In 2002-2003, Shafat Kadir's uncle had just returned from the US. He gave to Shafat a box containing a miniature replica of the Statue of Liberty as a gift. Shafat found this to be a very curious gift, and the memory of it remained with him.
This gift would later inspire Shafat to start Hat Bakso, a souvenir shop that highlights Bangladesh's culture and history.
The brand makes souvenir products such as fridge magnets, thematic frames, miniature replicas of heritage sites, and more.
"There weren't that many options for Bangladeshi souvenirs for people to take abroad, so there was a gap in the market."
However, it was Robiul Hossain, Co-Founder and Creative Head, who came up with the name Hat Bakso. Their products travel in boxes and are ultimately handed to someone as a gift.
Hat Bakso uses materials such as marble, wood, acrylic, glass and metal to create their products. Most of these materials are sourced locally.
While the creative process varies during the designing phase, a lot of research goes behind every product. For example, when designing their Bangladesh themed magnets, they study their subjects thoroughly, after which a sketch is made which best represents the natural beauty of the site. They also employ 14 students from various universities who solely work on colouring the products.
Hat Bakso is a great option for consumers who want souvenirs that best represent the culture of Bangladesh.
Lalbagh Fort miniature replica
Miniature replicas of the Taj Mahal or Statue of Liberty are common items in many households. Replicating this idea, the Hat Bakso team makes a variety of miniature replicas of Bangladeshi monuments.
The Lalbagh Fort miniature is a replica of the south gate of the historical landmark. It is made from marble and is hand-painted with acrylic colours. The rustic, burnt orange with dark shading accurately depicts the monument. Hat Bakso also pays attention to details by showing the exposed bricks. It has a dimension of 5 x 3.5 x 2.7 inches.
Price: Tk 1,350
Cox's Bazar fridge magnet
Hat Bakso's line of magnets are one of their bestsellers and for good reason. They are detailed crafts which make cute gifts for someone living abroad. The magnets are also small enough to be conveniently packed into any luggage.
Bangladesh takes a lot of pride in its natural beauty, and Cox's Bazar has the longest sea beach in the world! It is one of the first places tourists opt to visit.
Hat Bakso designed the Cox's Bazar magnet so people have something to remind them of their cherished memories at the beach. The magnet depicts the sunset at Cox's Bazar, comes in the shape of a shell, and has 'Bangladesh' engraved on it. It has a dimension of 3.2 x 2.7 inches and is made from marble.
Bangabandhu Red Frame
Hat Bakso does not have a shortage of artistic products which highlight the history of Bangladesh.
Throughout the streets of Dhaka, it is not uncommon to find art and quotes from prominent figures graffitied on walls. The Bangabandhu Red Frame in particular is reminiscent of a giant portrait painted on a wall of an alleyway of the neighbourhood I grew up in.
The frame contains a marble stone figure of Bangabandhu with lines from his famous speech written on a red background. It also uses materials such as pinewood and glass to create the frame. It has a dimension of 16 x 7.5 x 1.25 inches.
Where to find: Hat Bakso's products can be found at 65 spots including Le Meridien, Bookworm, Bengal Boi, Bangabandhu Military Museum, and so on. You can also find them on their website: https://hatbakso.com/