After meeting through Alokito Hridoy Foundation, the three founders and friends, Azwa Nayeem, Syeda Tasnima and Titly Ferdous, decided to work together by launching their own brand of home-based products in 2018. Inspired by their Bangladeshi roots and vivid culture, Home Junction’s products echo the beauty of jute – the golden fibre that is innate to Bangladesh’s culture and heritage.
“After several attempts, we came up with the idea of doing something with jute,” Azwa Nayeem, Founder of Home Junction, told Apparel Resources in an exclusive interview. “So we launched the brand 3 years ago, and introduced contemporary and funky jute cushion covers, table runners, mats, bean bag chairs and ottomans, and started selling them under the brand name of Home Junction.”
Interestingly, Azwa also founded the Alokito Hridoy Foundation, with the belief that education is the most powerful tool that can break the cycle of poverty and develop enlightened souls. Her organisation runs a school or an ‘education lab’, as they term it, and a teacher development academy called Alokito Teachers, that has provided teacher development models based on empathy, joyfulness and collaborative problem solving to over 3,250 educators who are developing over 60,000 students.
Home Junction contributes a portion of the revenue earned from all its sales to support the Alokito Hridoy Foundation.
The brand places a lot of importance on eco-friendly and locally sourced materials. Despite jute being a local wonder spanning eras, it has been a largely neglected material.
Commenting on the same, Azwa said, “We realised that there is a dearth of locally made home décor products in our country and that was one of the main reasons why consumers resorted to imported products. When we looked further, we saw the locally made home décor products, especially those crafted out of jute, were mostly considered to be inferior. So we connected the dots and came up with the idea of making home décor products with jute in a way that revives the material as well as the heritage associated with it.”
The brand provides a range of home furnishing and home décor products ranging from cushion covers that retail at BDT 450, bed sets starting at BDT 2600, to table runners priced at BDT 1200, tablemats starting at BDT 1000 and also ottoman chairs and round seating stools priced at BDT 4500, bean bag chairs retailing at BDT 5000, wall organisers priced at BDT 450, office lunch bags that retail at BDT 650 and lamps (both standing and hanging varieties) which retail at BDT 2550 going up to BDT 3000.
Home Junction focuses on keeping the craft and techniques as very simple and basic, in a way that lets the beauty of the material and design of the product stand out. It employs the use of screen printing techniques and machine stitching, over designs that have a local yet contemporary vibe to them.
“We use jute, 100 per cent cotton and Ju-Co or jute cotton within our collections,” Azwa highlighted, further adding, “We often dictate the blend of jute and cotton for our products in order to give them a unique feel that makes our products stand out in the market.”
Since the brand caters mostly to a consumer group that ranges from young students to middle-aged couples, they try to stick to minimalism as a theme, when it comes to the craft.
All of Home Junction’s products are made in-house in a small set-up based in Lalmatia, where their craftsmen diligently produce each product.
Comprising a talented team of graphics designers, conceptualisers and production line-cutting staff, 10 artisans, stitching, printing, ironing and quality check staff, Home Junction’s workforce boasts of 60 per cent women staff that hail from less-resourced backgrounds belonging to rural parts of the country.
“Our product lines are season-based. For every season, we come up with a particular theme which is launched bi-monthly, for example, in Summer, Winter, Autumn, Spring, etc.,” Azwa stated.
Home Junction’s products are currently available for purchase on their Facebook and Instagram (@home.junction) pages and have a strong physical presence both online and offline at Unimart Stores in Gulshan and Dhanmondi, as well as at Bohu’s store located in the Tejgaon area. These stores help the brand to connect with and reach out to its customers directly.
Talking about the future plans of the brand, Titly said, “We plan to launch more product categories such as curtains, seating stools and other jute-based home accessories. We prefer to stick to home decor items and hope to one day become a 100 per cent eco-friendly home brand.”