Bole Road Textiles: Modern Ethiopian Prints That Are Truly Must-Have

  • 01 of 06

    Bole Road Textiles: Modern Ethiopian Prints That Are Truly Must-Have

    Bole Road Textiles: Modern Ethiopian Prints That Are Truly Must-Have
    Bole Road Textiles

    “When nothing is sure, everything is possible.” – Margaret Drabble

    Sitting down to speak with designer, Hana Getachew about her exciting new company, Bole Road Textiles, it doesn't take long to realize that the possibilities for this talented Brooklyn-based designer are truly endless. Less than a year old, the brand launched at the BKLYN Designs Trade Show in May of 2015. Since then, Hana has already started making waves in the design world while creating a positive global impact along the...MORE way. Forging her own path, Hana has placed her focus on accountability in global design, producing stunning textiles that are designed in Brooklyn and hand-woven by artisans in Ethiopia.

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  • 02 of 06

    Bole Road Textiles: Modern Ethiopian Prints That Are Truly Must-Have

    Bole Road Textiles: Modern Ethiopian Prints That Are Truly Must-Have
    Design Sponge

    Entrepreneurship was not the original goal of Hana’s grand design. After graduating from Cornell University’s Interior Design Program, she proceeded to build a successful career at a commercial design firm. And though she enjoyed her time as a full-time interior designer, Hana craved more creative freedom and a profession that would enable her to express more influences from her home country of Ethiopia. Born in Addis Ababa – Ethiopia's capital city – Hana’s personal aesthetic gravitated...MORE towards the vibrant colors and dynamic patterns traditionally found in the woven textiles of her culture. Once she acknowledged the urge, it was only a matter of time before Hana found herself taking a leap of faith, beginning a business that would weave together her love of design and her passion for Ethiopian culture. Before she knew it, she found herself saying goodbye to a decade-long career as an interior designer to pursue a new dream.

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  • 03 of 06

    Bole Road Textiles: Modern Ethiopian Prints That Are Truly Must-Have

    Bole Road Textiles: Modern Ethiopian Prints That Are Truly Must-Have
    Bole Road Textiles

    The cultural significance of Bole Road Textiles begins with the name. Bole is the neighborhood in Addis Ababa where Hana grew up. The Bole Road is famous in the area as the single road that leads travelers to and from the Addis Ababa Bole International Airport, the nation's largest. “I experienced two significant trips on Bole Road,” she describes. “The first trip was when I was leaving Ethiopia, when I was three, and the second was after college, when I returned, at the age of twenty-one.”

    Th...MOREe experience of returning home left Hana invigorated with a renewed awareness of the connections between herself and the people and places she remembered from her childhood. As part of developing Bole Road Textiles, Hana has made it her mission to create a positive impact on the Ethiopian economy. Using weaving processes that have been passed down for generations, Ethiopian artisans create the majority of the textiles for the company. Working with women business owners and young male entrepreneurs, who own their own weaving studios, is one of the core convictions that drives this young design brand. For Hana, being a part of the global design community means not only contracting with artisans for their services but giving opportunities for them to demonstrate their creativity as well. As a result, the artists that she works with sometimes offer their own slight interpretations of the designs Hana submits to them for manufacture. The results can be fantastic. “There are no words to describe the remarkable feeling you get when you receive a sample and it turns out to be better than you ever imagined.”

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  • 04 of 06

    Bole Road Textiles: Modern Ethiopian Prints That Are Truly Must-Have

    Bole Road Textiles: Modern Ethiopian Prints That Are Truly Must-Have
    Design Sponge

    While Hana thoroughly enjoys working with artisans abroad and contributing to local Ethiopian communities, the designer admits that there are challenges to overcome with a global process. She has experienced difficulties in communicating with artisans due to a scarcity of access to computers or phones with data plans. To get around these obstacles, Hana often has to mail detailed packages of her designs to Ethiopia and wait for responses. It's a lengthy method of collaboration in an age when...MORE so many of us are used to near-instantaneous correspondence. But despite this, Hana emphasizes the importance of stepping away from mass produced goods and contributing to handmade products on a local and global scale as the points that make the wait worthwhile. Of course then, there's also the products themselves – a stunning assortment of pillows, table runners and throws showcasing the beautiful colors and dazzling geometric patterns of Ethiopian design.

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  • 05 of 06

    Bole Road Textiles: Modern Ethiopian Prints That Are Truly Must-Have

    Bole Road Textiles: Modern Ethiopian Prints That Are Truly Must-Have
    Bole Road Textiles

    As part of Hana's emphasis on giving back, Bole Road Textiles supports Imagine One Day Charity, contributing towards their scholarship program for young girls in rural Ethiopia. Unlike the typical scholarship program that allocates a designated amount of funds to a student, Image One Day helps families in Ethiopia create a sustainable lifestyle. Families are provided with funds for sending a child to school as well as resources for sustaining a small business (typically in the form of...MORE cattle). They also receive instruction on how to run and maintain their business. This sustainable approach not only enables parents to slowly pay back the loan, but also helps fund the remainder of their child’s education. Every six months, Hana returns to Ethiopia for meetings with the country director of the program.

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  • 06 of 06

    Bole Road Textiles: Modern Ethiopian Prints That Are Truly Must-Have

    Bole Road Textiles: Modern Ethiopian Prints That Are Truly Must-Have
    Bole Road Textiles

    Like all unexpected turns, the transition from interior designer to textile designer has been a process of constant trial and error. Hana laughs as she describes her first foray into designing textiles, which was for her wedding. She produced tableware such as napkins and table runners for her special day. Though it all ended well, the process was nowhere near as easy or seamless as the then-interior designer had imagined. The highs and lows of the experience prompted her to begin taking weaving...MORE courses, of which she attended several, never imagining that it would eventually lead to the founding of her own company. Although Hana's Bole Road is just beginning, there's no doubt in her mind that this is the road she should be on. Through an ever-evolving learning process, Hana is committed to depicting the strong Ethiopian storylines that inspire her collection and sharing them with the world. “I don’t want clients to see abstract references,” she says, “I want them to see the history behind the textile tradition and who the artisans are, where the textiles are made and to understand the rich tradition behind the craft.”

    At a time when access to travel and communication are unprecedented, global influences are reaching further than ever, bringing creative perspectives from around the world to enhance and beautify modern homes. Bole Road Textiles is an example of the best parts of this phenomenon – a company dedicated to making as big an impact in the lives of the artisans that create its wares as it does in the homes of the customers who purchase them. Hana hopes to expand her collection to include all forms of hand woven textiles including baskets, rugs and other products. She's also experimenting with weaving wools and silks. As these expansions move inevitably towards becoming reality, Hana will continue to show us the brilliant colors, bold patterns and proud traditions of Ethiopian culture with pillows and textiles that are sure to bring a bright spot to your décor and a smile to your face.