“I always knew I had an eye for it, but I never expected my designs to gain such response. It inspires me every day,” says Mehnaz Ahmed, Owner and Designer of Glued Together
What started off as an arts and crafts page in 2015, quickly turned to tapping into a long-standing fascination for silver-plated jewellery. Mehnaz Ahmed, designer and founder of Glued Together can trace her love for trinkets back to when she was a young girl, and used to rummage through her mom's, aunt's and grandmother's jewellery boxes. “As I grew older, I would be on the lookout for those similar styles, but was never content with what the shops had to offer,” Mehnaz says.
She researched into the art of making handmade jewellery and started sketching designs. Next, she had to find someone who was willing to turn her designs from drawings into actual jewellery sets. “It wasn't easy, as many jewellery makers could not understand, or make out the directions I was giving them,” she said. Till date, the entire process is time-consuming. The finalisation of designs itself takes a little over a month. Every piece, be that a pair of earrings, necklace, or even a full jewellery set is an extended phase of trials and errors.
Mehnaz's inspiration behind her designs is woven into her past and present; what women around her wore when she was young and what she would personally like to wear now. A unique blend of traditional, statement bold pieces, and some fusion, all targeted towards the young trendy student, busy professional, chic socialite and even for the woman who means no funny business. “I design each set, keeping in mind, the kind of clothes women in Bangladesh wear; ranging from casuals to something more in line with saris. I want my jewellery to be true to the definition of an accessory. That complete package. That single piece that changes the entire look of an outfit without overshadowing the individual themselves,” she says. For this reason, Mehnaz intentionally does not incorporate anything too flashy in her work, but she does venture some bespoke stone work in addition to antique and gold-plated designs for custom orders.
As the discussion proceeded, the topic of current trends came up as well as her recent collections. Mehnaz not only tries to come up with something new every three to four months, but also incorporate current trends. Her “Rickshaw Art Collection” embodies local traditional art, combined with portraits of local celebrities, onto rings, and necklaces. “I came up with the shapes and designs, and the artist contributed with their drawing,” she said. “It was a great way to promote the revival and sustainability of a dying art,” she added. Another fun part of her work was how she conceptualized some of her recent photo shoots. While on a trip to Nepal with friends, Mehnaz stopped at random places like gas stations, or the side of the road and asked the local women there dressed in their traditional Nepali clothes to pose for photos, with her jewellery on. “Most people are aware of hand-made Indian jewellery, but not Bangladeshi ones. I wanted people to know that there is a booming market of local hand-made jewellery in our country that showcases Bangladeshi traditions and culture,” she said.
Glued Together prides itself on selling trinkets of top quality. Each piece that you see on their page is made by hand and believe it or not, replicated in the same way as well and sold at a reasonable price. All you have to do is just place an order through their Facebook or Instagram page and then wait for a quick confirmation.
Plans for future expansion include establishing a small shop that exudes vibes of tradition; something down to earth and the absence of commercialization.
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Photo: Shahrear Kabir Heemel
Jewellery: Glued Together
Styling: Sonia Yeasmin Isha
Location: Le Meridien