these 3 companies, 11 other local exhibitors took part in this festival. More than 6000 guests attended this event. To celebrate each of these brands, we bring to you their individual stories
Picture: Shamsul Salehin Akhand, Picture: A Painting by Shamsul Salehin Artist & Graphics Designer at the Fall Meet-Up
The stall of Amar Bangladesh was represented by Shamsul Salehin Akhand, one of the 4 painters engaged with this organization. According to most visitors, this was indeed the most inspiring stall of the event. Why? Here’s the reason. All 4 of the painters of Amar Bangladesh are unable to hear and speak. Regardless of the challenges life has presented to them, these artists have pursued their passion of drawing since a very long time. They composed the stories of their lives and that of many others through their strongest weapon- the paint brush. The main motto of these artists is to capture the beauty of Bangladesh and present it to the world. The painters started their journey from Charukala Art Institute in 1990 and continued for 10 years before they established their own office at the MIB Spirit studio. The interviews in the Fall Meet-up were attended by Shamsul Akhand to give a vivid picture about Amar Bangladesh. As he says, if there is a will, there is always a way to outshine your drawbacks with your passion.
Picture: Handmade bags in the stall of Rene’ Bangladesh
Rene’ Bangladesh was co-founded by Sanjana Zaman and Naimul Rashid in 2015. Rene’ aims to bring a change by establishing a whole new market. They want to do so through manufacturing paramount quality products with the help of Bangladeshi labors while meeting international standards. The word ‘Rene’ means rebirth, which is the main objective of this brand- to stand out from the crowd and make a new identity.
Sanjana Zaman Naimul Rashid
Rene’ Bangladesh manufactures diversified handmade items with leather, jute, fabric etc. They have both online and physical retail stores branded as Rene’. Besides, they serve as the suppliers of corporate gift items and strive to achieve the highest level of customer satisfaction. In our country, most Chinese, Indian and Pakistani products are thought to surpass the quality of those made in Bangladesh though the Bangladeshi products are often seen to earn enormous admiration abroad. Hence, to promote Bangladeshi products across the country at a large scale, reaching all the divisions, René is aiming to increase the number of retail outlets to three by next year. Their future goals include confirming at least BDT 2 million corporate orders by 2016 and going global by 2030, creating employment opportunities for more than 2000 people. To uphold the vibrant culture and colors of Bangladesh globally, Rene’ has worked with a consultancy at Spain and received a good feedback. The factory from where Rene’ collects the raw materials is situated at Jatrabari while their showroom is established in Banani, Dhaka. Initially, the founders of Rene’ had to struggle to get the raw materials for establishing their business, but with their sheer persistence, today, Rene’ is booming with flying colors.
Picture: Stall of Ruth at Fall Meet-Up
Ruthba Irteza, a current BBA student at IUB, Chittagong, started her journey of ‘Ruth’ from 2016 with the mission of making goods for someone out there. At the Fall Meet-Up 2016, her stalls portrayed some of the most striking stickers, bookmarks, artworks and black illustrations that stole a huge section of the crowd at the event.
Initially, Ruthba tried to gain followers through her Instagram by showcasing her creations and within a short time, a lot of youngsters grew a strong interest for her work. Despite the absence of any professional training, Ruthba harbored a passion to play with the pen. She has been working with expressions enabling Ruth to express everything and anything through art. As she says, ‘Nothing extra-ordinary, nothing common, nothing fine, but everything you wanted to say,’ makes her brand special. Reading through her work inspires abstract art. She currently takes orders for goodies online at her page name ‘Ruth’.
4.Sundarbans Busy Bee
Picture: Stall of Sundarbans Busy Bee at Fall Meet-Up
The project, Sundarbans Busy Bee incepted from late 2013 with the efforts of Shakila Sattar Trina to help the Mawali community of Sundarbans, Bangladesh. The project was established by the social enterprise, The Earth. From the very beginning, the brand has been receiving good feedbacks from customers. Upon every BDT 1000 purchase (1 kg bottle), BDT 100 is donated to the Mawalis.
Picture: Available sizes of honey-bottles Picture: Trina at Sundarbans
Their primary concern of this brand is to create both social and economic opportunities through trading partnerships with local honey collectors. With this, it wants to ensure sustainable development of their communities. Sundarbans Busy Bee provides 100% wild honey directly collected from Sundarbans. There are 4 available sizes of bottles- 50 ml, 100 ml, 500 g and 1 kg. It also takes bulk orders for corporate gifts, wedding, birthday etc. Sundarbans Busy Bee believes in sharing sweetness. This unique exhibitor won the attention of a lot of visitors during the business and brought into light the rising concern about Sundarbans and associated communities.
