It’s been a year since CHELEBI joined Azerbaijani market as a new national brand. What is important is that CHELEBI has managed to change general concept of Azerbaijani Furniture and Home Decor Accessories. Reflection in the texture of unique household items aspects of national culture and applied art make these products the object of particular attention of both domestic and foreign connoisseurs. It should be mentioned that the latter does not mind taking away a piece of Azerbaijani originality from our country. CHELEBI is creativity in business. We will discuss it with General Manager of Chelebi Furniture and Décor – Simon Ahmed.

How do you assess the work done in terms of developing your project?

This year we have done quite a lot of work. At the same time, we managed to realize only a small part of our plan. We still have plenty of ideas. In general, the idea of CHELEBI arose after the successful design of the carpet room on the national stand of Venice Biennale. Later on, we asked ourselves – why not create a commercial product that will be an art creation and at the same time embrace the Azerbaijani cultural themes. The company has been founded by talented artists Aida Mahmudova and Farid Rasulov. Brand borrows its name from famous Chelebi Carpet which belongs to Karabakh Carpet School. As of now, we have established loyal customer base which keeps on expanding. Gradually, people appreciate and, most importantly, make sense of our products since there is nothing of the kind in Azerbaijan yet. Unfortunately, nowadays we witness a certain tendency in our society regarding purchase of expensive, yet faceless furniture. And we are here to offer you our services in creating your very special corner with national patterns, where joy and positive emotions will complement your daily life. They say CHELEBI’s high quality goes along with high cost. Is it so? We are exploring the market, and indeed our brand is sometimes associated with fabulous prices. Such opinion tends to turn into a stereotype that we wish to get rid of. What we do is
not either cheap or expensive. Everyone wants to acquire a product with properly balanced aesthetics, quality and price. And we offer our customers furniture and decor where such balance can be observed. Particularly, our furniture prices are quite comparable with those for high-quality Turkish or Italian products. At the same time, we suggest brand new interior solutions to create that very special home environment. There are three product types under CHELEBI brand – Limited Edition, Exclusive and Unique. Considering the fact that our Unique products are produced as single handmade specimens, their fair price is quite comparable to those of similar products by famous design companies. We intend to put more efforts and will do our best in this direction.

How often do you plan to renew your product range?

I believe we can manage to create 1 or 2 collections a year. You need to understand specifics of this business. It is not fashion industry where collections should be updated every quarter.
Our range includes upholstered furniture, tables, cabinets, and interior accessories like cushions, lamps, table sets and tea sets, etc. And soon it will be expanded to include all those items, where we can use our branded texture; i.e. tiles, wallpapers, blankets, and everything related to Interior and Design. We are working on them, and they will be available by next
autumn, hopefully.

Which materials are used in furniture production?

All the products are made of wood. We use mainly high-grade tree species like oak, ash, and elm in some of our products. Our choice is related to the excellent quality and durability of products made of such woods. Where ash is chosen, products are made in Azerbaijan. Oak items (such as soft furniture and etc.) are made in China in close cooperation with a Dutch company. We signed a contract of the partnership under which they manufacture these products exclusively for us. All the soft furniture items are made as Limited Edition, up to two hundred units in one series. Limitedness gives unique character to our products, and persons who buy them. Our main philosophy is not based on embracing of the whole market, but indeed, mostly on gaining our share of the market. We also work with corporate clients who may fulfill their wishes for creating an exclusive product based on CHELEBI concept. We would love to hear about how your new products are born First things first, we create 3D models that we believe will be successful in the market. We send them to the factory where they confirm their readiness to start production. Our quality
management carries out direct control at the factory, and as the end result, finished products are shipped to Azerbaijan. It should be mentioned that we have to manufacture part of our production abroad due to the fact that within Azerbaijan we could not find suitable conditions for production of this quality. As for the illustrations that our products abound I should note that it is made exclusively for CHELEBI. I’d like to stress that we do not copy anyone, we make our own and original items. We involve our artists in this work, for example, we cooperate with the People Artist of Azerbaijan Arif Huseynov. CHELEBI has separate series covering such topics as national cuisine, traditions, and customs, Azerbaijani vegetables and fruits, etc. Our designers work with images that are popular in the national culture. How about bringing products to international markets? This action is also in our plans. We also expect to involve talented artists from abroad in our
work. I believe CHELEBI is destined to have success abroad because I see how popular our products are among foreigners. However, for the time being, we are focused exclusively on customers in Azerbaijan.

