Academic journal article Human Ecology

Human-CENTERED: Hana Getachew Launches Her Spring Textile Line

Academic journal article Human Ecology

Human-CENTERED: Hana Getachew Launches Her Spring Textile Line

Article excerpt

Working for another design company would never have been satisfying for Hana Getachew '03, CEO of Bole Road Textiles. So she started her own, giving it a name that pays homage to her roots.

'Bole Road is the route my family took on our way to the airport in Addis Ababa. Ethiopia, when I was three years old, on our way to Montreal--and eventually to New York," explains Getachew, now a 36-year-old entrepreneur in Brooklyn.

"I didn't return until my sophomore year at Cornell, 18 years later, and it was such life-impacting experience--going back there after so long. That return along Bole Road influenced my remaining years at Cornell and also my career."

As she speaks, one eye is on a dire weather forecast and the other on her seven-month-old daughter who shares the home-studio and Bole Road Textiles headquarters. The Carroll Street studio is a trek to Manhattan's Pier 92, site of the annual Architectural Digest Design Show, where Getachew needs to preview her new collection. A Nor'easter blizzard named Stella is approaching the metro area.

Seemingly unfazed, the youngster chats cheerfully and so does Getachew, detailing the business plan for a company with the slogan, "Designed in Brooklyn, Handwoven in Ethiopia."

"I design all my textiles, starting with a concept I'd like to explore. For example, the inspiration for designs in the new collection is the mountainscapes of Ethiopia. I was inspired by the mountain ranges and horizons and the landscape--all cues to create patterns and color palettes. Then I begin the sampling process with my Ethiopian artisans."

Typical interior-design products for Bole Road Textiles are pillows and rugs, table runners, and napkins. One specialty, Getachew's comfy hooded bath towels, were scaled down when her daughter was born and became the inspiration for the Bole Road Baby line. Skillfully complicit in the baby-oriented wares are the Ethiopian women Getachew does business with. …

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