1st June 2011
Samples – Taslima’s story
A crucial part of the handmade process at Pebble is making samples. This is the most skilled level that any artisan can achieve. It involves making a toy from nothing more than a picture or a line drawing with measurements scribbled on it. It involves understanding how 2d transforms into 3d, how a picture can transform into a character and how to then write instructions so that other people will be able to make it too.
If you knit yourself then you will understand the enormity of what I’ve just described. The small team of ‘Samplers’, as we fondly refer to them, at Hathay Bunano were taught by me and we have worked very closely together for many years and indeed continue to work closely together to transform ideas into toys that children love.
Taslima is a member of the Sample Team and has worked for Hathay Bunano for the past 5 years. She came to us straight from school. Her family moved to Dhaka in 2000 looking for work and a brighter future. Taslima was selected by a charity school in Dhaka which ran a programme where parents were paid the garments industry minimum wage in order not to send their young girls into the garments industry. So Taslima’s parents were paid about 600tk per month to send her to school rather than to a factory. The school clearly wanted to try to secure safe and fairly paid work for the young women when they were due to leave and so I remember the day, almost 5 years ago, that 20 young women came into my office in Baridhara to work for 2 days on the understanding that at the end of those 2 days I would choose 5 of them for full-time salaried positions.
Taslima was very quiet, very very quiet, extremely diligent, with a strong desire to achieve perfection and an appetite to learn. It was clear that she would excel making samples. We have worked closely together ever since and every day I marvel at the wonderful new samples these very talented young women make.
In choosing to blog about our Sample Team, I asked Taslima a few questions about her work. She told me that she loves to make new products and that it’s interesting to have work that always involves making something new and different. She is happy to have learnt English and feels that Hathay Bunano is like a family. SHe is enjoying her career and has no plans to marry but wants to continue to progress in her career. Taslima made the samples for the new Once upon a time – ballerina and nutcracker and you can see her working on them in the pictures.
At the end she said that there is a friendship between the CEO (that’s me) and all the Sample Team and they like that very much. Well, the feeling’s mutual.