5.Made With Love
Picture: Stall of Made With Love at the Fall Meet-Up
Around two months ago, in 2016, Sarah Shams and Humaira Shams began working with Made with Love. The tagline of the brand is ‘Handlettered and Made with Love”. The two sisters have been into drawing for quite a long time and they gave their arts the digital forms when they started this business. Their debut was at a small exhibition a few months ago and ever since that event, the brand has been receiving immense appreciation for their sought after goodies. Bookmarks, cosmic stickers, calligraphies, notebook cover prints, wall prints, mugs, quotation stands, bags etc by Made with Love have gained huge popularity amidst the audience. The brand takes order through their online Facebook page.
This was one of the most popular brands in the Fall Meet-Up because the stall offered huge discounts on all totes. It aims to add the colors of art on goodies we use in our everyday life to spread the unique essence of art and design amidst the youngsters.
Picture: Offer by the Cartoon People at Fall Meet-U
The Cartoon People was launched on 03 September, 2016. It was established with the aim of giving a new platform to people who want to learn to draw caricatures, cartoons, comics etc or to showcase their arts in a community that does not take their talents for granted in Bangladesh. The Cartoon People was an initiative taken by Syed Rashad Imam Tanmoy. The team also includes Ata Mojlish, Morshed Mishu, Muhammad Ayan and a few more amazing cartoonists of Bangladesh.
Picture: Cartoon People’s Stall at the Fall Meet-Up
Every member of the team works with downright zeal and commitment using their self-taught talent of composing caricatures. A beautiful understanding among the members makes the brand special. Each cartoonist has his or her own dreams and Cartoon People paves the path of success for those who chase their passions with unconditional devotion. The cool and presentable caricatures of the Cartoon People and their awesome offer upon subscription to their YouTube channel at the Fall Meet-Up fascinated most guests. Furthermore, the cartoonists expressed their gratitude to MIB Spirit- Made in Bangladesh for appreciating what they do and for giving them their much needed exposure.
7.Closet De Tatiana
Picture: Stall of Closet De Tatiana at Fall Meet-Up
Tatini Chakma, with her belief, ‘Wear unique, create trend’ began her business named ‘Closet De Tatiana’ from 2012. The brand does not only take online customized orders but also organizes its own exhibitions frequently to showcase its seasonal one-of-a-kind designs. Tatini tries to create a fusion of western and traditional designs with her products with the motive of creating an exclusive fashion.
As an entrepreneur, Tatini wants to provide the most fashionable arts to her customers who love to create their own style because like she says, their own unique style is their strength which makes them more beautiful and gorgeous. The brand tries to use 100% Bangladeshi material for all the products. The three most important things this brand focuses on are colors, prints and patterns. Sometimes, Tatini limits her designs to only one or two clients to ensure uniqueness. At the Fall Meet-Up, Tatini got the chance to interact with her clients and receive reviews which inspired her to work even more efficiently in the future.
Picture: Sketchbooks by Boka Baksho at the Fall Meet-Up
Arnab Saha and Qazi Tipu, both students of Architecture, co-founded ‘Boka Baksho’ in June 2016. The tagline followed by this brand is, ‘Be Boka, Be Bengali’. With the aim of establishing a new era of fashion but with local products available at a reasonable price, Boka Baksho celebrates Bangladeshi culture through its goodies. As Arnab says, ‘Boka’ comes from the fact that we all are foolish in some way or the other and ‘Baksho’ represents Architecture.
Picture: The Boka Baksho Team
The brand had started its journey with designing sketchbooks. With time, Boka Baksho reached a larger audience and the brand brought new products like bags, wooden rings, lockets, dream catchers etc. In order to apply the knowledge of architecture into business, the organizers brought Boka Baksho to life. Using unique combination of new materials to create products, Boka Baksho stole the hearts of huge part of the audience within a very short time. Currently, Boka Baksho is an online shop but with time, it aims to establish new showrooms as well.
9.Print Me Yellow by Sabah Khan
Picture: Dresses by Print Me Yellow by Sabah Khan
In order to play her part in the fashion for development sector, Sabah Khan introduced her brand ‘Print Me Yellow by Sabah Khan’ in June 2014. Though an engineer, Sabah has always harbored a passion for designing her own clothes and contributing to sustainability of the fashion industry. Instead of just exploring the quality and color of the products, Sabah believes in scrutinizing the stories behind the production of each of her dresses. Her first work was showcased through the bridal collections at her sister’s wedding after she returned from UK upon finishing her higher studies. After receiving immense appreciation for her exclusive designs at this wedding, Sabah launched her business.
