The brand’s motto was to promote fabrics that represent the Bengali tradition. One of the owners, Faria, picked the name “Pinon” to give it a pastoral essence
An online clothing brand, Pinon is a joint initiative of Maisha Samiha and her sister-in-law Faria Afrin.
Frustrated with corporate jobs, they wanted to do something on their own that would also provide them relief from the stress of office work.
They came up with the idea of opening an online business that would not easily go out of demand.
After researching for a few days, they decided to invest in a clothing business.
This is how "Pinon" was born.
The motto was to promote cotton and other handloom fabrics that represent the Bengali tradition. Faria picked the name "Pinon" to give it a pastoral essence.
The two sisters-in-law are more like friends and enjoy working together.
In the beginning, they sold clothes per yard with block or batik prints on them. Maisha herself would block print the clothes.
After a few days, when demand for kurtis increased, they began to sell stitched and unstitched kurtis.
The motifs in their clothes are quite different than the ones seen in markets and use of sophisticated colours is their signature style.
Gradually, they began to work on salwar kameez sets.
Although they started with materials like cotton and linen, they have decided to work with muslin as well.
"Our clothing tradition has a rich legacy of muslin. Initially, we were not sure about getting the best quality muslin. We do not compromise with fabric quality, it is a prerequisite for our unique designs," said Maisha.
Pinon customers have the advantage of customising their orders by choosing the fabric colour and the block print.
As mentioned earlier, the brand used to sell both stitched and unstitched dresses. However, after the pandemic began, customers' choice is being prioritised more than ever.
The price of Pinon products start from Tk1,000 and can go upto Tk3,500.
Explaining their price tags, Maisha said "We use an ingredient in our block colours so that they sustain. That is why the price is a little higher than other block printed clothes."
The pandemic has not yet increased their cost of raw materials, which is why they have not increased the price.
Pinon had to halt their operations for one and a half months when the nationwide shutdown was imposed. They resumed their business 15 days before Eid-ul-Fitr.
The owners thought there would be no customers, but to their surprise, they were overwhelmed by demand.
"Since people are avoiding shopping malls and markets, online orders have gained popularity," said Maisha.
Where they used to receive 10-15 orders a day before the coronavirus outbreak, now they receive as many as 30 orders a day.
But customers are ordering dresses within the Tk1,000-Tk2,000 price range.
Pinon is extremely cautious about delivering their orders.
After collecting raw materials from the supplier, they are disinfected. The clothes are dry washed before they are designed.
Maisha and Faria work together to put the clothes in parcels. They have one designated delivery man who collects the parcels directly from them.
The delivery man wears mask and gloves and uses sanitiser frequently.
Pinon has a very low rate of customer complaints.
The pandemic has made the two owners rethink their decision to open a showroom, but the plan to expand the business with home décor products is still on board.