Feeling like trying an original shopping experience? Looking for something brand-new? Something fresh? New in Bidhaar concept store will meet your exploration’s expectations. From clothing to beauty and lifestyle, you will have the choice to treat yourself.
Mariam Tijani, founder of the store, celebrated her Peckham store opening about two month ago, bringing some new cool around the area.
Obviously, I had to check it out for you. A stone’s throw away from Peckham Rye station, the statement black interior appears like a quiet moment in the midst of Rye lane’s colours and energy.
I was lucky Miriam was at the store when I came to visit. I caught up with her to get more details about her vision for BIDHAAR.
First thing first, what does Bidhaar mean? What is Bidhaar concept?
Bidhaar means Merchandise in Swahili.
“What Bidhaar is about is bringing out the value of the products, the value of the people who are making the products and the value of the craftsmanship.
Our logo also speaks for ourselves. It is a derivative of a Ghanaian symbol – Adinkra symbols, they are used widely abroad across the diaspora to convey different meanings – called “BOA ME NA ME MMOA WO” which means “Help me and let me help you”. It’s about cooperation.
“Help me and let me help you” is a part of what we do here as we work directly with brands on the continent. We believe in trade not aid. This means we empower the brands we are working with to be sustainable through buying their products and help them support themselves.
I can feel the quality when I touch the products. Are all the brands you sell from Africa only?
The brands in store are majorly based on the continent but we have quite a few London based ones. There are brands from Egypt, Nigeria, Ghana and we are trying to expand more. I was in Rwanda this week and there are some brands there we would like to have in store here. But usually it’s a balance. A lot of brands reach out to us and we reach out to some brands as well.
Why did you especially choose Peckham as a location?
Peckham is called mini Nigeria, for us it was important to set ourselves as bringing the community in and not moving ourselves out of the community. Essentially, all these people are the people that are the inspirations for these different brands. That’s the people that propel African creativity and ingenuity. It was important for us to be in the community so the community can also see through this portrayal of high-quality African brands, that this is what Africa can look like.
When I came in, I felt like I was about to learn. I only recognised one brand amongst all. What do you want people to feel when they come at Bidhaar?
A part of what we do is creating experiences fusing Music, Art, Culture. So, when people come to the store, we want them to feel like they engage with those concepts. They will live an experience when they come in. It’s not just about coming around and buy something. It’s understanding the legacy behind the brands, the culture and so on. We make a point on speaking to people about the brands we sell. We just want to give people a different perspective of what Africa is.
Here you go, you can add this address to your must-see list. Talking fashion, you will find brands like the streetwear Misemi, colourful and poetic Kente Gentlemen or conscious Up fuse – not your average plastic waste upcycling. More again, you will probably be as charmed as I was by Aff and Jam’s fine art.
The store also host a couple of interesting events like their last talk in collaboration with ItsBlackOwned.