Yellow Pages Malaysia catches up with Adrihana Rashid of Bingka to talk about the inspiration and concept that shape the company’s local craft production.
Bingka sought to create well-designed and unique souvenirs with a strong Malaysian identity.— Pic courtesy of Bingka KL Facebook Page
Simple but striking designs are what Bingka is made of. Just like its well-loved namesake — bingka is part of the range of dainty cakes known collectively in Malaysia as kuih-muih — Bingka’s selection of handmade textile products and lifestyle pieces is delightfully charming and as hard to resist.
Bingka founder, 28-year-old Adrihana Rashid, reveals that Bingka was supposed to be a batik fashion outfit when the idea for it was conceived in 2015.
“We hit some production snags that caused us to abandon the thought of starting a fashion brand. Then we noticed that the variety of good quality and affordable souvenirs in the market was very discouraging. So we thought, Why not make pretty souvenirs that we could give to our friends overseas?”.
Traditional and modern influences are combined in Bingka's designs.— Pic courtesy of Bingka KL Facebook Page
From there Bingka sought to create well-designed and unique souvenirs with a strong Malaysian identity without being overly touristic.
“We wanted to bridge the gap between traditional aesthetics and contemporary lifestyle, making tradition more approachable and relevant to the modern Malaysian,” adds Adrihana.
Thus, Bingka was born. With a local concept and flair to the brand, the name ‘Bingka’ is chosen as it is identifiable to any Malaysian, regardless of background and upbringing. “It is timeless and resonates with everyone, with the added bonus of being catchy and cute.”
This cute Bingka pouch makes a perfect gift or souvenir for friends and loved ones.— Pic courtesy of Bingka KL Facebook Page
Four main staff members (including Adrihana) are responsible for the conceptual and administrative work. As much as possible, they try to source the materials locally.
Home décor items such as tea towels, pillows, coasters and placemats, as well as bags and pouches in varying prints and sizes are the products that Bingka makes. The silkscreen technique or screenprinting process is employed to produce one-of-a-kind artisanal treasures. The price ranges from RM50 to RM300 depending on the item.
It makes perfect sense for tourists to purchase these beautifully handcrafted articles as a memento of their visit to Malaysia. Adrihana, however, maintains that the makers take locals into consideration as well.
The basic tote is great for daily use.— Pic courtesy of Bingka KL Facebook Page
“Actually, our main target market is more geared towards locals who want to spruce up their homes with a local flair, instead of relying on the run-of-the-mill Ikea pillows and furnishings. Seeing as most local souvenirs are usually pewter or batik, many Malaysians are very keen to have Bingka pieces in their own homes.
“It was after we started selling in pop-up markets that we started getting feedback from tourists, and they commented on how unique our designs were and they made lovely gifts for friends back in their home countries. So no, it’s not specifically geared towards tourists.”
Anything under the sun can become an inspiration for the creative team. “It can be from the food eaten on that day, the old shophouses along Pudu, rusting gates in a back alley, the smell of putu mayam (string hoppers) steaming in the early mornings, the chaos of the pasar pagi (morning market), and even the colours of the Ramadan bazaar. We try to capture all these sights and sounds and translate them into our designs so that when our customers buy our products, each item feels very familiar and nostalgic to them.”
Bingka also sell placemats in an assortment of colours.— Pic courtesy of Bingka KL Facebook Page
Those interested to buy Bingka’s products can visit their online store. The website also has a list of retailers in the Klang Valley, Sabah and Penang that stock products from Bingka. Announcements on their participation in pop-up markets are regularly made on the website and social media.
Looking for local arts and crafts? Find them in our Handicrafts section.
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