Even though the modern world is ruled by mass-market retailers selling fast fashion products, people's love for customised and limited edition items is eternal, especially when it comes to the jewellery industry.
Slow fashion advocates for manufacturing fashion wear with respect to people, the environment and animals. Slow fashion involves working with local artisans and using eco-friendly materials.
Sadly, we do not have many ethical jewellery brands that produce handmade limited edition items. This is primarily because of the scarcity of skilled artisans. Tahsin Habib, an economics graduate from Brac University and the Operation Manager of an apparel brand, Shape, is out to change that.
Founded in 2021, Gini Heera, an online-based bespoke jewellery brand operated by Tahsin, makes statement ornaments for modern women. From hoops and studs to dangles and drops, the brand covers almost everything.
Tahsin has always been a connoisseur of fine jewellery throughout her life. While collecting, she realised there are only a few labels in Bangladesh from where she can buy these collectables. It was a dream of hers to open her own jewellery line for a very long time.
"I started Gini Heera inspired by my love for jewellery. The idea of custom designing my own jewellery, something completely unique that reflects me, was very appealing to me," explained Tahsin.
Tahsin believes that although jewellery made of precious metals like gold, silver, etc will always stay in fashion, because of their durability and market value, they are not always suitable for everyday wear. Metal-based ethnic jewelleries are sophisticated, elaborative, and a solid craft that is not, however, everyone's cup of tea.
"From nail paint to hair scrunchie, the new generation loves to coordinate everything with their attire. Metal jewellery is inexpensive, trendy and comes in countless varieties. Styling with them is so effortless," she added.
The collections come in thematic serieses. Till now, the brand has launched a total of four series, and every series has at least five to six items.
The 'Madhubani' series, inspired by Indian art, has been the best-selling to date. "Madhubani art radiates a deep feminine aura. The designs are vibrant, playful, and full of motifs. I wanted to capture the beauty of it in my jewellery," she elaborated.
The flaming red and ocean blue studs from this series is evidence that the brand likes to play around with bright colours.
"Bright colours look lovely on metallic or antique backdrops. For that reason, I love to include this combination in every series," said Tahsin. Apart from the intricate traditional patterns, Gini Heera has minimal geometric patterned items as well.
The brand's latest collection, the 'Tribal' series, is also getting an overwhelming response.
"This series pays homage to all the tribes around the world. The best part of tribal jewellery is that they are minimal, but they speak volumes through intricacy," described Tahsin.
While naming the brand, Tahsin wanted to incorporate something integral to her life – the love that brought her into this world, her parents.
"Gini is my mother's name which means gold, and my father's name Heera means diamond. The combination of gold and diamond is precious, just like their love for each other, together forever. This jewellery line is designed with much passion and love, just like the love between Gini and Heera," said Tahsin.
Currently, Gini Heera has two in-house artisans who make these beautiful pieces designed by Tahsin.
Tahsin does not have any academic education in jewellery design. However, she believes her designing skills originated from her lifelong hobby of doodling.
"The designs I do are basically an assimilation of different motifs and patterns which I learn from studying different arts," she said.
All items by Gini Heera are made of 18-carat silver or gold plates and are embellished with mostly semi-precious stones. Some pieces are adorned with multani, polki, and meena work. Usage of beads and pearls is also very common in the designs.
Being a hoarder, Tahsin stands by the supremacy of the limited edition collection.
"I make my collection in very limited quantities – sometimes just a single piece, so whoever owns it has a piece that is unique," she said.
Tahsin also loves to design bridal jewellery and is open to consulting brides in this regard. "If a bride has a vision about her wedding jewellery, I will love to bring it to life," she added.
The price of a basic pair of earrings Gini Heera starts from Tk 300 and goes up to Tk 4,000 based on the level of intricacy of the design.
If you would like know more about the brand, visit https://www.facebook.com/giniheera