Designing and manufacturing since 1912
Bulbul trading is one of the more surprising and bustling clothing and jewel manufacturers that has come to grace our markets with a long family lineage. We spoke with current Bulbul Trading Owner, Mr Hasan Bulbul, to learn more about his business and see a glimpse of the history behind the operations of his stall.
How did you start Bulbul Trading?
I first got here in 1988. It was my forefather’s business back in India, established in 1912 by my great grandfather. I’m the fourth generation. We came from Kashmir in the north state of India. It’s called Jammu and Kashmir.
How did you transition to Australia?
I started with supplying the shops. My grandfather was exporting here before that and I came to personally start it here. I was supplying some small shops. Even David Jones was buying some gemstones and so did Proud Jewellers. I also supplied to the Opera House and the airports.
What were your supplies?
Mostly scarves – handmade scarves. I personally make an effort to manufacture something related to Australia. It is designed here and made in my workshop overseas. What I design here, I go overseas and in my own father’s workshop and I carry it out.
Was the Old Bus Depot your first public market in Canberra?
Yes it was. It was one of the first ones, then we started doing Floriade. I also, in Sydney, do the Easter show and also in Melbourne. I opened my main businesses selling business to business including participating in some of the biggest fairs in Australia.
How has your experience at the Old Bus Depot Markets been so far?
A good one… I love it when people ask me, “Where can I get your product?” So apart from the shops, I have some businesses who present me here in Canberra. Because they don’t all keep my range, that’s why my customers prefer to see me somewhere together. where I show them at least some of my better range. The dealers come to me and they may be interested in a certain item – a certain piece. This way, they see my product in one place and they have more choices to choose from. They are also looking for me asking me where they can find me. I’m always telling them that they will see me in Canberra at the Bus Depot Markets and they’re actually waiting for me from Floriade to Floriade. We have a direct website to the public (nightingalecollections.com.au) and now I’m starting that as well.
Could you tell us more about your products?
It’s a unique item. I’m not selling my products in mass production. These are all handmade. These are hand-loomed, hand-embroidered, hand-painted. It’s all done by hand… I have other stuff which is not handmade but I don’t sell that here. That’s my other side which is jewellery; some of them are handmade. But 90 to 95 percent of my products are handmade.
How do you keep up with production?
This is my family, my forefathers’ business. I’ve grown up in this business. When I was little, there were workers all over my house and we still do it. My father still does it and all my family and my brothers are in it. It’s a generational business – nieces, nephews, cousins, uncles, they are all in it. It’s like a tribe.
To browse Bulbul Trading’s products online, visit their customer website on www.nightingalecollections.com.au
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