Home Away From Home is a series that spotlights BIPOC brands that are adding a cultural essence to everyday items. This allows anyone to always have a piece of their culture in their own space without ever feeling homesick or out of touch with their roots. We're exploring the stories of the individuals behind the brands that have touched people's hearts through their products and have allowed people to feel at home anywhere.
Hana Getachew turned her passion for home textiles that were both vibrant and meaningful into a home decor brand, Bolé Road Textiles. Getachew combines her own style of sketching and knowledge of fine arts with the traditional motifs from her home country of Ethiopia to create her one-of-a-kind home decor collections. Each collection is curated through a process of playing with different color schemes and thoughtful motifs.
In collaboration with her local group of skilled artisans in Ethiopia, they bring Getachew's designs to life using ancient weaving traditions. Each individual product is handwoven one by one, making it as unique and personal as it can be.
What's the Story Behind Bolé Road Textiles?
Hana Getachew: I worked in commercial interiors for ten years, it was a career I loved. However, I was curious about what it would be like to carve a path of my own based on my background and interests. It was a huge leap of faith but I've always enjoyed sharing my culture, now it's part of what I do!
Where Did the Name Bolé Road Textiles Originate From?
HG: I was born in Ethiopia, and I lived in a neighborhood called Bole (no accent but pronounced the same). Bole Road was a main street that connected our neighborhood to the rest of Addis Ababa.
What Kind of Cultural Impact Do Your Products Have?
HG: I hope our textiles could be a conduit for cultural connection. I love telling stories of Ethiopia through our collections and I love that our clients get to share that and have a little piece of Ethiopian tradition in their homes.
What's the Creative Process of Making Designs?
HG: I focus each collection around a concept or idea inspired by Ethiopia. Sometimes it's about a particular region, as with the Heritage, Konso, and Harar Collections; sometimes, it's about a landscape, such as the Admas Collection. The patterns and colors are all derived from the initial inspiration and concept.
Is There a Specific Product That Is Special to You?
HG: I love our Melkam Napkins and Solid Onyx placemats because I use them every day at home. It feels so luxurious and special to use cloth napkins, but they are also super functional and washable.
What Makes Bolé Road Textiles Unique From Other Brands?
HG: I think what makes Bolé Road unique is that everything we create is made in Ethiopia, which is the main reason I started my business. I wanted to share the craftsmanship of my home country.
What Kind of Message Do You Hope to Translate Through Your Products?
HG: I hope a feeling of care, consideration, and heritage is translated through our textiles.
Weaving on a traditional two-harness loom requires a lot of patience and skill, and all of our cotton yarns are handspun. These are both centuries-old techniques that go into making what appears to be a simple towel or pillow, but there's so much that goes into the creation of each of our pieces.
What Have You Enjoyed the Most About Starting Your Business?
HG: I feel so fortunate to work in Ethiopia and that I get to travel there regularly as part of my business. I'm so fond of our artisan partners, and it's a privilege to collaborate and create beautiful products with them.
Editor's note: Some answers were edited for length and clarity.