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Notes about Needle Bee

  • Published at 12:22 am June 24th, 2017
  • Last updated at 02:32 pm June 29th, 2017
Notes about Needle Bee
Ballet flats are a wardrobe staple for women in pretty much any culture, but the typical Western ones can sometimes be a little, well, bland when worn with traditional South Asian clothes. The closest thing we have to these flat closed shoes are nagras and juttis, but the pressure of globalisation has made these hard to come by. Enter one Fatima Nadia, and her Facebook store Needle Bee, which offers a wide selection of comfy, blinged out juttis for the shoe enthusiasts. We listen in. image1image9 When did you decide to become a footwear designer? NB: I have always seen my mom wait all throughout the year for the Dhaka International Trade Fair just to get her favourite piece of footwear - juttis. They were not all worth the wait. Neither the build nor the comfort level could satisfy us. Unfortunately, back then we did not have many options in ethnic footwear for Bangladeshi women. It’s from then onwards I wanted to introduce my own footwear line in this genre for all the beautiful ladies in Bangladesh.  What motivated you and who inspired you? Being born and brought up in a family where all the members have their own business - entrepreneurship runs in my blood. Noticing the demand for juttis and their scarce supply, mixed with my passion for them, is what motivated me. My mother’s interest in her choice of footwear and the lack of it in our country had inspired me to start my own venture.   image4  Was it difficult to become a footwear designer? What was your biggest obstacle and how did you overcome it? Tell us about your journey. For a young woman who has recently come out of her teens and is on the way to becoming a lawyer - the idea of entrepreneurship in itself was quite challenging. Fortunately, these days, women entering businesses  have a little more support than previously. I’ll have to confess, being as young as I am, it was a little difficult convincing my family to take my project seriously at first. I started Needle Bee as a trial project. Failing to open up my own production unit I outsourced the manufacture to neighbouring Asian countries. It took quite a while for both sides to sync and produce something that had generated from my ideas. The first shipment was a blast, generated enough sales to garner more fundings. Gradually people started loving the juttis and the popularity soared. Finally, with the Almighty’s Grace, I was able to gain enough trust from both family and patrons in the strength of my work. Now, I’m working on setting up my own footwear production unit in Bangladesh and have introduced a clothing line to go with the juttis. Do you have a shoe motto? Yes. We at Needle Bee believe nothing can make you feel more confident than a pair of comfortable yet stunning footwear. So ladies, next time you feel down just grab a Needle Bee love and  #makeyourfeetshine! image3 What makes Needle Bee stand out from other footwear designers? Needle Bee incorporates ethnicity with glamour so a deshi woman can wear a little bit of her culture even when she is rocking a western outfit. The primary concern regarding juttis is comfort. Our juttis are made of pure leather and have double padded soles so that even when you are feeling low we can give you a little boost. That’s how Needle Bee connected to its audience; all the juttis here have been handcrafted with sheer love! image7 With the Eid approaching, what new designs are you currently working on? That’s a surprise! For that you would need to keep an eye on our Facebook page. What have been the most popular designs among your clients? There is not a specific answer to this. I launched during the wedding season where I had kept gorgeous juttis with dakba, zardosi and patti work. For summer I introduced vibrant and soothing embroidery, florals, pearls and animal print which have been widely appreciated by all. Our designs are quite season oriented. image8  In the age of heels and stilettos how has been people’s response to the juttis that you design? It is quite a warm welcome. People loved the juttis. That they’d prefer ethnic flats over highly popularised western footwear was beyond my expectation. I was quite glad to see how eagerly Bangladeshi women wanted to connect to their roots and wear something that is modern and represented their culture at the same time.