Picture: Sabah Khan
Print Me Yellow by Sabah Khan tries to use all Bangladeshi materials and fabrics for the products. They not only have different varieties of fabrics but also of craftsmanship. Sabah Khan tries to focus more on the capacity building of our local tailors, embroiders and associated workers. Her ideas and designs were highly valued at the Fall Meet-Up 2016.
Picture: Goodies by Stellar at the Fall Meet-Up
Sarah Zarrar and Shafin Inzam Babar established Stellar in 2016 with the hope of reducing dependency on international goods and highlighting the talents of Bangladesh. Stellar aims to provide a platform to the artists of this country and to design globally recognized products. They are a team of 4, who are open to collaborate with different local artists to realize their goals.
At the Fall Meet-Up, Stellar offered huge discounts on wall-paints and arts. Besides, scented candles, cushion covers, dream catchers, bags and different products celebrating the beauty of art at this stall attracted most visitors.
Picture: Stall of Sweet Potato at Fall Meet-Up 2016
In March 2014, targeting the festival of Pahela Baishakh, Roksana Rashid and Noushad Hoque started the brand with a catchy name, the Sweet Potato. This is an online retail shop that provides exclusive Taat, Cotton, Tangail and different types of saris to customers. Initially Sweet Potato was the supplier of only cotton saris. But with time, as the brand flourished, it introduced new products in the market.
Sweet Potato has already started to go global. It had supplied a whole collection of saris to the Bengali community of Australia during a traditional festival. As the market grew competitive, Sweet Potato introduced cash on delivery services for their products. It harbors the motto of spreading the culture of Bangladesh through delivering the local saris and jewelries worldwide, beyond Bangladeshi or Bengali clients. With time, Sweet Potato has received great reviews for maintain high standard at reasonable price in the market. It was one of the best-sellers during the Fall Meet-Up 2016.
Besides these participating local brands, 3 of the organizing businesses, MIB Spirit- Made in Bangladesh, Ajo – fast casual and relax dining and SM Products also presented their stalls in the meet-up.
12.MIB Spirit- Made in Bangladesh
Picture: MIB Spirit’s Stall at Fall Meet-Up
“This is made with love, this is made with affection, this is made with utter dexterity, and this is ‘Made in Bangladesh’.” 15 years ago, with the motto of providing functional and affordable aesthetic goods which can meet the society’s needs, MIB Spirit- Made in Bangladesh was established. The originators of MIB Spirit, Khaled Mahmud and Kazi Monirul Kabir, along with the Chief Organizer of Meet-ups, Tabriz Haidary, work for the future of the urban Bangladesh. During this year’s Fall Meet-Up, MIB Spirit presented some of the most unique T-shirts, pencil bags and goodies that were all loved by the visitors.
13.Ajo- fast casual and relax dining
Picture: Ajo at Fall Meet-Up 2016
This beautiful restaurant that adds a touch of visual beauty to this metropolitan life of Bangladesh was established around 8 years ago. The prime motto behind the distinctive ambience of this place was to create an eatery away from the chaos of the city, appealing to the emotions of the foodies with a touch of the traditions. Initially Ajo had its outlet at Dhanmondi, which was later shifted. Currently, Ajo is working at a place in Uttara, winning new hearts and using recyclable materials to serve foods to patrons keeping nature in mind. At the event, Ajo offered some of the most delectable dishes like the Penne Pasta and the seafood bowl, which allowed guests to not worry about their hunger during the visit.
Photo: SM Products’ Stall at Fall Meet-Up ABU Nahean Hossain
ABU Nahean Hossain introduced SM Products to the market of Bangladesh on 5th September, 2013. At present, there are more than 19 types of stationeries (notebooks) by this brand. The price ranges from BDT 70 to BDT 350. The target markets for SM Products are mainly students, corporate executives, writers, and people who have love to write, across all occupations and lifestyles. SM Products is available at all the major stationery shops in Dhaka. These products have been receiving awesome customer reviews and such great feedbacks inspire SM Products to experiment with designs and production materials. The picture was no different at the meet-up where most visitors expressed appreciation for such laudable designs of stationeries. The brand keeps incessantly looking for novel ideas for stationery items in terms of their functionality and design aesthetics.
Through these local exhibitor brands, the culture of our motherland, Bangladesh, was gorgeously represented at the city’s Fall Meet-Up 2016. As visitors reviewed, the success of the Fall Meet-Up lied on the utter dexterity and commendable talents of the exhibitors, who with their cooperative nature and beautiful products, won hearts of thousands in just three days.