|Thirteen countries and two continents later we crossed Bangladesh border
into Jessore district where we came across the "Nokshi Khatha"
(blanket) which kept us warm in the Winter reminding me of my childhood.
So many changes took place in Bangladesh and yet nothing had changed with
"Nokshi Khatha" and I felt a sense of purpose to do something
to preserve it for future generations. My travels took me to villages where,
in a typical house, three generations of women stitching at the same time.
They are experts in this field and I started to formulate the idea of utilizing
these skills to create contemporary fusion fashions for the international
||An entrepreneurship story from Bangladesh has its share of hard knocks
even in the local market let alone internationally. I suppose I was lucky
to have business education in Sydney University, to have had some start-up
capital and to have been born in Bangladesh. We overcame the initial difficulties
and began to employ skilled women. More money goes to the people who produced
our fashion products rather than to a host of middlemen.
“IIMON” is a small, home-grown, entrepreneurial aspiration which aims to
make a social contribution through business. Our products portray the Bangladeshi
way of life, reflecting the folklore of our ancestors in the artwork. Examples are the lovingly hand stitched and hand loomed "Nokshi Khatha" and "Gamsa", which have their equivalents in the Japanese culture of"Sashiko" and "Tenugui", both still part of our daily life. Our "Nokshi" work for Japanese and European women's fashion accessories is crafted from pure silk; "Gamsa" hand loomed pure cotton towels and identified in Japan as "Tenugui".
||The story of "llMON" began in 2008, on a three month journey
from Sydney to Dhaka, by land and sea, during a summer vacation from University.
We were searching for ideas for our assignments, part of the International
Entrepreneur subject of our MIB programme. It was a 27,400km journey with
six students at the outset, from different countries and different walks
of life. Four were to drop out along the way and only two of us continued
the whole way to Dhaka.
||All our exclusive products have the signature of the worker, therefore
can be easily recognised. With the encouragement of the Embassy in Tokyo
we participated at the International Fashion Fair on 17-19 July this year
at Tokyo Big Sight, as a result potential Business communication has begun.
My wife Mrs. Yoriko Shah who also travelled from Australia to Bangladesh
while studying, is a constant source of inspiration for me and supports
me with ideas and promotional work.
|We built a system with online ordering which allowed the end user to
specify “Nokshi stitching”. We work to match world quality products and
to process the delivery to end users in Japan, as a result workers get
a fair share from direct sales abroad. At present we have eighteen staff,
fifteen of them female, one driver and two directors.