Rainfall hardens the earth. A new factory will begin.
"We've found a potential factory!"
That was the call the team received from Moin. Moin had been travelling all over Dhaka to find a new factory while the rest of the team continued with production in the shoe factory. Finally, the team found a factory that could potentially be their new base. It was on the first floor of a multi-story building in Rampura, a downtown area of Dhaka. It was not big enough to be called a factory, but it was definitely big enough for the team, at least for now.
Upon receiving the call from Moin, the entire Motherhouse team went to the site and checked it out. They said, "This place is good enough. We can do it. We can more than double our production here. This is a much better environment than the one we have now. We can't wait to move."
The response from everyone was generally positive, with everyone agreeing that the site was a good place to build Motherhouse's factory. At the same time, the team established a new production company called "Matrighor", which means Motherhouse in the local language. Moin officially became the head of the new company, with Mamun as the factory manager. After overcoming numerous hardships, the foundations of the current production system was finally laid down.
Aiming to become the No.1 factory in Bangladesh
The factory that was set up after much suffering was named "Motherhouse", and it felt like a second home to the team. In addition to the strong management duo of Moin and Mamun, the brand welcomed a new sample master, Morshed, who had been following in the footsteps of Mamun, and Mithu, a former production manager at a factory. The team also expanded in size.
In conjunction with the launch of the new factory, Motherhouse collaborated with H.I.S Inc to introduce a factory tour for customers to view the premises and make eco-bags with the production team members. The factory was a great environment for the team members to interact directly with customers and vice versa.
6 years had passed since the start of the new factory, and Motherhouse's production has evolved with it. Production has shifted from contract factories back in-house, where an estimated 80% of production is conducted. The brand now has more than 160 factory team members and is one of the leading bag factories in Bangladesh.
"We want to build a factory that is No.1 in Bangladesh in terms of working environment, quality and design."
These are the words that our factory team members speak to one another every day at Matrighor. The goal is not an easy one to achieve, but the team keeps challenging themselves to work towards the goal in line with their customers.
Motherhouse, as it is today
Next year, Motherhouse will celebrate its 10th anniversary. Based on the brand's philosophy of "creating a world-class brand with foundations in developing countries", it has continued to create products by highlighting the potential or raw materials and human resources in developing countries. This philosophy does not stop at Bangladesh.
In Nepal, where the brand ventured into in 2009, a workshop was set up to produce stoles. That workshop is now one of the largest suppliers of local silk. Moreover, when the Great East Japan Earthquake struck in Nepal, Motherhouse contributed 4 million yen by using points accumulated by customers in their social point cards. The brand managed to support those who lost their homes in Nepal due to the tragedy, and also provided street lighting to areas without electricity.
Starting this fall, Motherhouse also started to make jewellery with local craftsmen in Indonesia. In order to craft quality jewellery, a lot of attention was placed on studying the traditional filigree techniques belonging to the country, as well as the combination of silver and gold to create jewellery pieces.
Simultaneously, the brand has started to steadily expand into other countries. Besides Japan, where it has 16 directly-owned stores, it has ventured into Taiwan in 2011 with 5 stores, Hong Kong in 2015 and Singapore in 2019.
Motherhouse will continue its journey to discover the diversity of manufacturing and craftsmanship that exists in the world and share it with people globally.