Rugiya Ashrafli

 Several years ago two talented individuals from Azerbaijan’s new wave of contemporary artists, Aida Mahmudova and Farid Rasulov, combined forces to found a new brand in Azerbaijan’s national market named CHELEBI. The idea of creating the brand came after the 55th Venice Biennale, where Farid Rasulov represented Azerbaijan with great éclat. His installation of living room furniture covered in textiles printed with the traditional geometric patterns characteristic of carpets from the Karabakh region of Azerbaijan, captured his audience’s attention and aroused a huge interest in Azerbaijani art and culture. Realizing how greatly this particular installation had touched the hearts of people at the Venice Biennale, the creators decided to bring it back home to Azerbaijan as a local brand–CHELEBI.

The name CHELEBI inherently makes this company unique; but, it is also distinctive because of the philosophy which stands behind its products. By artfully and sensitively referencing the cultural nuances of Azerbaijan’s history, CHELEBI pieces are, ultimately, future heirlooms. Merging old designs with new ideas is the core concept of this brand. Each piece of furniture is designed with the handcrafted work of CHELEBI’s talented creative team. Ongoing collaborations with local and international artists, illustrators, and designers are key to producing their beautiful, original home wares, which offer a modern approach to the Azeri aesthetic.

Today CHELEBI offers a wide range of goods: furniture, home décor and other home accessories such as cushions, lampshades, ceramics, trays, frames, lighting, textiles and mirrors. One of CHELEBI’s most popular products is its line of decorative cushions featuring the famous Azerbaijani artist Arif Huseynov’s illustrations. Colorful Azerbaijani fairy tales come to life on the surface of these cushions. The core idea of these fairy tales is the struggle of good versus evil, where good always wins. These plots are universal and comprehensible all over the world. This product line is popular not only among local customers, but also among foreigners, many of whom are eager to purchase special gifts that reflect the national traditions of Azerbaijan. Each product of CHELEBI’s is a true work of functional art. The unique aesthetic is what one might call‘ fairytale chic’ for its mixture of traditional folk tales and sleek modern design. Every person who acquires one of these unique products will better learn and embrace Azerbaijani culture and traditions.

The positive reception of CHELEBI products by both foreigners and locals has inspired its creators to continue moving forward with new and exciting designs. CHELEBI is constantly manufacturing new products; however, its key collections are released once a year. Currently, CHELEBI is developing a new collection which will be launched this fall. An update to the cushions line, so beloved by customers, is among the new products in the Spring Collection, this time based on the paintings in the Sheki Khan Palace. Creators are also working on launching a CHELEBI clothing line that will feature modern designs of attire based on traditional Azerbaijani motives and ornaments.

CHELEBI has a commitment to making its products accessible to all people around the world. “Though CHELEBI clients are mostly people with high and middle incomes, we purposefully make our accessories affordable for the majority of people. We want our products to adorn every single house,”says the brand’ creative director, Orkhan Huseynov. CHELEBI General Manager, Saimon Ahmed adds,“To this end, we have to produce products that will last a long time, products our customers can pass from generation to generation. This is the main criteria for us. In our company, we stick to the saying, ‘Treat others the way you want to be treated. ’Nobody wants to buy a product which will fall apart over time. We feel the same way. We want our customers to pass CHELEBI products from generation to generation in their families. That is why we pay great attention to the quality of each product we produce.

”This spring CHELEBI successfully participated in the Baku Shopping Festival. The brand has branched out into the international market as well. It has already exported products to London, Moscow, Dubai, and the USA. Their strategic plan for this year is to maximize CHELEBI’s exportability, and hence broaden their market.“For the last two years we have had proposals from abroad to open franchises in Kazakhstan, Qatar, and Germany. After analyzing all the offers, our team came to the conclusion that if we decide to open abroad, we will adopt the CHELEBI brand to the culture of each country in which the franchise is located. That means if we open a store in Europe or the Middle East, we will leverage their traditional aesthetics and design value and bring a product to them which their people will understand,”explains Saimon Ahmed.

In the meantime, CHELEBI’s online shop on its official website, chelebi.az/en/, gives everyone the opportunity to find the perfect modern Azerbaijani product for their home, even if they are a customer from abroad. Baku citizens and guests to our city are even more fortunate because they have the opportunity to physically step into the magical world of CHELEBI, with its fascinating mixture of tradition and modernity, at its shop located in Port Baku (151, Uzeyir Hajibeyov St, Baku, Azerbaijan).

