Kick-starting with a trunk show organized in the US, Trinket Bazaar set off on its journey some seven years ago. After years of struggles to make the online jewellery brand a success in Bangladesh, where people are still learning to trust in e-commerce, Trinket Bazaar has already made a name for itself among fashion enthusiasts. Tahzeen Alam, founder of Trinket Bazaar, talks about the unstinting efforts that went into the making of the brand and sheds light on where it’s headed.
It was about seven years ago, in 2011. I hardly wear any jewellery myself, but I’ve always been absolutely fascinated with them. I feel most women in Bangladesh have an indiscreet love affair with jewellery, especially gold, but they weren’t always being able to wear them as much as they’d like to, simply because they’re so expensive. That’s where costume jewellery comes in. They are very affordable. You can buy the latest trends as soon as they roll out without breaking the bank.
The pieces are made in India. Sometimes, I send sketches or photos of the designs I want, or my clients want, to the artisans there. At times, I take a design and modify it. To be fair, I work more as a medium or channel than a designer.
The raw materials are from different places in India, where the jewellery is made – Hyderabad, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Amritsar, Punjab and Delhi. I usually outsource or custom-make ethnic jewellery that looks exactly like gold. I mostly use alloy which is a mix of a few metals – copper, silver, tin, etc. I also incorporate pearls and stones such as cubic zirconia, kundans, and other precious stones.
Since I am generally customizing orders in accordance with my clients’ specifications, there’s already an outline of how the jewellery item will look like and I plan the assembly based on that. The gold people are buying in Dhaka are mostly from India, so just by keeping tabs on what’s trending in the gold jewellery outlets here also gives me a heads up.
The jadtar pieces made out of gold and diamond scraps salvaged from the wastage from gold jewellery items are my signature pieces. A classic vintage, they are very unique articles and never go out of style, just like a traditional Kanchivaram sari.
While we are witnessing diversity in cuts and styles, it seems as though our preferences are greatly influenced by what’s trending in neighbouring countries.
Unfortunately, that is the case and I do see it continuing. But in all honesty, that needs to change. You’ll see South Indians wearing South Indian jewellery all year round. They may wear Bengali pieces once a year, during Pohela Boishakh or Falgun. It’s just the opposite with us. We are losing the true essence of Bangaliana.
I am one of those people who go with the flow. I never got to be involved in the industry as much or study designing because of time constraints and lack of opportunity. But I hope those who did, get to revive our individuality in the industry.
I’ll start with Pohela Boishakh. It’s usually very hot in Bangladesh when we are celebrating the Bengali New Year, so please opt for something light, uncomplicated, and you’re comfortable carrying around the entire day.
For Eid and Puja, you could just go for either an elaborately designed neckpiece or a pair of earrings, instead of wearing both at once.
As for a wedding dawat, keep a few things in mind. Your outfit, its neckline, your face shape, your relationship with the bride or groom, etc.
No such plans as of yet. Getting Trinket Bazaar running online is pretty hectic as is.