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বাংলা
Dhaka Tribune

Let there be light

Update : 15 Mar 2018, 07:30 PM
With successful showings at events like the Cookup's “Baker Street”, or Avenue T’s “Spring into Love”, and some 11,000 plus likes on Facebook, Florus Aurum, purveyor of what the page owners describe as “lumen craft”, is only going from strength to strength, making the world brighter, one mason jar lamp at a time. The story begins with three school friends, all graduates from St Joseph Higher Secondary School. Khondoker Mashuk is a business student currently in his senior year at IBA, Dhaka University, Shahriar Sakif is finishing his LLB from LCLS (South) under the University of London International programmes and looking up to becoming a barrister and Ragib Shahriar Evan has freshly graduated from BUP and completing his internship at Unilever Bangladesh. Friends for a decade and a half, they have collaborated on several projects together. We spoke to the three partners on the story of Florus Aurum.

Light in a jar

In a nutshell, what Florus Aurum provides are unique electric lamps. “We use lumen craftsmanship to define ourselves because lumen architecture covers a lot more aspects” they tell us. “By lumen craftsmanship we like to express crafts built with light at the heart of the concept”. There are several elements that make the Florus Aurum lamps stand out. The first of these is the unusual build of the lamps. In lieu of shades and bases, the creators took everyday mason jars and turned them into customizable lighting. The light sources themselves have a unique texture you can’t get from a normal bulb. What adds to the awesomeness is the fact that you can customize the lamps with quotes and colours to make it all your own.

Lightbulb moment

The idea for Florus Aurum was actually conceived in Mashuk’s study room.  Sometime in late December of 2016 he knocked Shahriar and Evan and told them he had a rough sketch of an idea and they should see if that idea can be completed and made marketable. Shahriar always had a fascination for lamps and Evan had great passion for new ideas. “[The] Three of us talked about creating something now and then but all it lacked was a good idea” they say. “Once the basic idea took form we started to realize how we can make it suitable for the customers. From then innovation was the stepping stone that brought us where we are today” they add.

What’s in a name?

Florus Aurum has an interesting story to share about how the store got its name. “We derived the first part ‘Florus’ from Latin meaning ‘shining, bright’. But we found it incomplete. We started thinking of a second part. This is where it got interesting. When we were searching for the lights for our lamps, we went to look for our signature warm white lights. The sellers kept calling it ‘Aurum’ or ‘Oram’ lights. We later discovered that ‘Oram’ was actually a distorted pronunciation of ‘warm’. But on the other hand ‘Aurum’, also from Latin, means ‘gold’ or ‘golden’. So, we finally decided that this could be our second name. We named it Florus Aurum.”

Roadblocks and challenges

No interesting story is ever free of some kind of a conflict or crisis. For our three protagonists, they found that the ideation had been the easy part. Obstacles came in the form of the availability (or lack thereof,) of materials for bulk production, as well as technical issues that kept popping up. Refusing to give up on what was obviously a great idea, the three tackled each problem that came up, refining their product, sourcing low-consumption lights, developing moisture-resistant stickers, and finalizing designs that they felt would gel well with the consumers. Finally, after much trial-and-error, they were ready to launch on March 15, 2017.

Ignition

From inception to launch, and a heavy online promotion…it was May by the time they began to notice a surge in interest in their products. And then came their first invitation to showcase their products at an event at CityScape Tower in Gulshan. The response was overwhelming and they realized they had something real on their hands, and would have to get serious. In a frank admission, they stated that there remain wrinkles that need ironing out: from time crunches to logistic constraints and supply shortages. However, with their eye on the ball, all three are determined to learn all the aspects of the business and come out on top. “Our customers are our inspirations. We listen to them closely. We want to know what they want and that helps us to come up with variations that are relevant to them. We also actively brainstorm and research to bring the best and unique ideas to life.”

The road ahead

“We want to be remembered as a brand that’ll come to people’s mind when they are setting up their home, office, work desk or study desk. We want to be the first thing that one will remember when thinking about creative and decorative lighting.” With their new range Elior already out, they’re ready to rock at Shopup’s upcoming Boishakhi mela at Midas Center, Dhanmondi 27 from 30th to 31st March. They’re also gearing up for bulk and corporate orders, so it’s safe to say the future looks very bright indeed.
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