Inspired by the rising tufting community, two youths set out on the textile weaving adventure to not only past time but also to earn some side income while channeling their inner creativity.
Izzat Aariz Rizwan and Ammar Rakawi are fond of tufted rugs which were not quite popular yet when they first met in 2020. They saw the niche opportunity and started Ragments the following year.
“We were inspired by foreign countries that had made these rugs, and we especially liked the concept of having art and home furniture viewed as a product,” said 22-year-old Izzat, adding that they use tufting guns to make the handcrafted rugs.
The youthpreneurs each have their own roles in the business. Ammar would be weaving the rugs, and managing orders and inventory while Izzat looks after offline and online marketing as well as sourcing raw materials.
The home-based business operates online via their Instagram @ragments catering to customers’ designs and requests while occasionally meeting clients in person for further discussion about their products.
“This (physical meeting) allows us to know exactly what the customers want in their rugs. This also helps us to know what most people would want to order in the future,” said the youth.
When they started the tufting rug business in 2021, the entrepreneurs noted that they are the first to open such ventures in the country, prioritising only custom-made pieces for the time being.
The youth further said that tufting the made-to-order items allow them to know what type of rugs and designs are in demand by the local market before they can come up with their own collection.
Depending on the size and designs of the customised rugs, they are produced of the best quality and priced between $70 and $200.
Since the business is still in its infancy, the youthpreneurs have bigger plans in store to expand the products which include rugs attached with mirrors.
Being in the tufting industry comes with its own sets of challenges and for Izzat and Ammar, it is pricing and product awareness.
“People have a hard time understanding the high price and the effort put into each rug. In other countries, the price for one rug may cost up to five to ten times the price that we sell,” said Izzat.
However, with the amount of time and effort they have put into this business, they have caught the attention of loyal customers and managed to keep a good relationship, attracting more potential buyers.
The youthpreneurs are also happy to see that there is a growing demand and interest for the rugs in the local market as more and more businesses tufting businesses emerging.
This article was first published on 23 April 2022 in our Weekly Epaper issue 190 | More stories here
THE BRUNEIAN | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN