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Authentic, Worthwhile Change: The Bulandi Company
“A carpet is poetry itself. You just have to learn to read them.” - The Root of Wild Madder: Chasing the History, Mystery, and Lore of the Persian Carpet” by Brian Murphy
Bulandi isn’t just a company, it's a desire to change lives by reaching new elevations. This is why we’ve chosen the name “Bulandi”, as it’s the Urdu (Pakistani Hindu) word for “mountain summit.”
The summit of a mountain embodies the Bulandi way, literally and metaphorically.
Bulandi literally embodies the summit of a mountain because the production process of our handmade rugs by artisan women takes place in the mountains of Afghanistan. Our core mission, outside of bringing the beauty, art, and tradition of hand-woven rugs to the West, is to engage, support and provide relief to a vulnerable population in Afghanistan.
Bulandi metaphorically embodies the summit of a mountain because just like the carefully woven rugs we provide, so, too, are the rewarding aspects of climbing a mountain woven into the fabric of our company and our products. Those rewards being:
Inspiration by the achievement of a desired goal
Careful and eloquent planning
The trials of difficulty and time investment
The reward of a goal reached
The improvement of character through enriched experiences
The uniqueness of every experience and circumstance
The Beauty of Inconsistence: How We Started
“Perfect symmetry calls for a sense of perfection,” Saleh wrote. “It cannot be in the hands of humans. It comes from somewhere else. The perfection is God’s work and should be contemplated as such.” -The Root Wild Madder, 259
Founder Roy Hendley began to truly appreciate the nature of handcrafted rugs when he first noticed the inconsistencies of the patterns. The humanity of the stitching naturally stuck out to him because just like Western culture, his eyes had been accustomed to the perfectly executed design by that of machines, and not the beauty and uniqueness of mild human error.
It wasn’t long before these uniquities grew into a deep admiration and appreciation for them as works of art that tell a story through their unique designs and intricate colors.
We now live in a time where man-made products are more valuable because as machines replace human talent, the rug designs and colors come from the imagination and hands of an experienced weaver. The beauty of handmade products lies in the beauty of aesthetic uniqueness- it connects us to the spirit of the artist.
Each of our rugs is beautiful, unique, and utterly fascinating. Even more so to those accustomed to Western culture, because Westerners have adapted and relied on rational thinking and understanding. The beauty of the rugs is irrational and mysterious. To fully appreciate them, one must use their imagination and step outside of their own culture
Connected to the World: What Makes Us Unique
“In the rural areas, interrelated responsibilities between men and women establish a bond of partnership that builds mutual respect. Carpet making is but one example. The men herd and shear the sheep, the women spin the wool, the men dye the wool, the women weave the carpet, and the men market the product.” -The Root of Wild Madder, 74-76
One of Bulandi’s core goals is to lend a helping hand to many hands. For centuries, women in Afghanistan have upheld the storied tradition of weaving rugs as works of art. Not just to maintain the breathe of this tradition, but for many, as a means to survive. With limited access to food, education, and often left neglected, Afghani women can seek refuge in the sanctuary that is rug weaving. Each rug is its own book written by the careful knots of its female Afghani author. They can spend months to a year completing one hand-knotted rug.
When you received your Bulandi rug, you can be assured that every rug is hand-knotted without factory machines by each individual weaver as a one-of-a-kind work of art. In fact, each rug contains hundred of thousands of individual knots tied by hand, one-by-one, and contains the life experiences of the remarkable Afghani women from the mountain villages. From the incredible, verdant terrain of Afghanistan to the walls of your home, each rug has its own story woven deep in the very fabric of the dyed wool designs.
We honor the stories of these Afghani women by ensuring that each rug they weave will support and allow them to live more independent lives. In addition, buying our rugs supports the local communities, the village economy, and all the artisans involved in the process such as shepherds, spinners, dyers, and weavers.
The Raw Art of Tradition: Our Products
“You see there is never one way to look at a carpet. It is the biggest mistake anyone can make with carpets like this. You just cannot say. ‘This motif has this meaning.’ Only the maker knows. We can appreciate it only from afar. You can say, ‘I think, I feel, I believe.’ But you can never say, ‘I know.’” –The Root of Wild Madder, 259
The rugs produced by the Afghani women are used with processes that have been passed down from the ages, being carefully preserved over time. That’s why each skillfully crafted rug can last decades in your home. The wool that each rug is made from is sourced from the sheep in the local villages of the artisan, and the dyes are naturally crafted from plants and minerals crushed into vibrant colors that seep into every fiber of the rug.
The process to distribute our rugs to the U.S., as there are no open export ports. Despite this, ee endure the difficulty of this organic supply chain because we pride ourselves on sourcing authentic, hand-knotted rugs. Every rug is sourced directly from the weaver and is carefully delivered right to the eyes of the consumer.
A portion of the profits of each rug goes back to help as many widows and other oppressed women as possible, which is why they have a carefully chosen price point. Most specialty products and services in the U.S. cost around $25 an hour, or even more. Given the months it takes to tie hundreds of thousands of knots, a rug priced at $6,000 yields about five dollars an hour for the weaver.
We pride ourselves on our fair pricing. It can even be seen as excellent pricing if you’re successful at stepping outside of your own culture, you appreciate these rugs produced by the cultural tradition of these women, and you embrace them as beautiful pieces of art.
We invite you to explore our unique, handmade products. Find the design, color and weaver’s story that speaks to you, and fall in love with a centuries-old artisan craft. We would love for you to contact us with any questions.
“...there’s an honesty to the pieces that can’t be reproduced in village or workshop settings. ‘The difference is like a perfectly tended garden and the wild beauty of nature or the desert,’ he said. ‘Really, I see it that way. The nomad weavers are doing the weaving for themselves, from their own heart and mind. It may not be technically perfect line from some expert weavers. But that doesn’t matter. It’s pure and real. You don’t judge beauty by how tight the knots are or if the wefts are perfectly straight. Beauty is sincerity. You can tell the difference between the hug of a real friend and someone who doesn’t care for you.’” –The Root of Wild Madder, 214