KARACHI: Kazis’ home decor shop is a brainchild of seasoned interior designer Bina Kazi and her daughter Nadia. Where Bina offers her immaculate design sensibility, Nadia works on home décor, gifts and other items that make festivities special. Their showroom, tucked neatly in the vicinity of Swiss Cottages right opposite Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s mausoleum, opened on July 2012.
“I started my journey at the age of 18 by designing trays during my semester breaks,” says Nadia who is a graduate of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST). When asked about the inspiration behind her creations which include home accessories, silverware, crockery, candles and children’s toys, Nadia promptly replies, “Giving good gifts is one of the biggest dilemmas in a person’s life. And I personally thought there wasn’t a shop in Karachi that catered to these needs so I ventured into this market.” After making her mark amongst her limited clientele, she finally decided to join hands with her mother and take this venture as a business partnership.
As we get comfortably seated on the brown coloured sofa in the corner of the room, one is greeted by Bina, who has been designing professionally for the past 30 years and has won the Best Entrepreneur Award of the First Women Bank in 1998. Bina starts her story by informing how initially it was her parents who encouraged her to take this up as a hobby, but after marriage, her husband became just as involved and supportive of her creative project.
Bina’s story was somewhat similar to her daughter’s. She herself went through the pain of not finding quality decorations to put in her nest during the 80s, when she and her family shifted back to Karachi from United States. “I had to face the disappointment of not finding anything appropriate to decorate my home with. After I’d lost hope in the very few decoration shops around the city, I decided to start making home decor ornaments myself,” she adds. “I just followed my heart and soon my passion snowballed into a profession.”
While talking about her design philosophy which has garnered recognition around Pakistan, Bina says she believes in holding on to old furniture and giving it a new face. “I take my clients into confidence and often tell them to opt for redesigning their old furniture items,” she confesses humbly. “It’s so much cheaper and it certainly adds value to your money.”
The furniture designer loves to toy with wood and metal to make old furniture new and she believes she has “developed my own sense of uniqueness in the craft. I blend the old things with new items and the two bring out unique, visually pleasing results.”
Bina says that the mother-daughter partnership had an “excellent” outcome and they hope to decorate every home in Karachi. “We have been offering stuff that people can certainly buy for their homes. It’s not a shop, it’s a lifestyle.”
While her mother is happy with the response their stable business has been getting, Nadia is busy foraying into other creative fields. From design giveaways to holding baby showers to the opening up of a flower shop in the near future, Nadia too, like her mother, has made her presence felt on Facebook and around K-town.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 18th, 2012.