Sopno Kutir Handicrafts

Nihar Sultana started Sopno Kutir Handy Craft in 2003. She has a core team of 8 women who work in her factory, but during the busy “Mela” season, she gets 20 more women to work from their homes. She got training from “Jubo Unnoyon” and started originally making different apparel and décor items. But later she shifted to jute products such as table lamps and door bells without any formal training on jute craft. Initially, if she would see a nice jute bag in a shop, she’d come home and try to replicate that. Now she innovates and comes up with completely original designs by herself. One major obstacle in her journey is working from a rented house because the landlords aren’t very supportive about her business even though it causes no inconvenience to them. She someday hopes to have her own workspace so she can work more freely. However, she’s eternally grateful for the support she’s always received from her family.

Rangpur Craft

Rangpur craft was founded by Sapna Rani Sen in 2011. It all started by training 10 women for the business. Now she has a showroom in Rangpur and two factories in Dinajpur with around 110 regular workers. During heavy order season, she hires 50-60 more people and sometimes work load is so heavy that she gets some of the products manufactured in factories owned by other people. The regular employees work 7 hours a day. They make different jute products such as floor mats, door mats, table mats, etc. Most of the workers haven’t participated in training sessions, but they manage to effectively develop skills through actual hand-on experience. This year, she will set up a 3rd factory and employ around 200-300 women to expand her business. Even the sky has  no limit when it comes to Sapna Rani Sens ambition and willpower

Oishi handicraft

Laizutuna Zannat started Oishi Handicraft after receiving training from skilled craftspeople. She sells different kind of jute products among which door bell, show piece and penholders are the most popular. Her factory houses 40 regular workers with a secondary team of around 140 people. She even has her own boutique house. When starting her venture, she didn’t face any social backlash, but her husband did not appreciate her line of work at all. He didn’t want her to pursue it and often ridiculed her work by calling it childish. However, she was dead set on chasing her dreams and on receiving training from the Ministry of women and Children, she only allowed her dreams to get bigger. She now wants to set up a bigger factory, and export her products without any help from agents.

Onek Asha Kutir Shilpo

With two children to feed and a sick husband to look after, Ashiron Nesa started “Onek Asha Kutir Shilpo” back in 1998. What started as a means to survive, now grew to have its own factory with 70 permanent staff and as many as 530 employees working from home. She makes jute products such as baskets, shopping bags, carpets, curtains, sandals, swings, etc. With no help from banks, she started her business with savings alone. The people in her village were very unsupportive of her endeavors but they couldn’t dim her fire. To reform the negativity with which her villagers viewed working women, she went as far as having meetings with the Union Parishad. She and her workers have been trained at Debi Chowdhurani, Pyar Bangladesh and Adia Rest. She recently bought a new plot to expand her factory. She dreams to provide financial independence to all women in her village.

Bunon Craft

Yasmin always found great happiness with being able to creatively express herself and with that spirit she opened Bunun Craft in 2015. She prides on making products that isn’t made anywhere else on earth. She started her career by working on sub contract but now has her own factory with 45 direct staff who each work a maximum of 8 hours with lunch break. Her transition from making baskets to flooring items hasn’t always been smooth. She has personally always believed in quality coming first but many buyers prefer cheaper price even if that decreases the quality. To curb that difficulty, she regularly invents ways to decrease cost without any quality compromise and strives to give buyers the best value for their money. Having received no formal training, she relies on her unswerving creative intuitions to mold the product to perfection whenever she receives new orders from buyers. She aspires to one day give jobs to 200+ rural women and help them make their own lives.

Raidha Handicrafts

In 1997, Meherun Nesa opened Noborupa House. She sells many different kinds of clothing items. Her business follows a home-based model where workers do the work from their own homes. She has 60-70 people working on Kashmiri chador, 60-70 people working on quilts, 20-30 working on handloom and 10-12 people working on Aplik. She hasn’t received any form of training whatsoever. When she started her business, she ran a few months on loss. Yet she didn’t lose hope and eventually work caught on and her business flourished. She faced a lot of backlash from her in-laws and they still hold grudges against her for her business. Her husband wasn’t very compassionate either, and would often get pissed when she went to India, Nepal, and China for her business purposes. With no support system to hold her together during dark times, she found her safe space in her work by helping women gain self-dependence and financial security.

Rangpur Handicraft

In 2012, Esmotara Begum Reshma started Rangpur Handicrafts after 5 years of being involved in this line of business. She has a factory with 60 part time and 40 full time workers. She makes jute products ranging from ladies’ bags and show pieces to floor mats and table mats. The mother products in her business are the dining mats and bags. She took training from IDE Bangladesh, Basic and many other small scale training programs. She started her business with absolutely no loans. Now she mass produces goods more many renowned NGOs such as RDRF, Pragati and many others. The workers in her factory rely on her business to make their living. They love working for her and for their sake she wants to expand her business so that she can support her workers even better. She is happy with the way her business has taken off, but she doesn’t planning on stopping here.

Charushy

Rangpur has been famous for handicrafts from the pre-British era and with an aim to preserve that heritage, MSC Tohura Begum started Charoshi in 2006. Currently she has a factory with 70 permanent workers. During peak season she has as many as 200 part time workers, and all of them are women. She and her team makes jute bags, wall mats, prayer mats among many other things. The most popular items in her repertoire are shotronji, table mats and bags. She faced multiple challenges during the course of business but managed to overcome every single one of them with resilience and hard work. In the quest of seeking her passion, she took a loan from Basic Bank and received training from around 10-15 institutions including RDRA, Prapti and PR. Currently she has a showroom and indirectly exports her products through different secondary channels. She dreams to expand further and grow big enough to be able to directly reach out to her global customers

Akhi Jute

Mst Lovely Begum learnt to make different jute products as a hobby though she did not know these possibilities with a variety of jute product before. Once visiting the fair, she found a lot of jute products being sold and became curious about it. She decided to make this type of products herself. Her products were appreciated by the people around her village and also buyers from different villages also bought from her. Starting Akhi Jute Product in 2013, Begum is now doing well in financial terms and also trying help other women around her to follow her steps. With only 5 thousand BDT capital and 13 women from her village, Begum started but now she is doing quite well-supplying products throughout Bangladesh with Bagdoom Krishti. Despite a lot of social barriers Begum succeeded and inspired her employees to be skilled and self-sufficient. She dreams to continue this endeavour to encourage women around her in future.

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