If Kamrul Hasan's 'Amader Lokoshilpo' from your Bangla textbook in eighth grade ever intrigued you about our folk arts and you were upset at the same time because of the systematic decline of our cottage industries, then you are not alone.
For you, today's story is all about revival. It is about the long lost glory of our golden fibre - jute, presented with excellent craftsmanship.
Braiding locks from jute strands, 'Beni Boonon' has a range of home décor items to serve the local customers of Bangladesh.
It is the finery of the local artisans of our country, who meticulously create the braids with hands to make such products.
From large area rugs, doormats, tableware items to plant basket sets, this home décor shop has everything you need to adorn your household.
Beni Boonon is currently planning to launch tissue box covers, which will be in the market soon.
From abroad to home
Beni Boonon originated from its mother company, Bengal Braided Rugs Limited (BBRL) which has been exporting jute products to the UK and USA for more than 15 years.
After being in his father's business for more than a decade, Director Saadul Islam felt now was the time BBRL introduced the local market to their home grown goodness.
Shahedul Islam, the co-founder of BBRL and Saadul's father, attempted several times to reach local people to introduce the hidden treasure Bangladesh has.
Eventually, he had to give up since people back then were more into synthetic based, exported carpets.
Blessed by his time on social media and limitless access to the internet, Saadul brought his father's long-lost dream to life.
With a view to reviving the glory of jute products in Bangladesh, the journey of Beni Boonon started in 2019.
Within less than two years, it has accumulated around 70,000 Facebook followers.
Their Facebook page has a five out of five in its reviews and recommendations and it is flooded with comments from satisfied customers.
"We started Beni Boonon through Facebook. Even though I do not have any prior experience of marketing, frequent interactions with buyers made me understand what they want. When I started it, I had in my mind that whatever I wanted to sell should have a top notch presentation," said Saadul, who was earlier involved in music and photography.
Supporting local artisans
Initially, when BBRL started, it had only 10 artisans. Now it is a cottage industry of 300 artisans, all of whom are women.
Their duty is not confined within executing the designs; they also play an important role in product designing.
As the products are a blend of local designs with a slightly modern touch, the artisans look after the local part.
"The artisans would create designs and show them to foreign buyers when they come to visit every year. They would consult with them about which colours would match properly with an item. Artisans would select a colour combination first and the buyers would then either modify or accept it," Saadul, a proud patron of his artisans, informed us.
Promoting eco-friendly products
As the world is becoming more involved in practicing sustainable production and consumption, Beni Boonon can certainly take pride in promoting organic jute products.
With a twist of local art and modern aesthetics, all the products are made of 100 percent natural jute.
"There is a worldwide demand for environmentally sustainable products. Keeping that in mind, we are trying to maximise production and promote a sustainable culture of using eco-friendly products," said Saadul.
Customers are recommended to follow the washing guidelines properly. Soaking products are strictly prohibited as it deforms the size.
Gently rubbing the surface with soap water is how these jute items should be cleaned.