Actually, a good friend of mine (N.) persuaded me to pop into CHELEBI. “Those gorgeous cushions are a must-see! And cute little ceramic kittens and rabbits…I’d buy them all, but I can’t!”… Yet, not trusting her feedback too much (since she always tends to exaggerate things which she won’t admit even under the fear of torture!) I managed to carve out some time to visit the shop. And lucky me, it wasn’t that hard to find. But… wait a minute.

To begin with, I had to seek the assistance of Mr Know-it-All. Well, my long-time pal Google Maps gave me a few links: Ganjlik Mall, Intourist Hotel and Carpet Museum… I’ve selected the nearest shop to my office and lucky me again, found CHELEBI main store, so to say head office for Chelebi Furniture & Décor on Uzeyir Hajibeyov street. As I entered this boutique full of re-contemplated ancient stuff, what immediately caught my attention were not those beautiful cushions and cute rabbits, but rather that “very special entourage” or otherwise the ambience of the showroom, as one might call it.  Soft lighting and kilims spread on the floor, vases on the tables decorated with pomegranate flowers, furniture sets that seemed to be almost traditional, but when I came closer…

 

FURNITURE WITH BAKU ACCENT

When I came closer, the objects demonstrated the whole extent of their authentic character. Greater details may be seen from a distance, but believe me – minute details are seen at a closer look.

A sofa with upholstery material that distinctly repeats the ornaments of antique ZeyKhor rug, an armchair with a batch of stupefying harmel*, a chair recalling déjà vu sentiments, Goody-Goody Fatima and Gloomy Hasan couple…I seem to have seen them somewhere… Maybe in one of the old black-and-white movies?… My scepticism towards the stories told by my friend was… completely WRONG, and it was that rare case when N. was RIGHT. 2 Mestans* of all kinds and colours, poppies and smooth coated rabbits standing in a line as if calling you with their cute sights: “Pick me up or better take me home!”. If you are a kinaesthetic learner, you will enjoy touching them!.. Let me come down to the core of the subject. Each piece of this beauty costs only 15 AZN! So I dipped into my pocket right away and bought a present for my friend – a dashing cat in fashion glasses and bowtie will blow away melancholy of her everyday life.

 

STAND OF MODERN ANCIENT STUFF

Finally, I reached those cushions and felt myself like in a small art gallery … According to sales consultants, these cushions are best-sellers among customers and the reason is obvious. They are anything but plain: depicting illustrations of folk tales; monochromatic engravings of everyday scenes in Baku life; sophisticated shabaka and still-life paintings…

I must confess, that the one with winged angel, an element of frescos in the palace of Sheki khans impressed me the most… Yes, you were absolutely right – visiting this store equals a museum tour, where we have a chance to see works of notable artists. Unlike museums with their strict “DO NOT TOUCH” rules, you can buy unique decoration items for reasonable prices (yes, indeed location of CHELEBI in Port Baku Shopping Mall doesn’t mean jaw-dropping prices) and take your treasure with you right away… And then under the green shade of mulberry you will fall into a reverie, leaning on picturesque cushions, while making exciting plans and drinking flavourful tea from a mug created by someone from Chelebi Magicians’ Valley…Well, talking about tea, I managed to buy a huge pack of loose-leaf black tea with thyme and two hand-frescoed ceramic mugs, with a plan in my mind to enjoy a tea-party on one of the wonderful Sundays, while having an endless chat with my dearest N.

Text: Nonna Muzaffarova

Purchase of dowry is probably one of the most exciting pre-wedding concerns for every lady when preparing for her marriage. It is needless to say that everyone would like to purchase something useful and durable because even basic items or furniture should ensure comfort and aesthetic view in your house. However, not dwelling on the durability/usability factors, but also sophisticated taste and distinctiveness, ladies are usually looking for rare and exceptional household items. CHELEBI Furniture & Decor uses only high-quality materials for its production. Armchairs, tables, sofas, cupboards, chairs, and puffs are made of oak, camphor and other wood types, distinguished by their high quality and durability. High-quality items are complemented with handmade woodcarving patterns and figures.

CHELEBI – AURA OF ORIENT PALACE

Furniture with National Taste

On October, 2, brand new name appeared in the family of Baku furniture stores. Successful and well-known artists Aida Mahmudova and Farid Rasulov joined their efforts together and founded modern, but indigenously traditional style reflecting the aesthetics and approach to creating large and small-size products with cosiness and comfort at home. Opening ceremony featured Exquisite Cocktail Event and among the guests there were authors and founders of CHELEBI brand, celebrities of culture, art, architecture and design, representatives of the press and politics.

Musical motifs accompanying the whole evening created a special atmosphere immersing guests in the aura of orient palace decorated with multicolorness and variety.