At the Chacur store, which sells accessories for curtains in São Paulo, Brazil, details catch the eye. There are hangers, chords and braids for curtains and tassels for sofas and armchairs made artistically, on manual looms.
The products are successful in Brazil and abroad, they decorate castles and hotels in Europe and houses in the United States.
One of the secrets, according to Silvia Chacur, one of the owners of the factory, is mixing the classic – trimmings made since the 16th century – with modern and contemporary needs.
The result of this mixture may be seen in the most recent Chacur collection, made for the North American market.
The products are simple, without much detail, and include Brazilian stones, like quartz and amethysts. “Pure refinement, but minimalist,” defined Silvia.
Exports to the United States began last year, but negotiations had been in course since 2002. So as to reach the North Americans, Silvia changed her form of working a little, developing collections, one per year. For this, she does research, observes colour, fashion and use tendencies and customs and creates.
In Brazil, Chacur caters to the upper class, the products are personalized. The decorator – or architect – sends the project, curtain and sofa colours, and Silvia develops the hangers, chords and tassels. The cost varies according to the material used and the details on the articles. They are not cheap.
First the thread is dyed the colour chosen, then the looms come into operation. Never is one project the same as the other. This characteristic made the company win important clients in Europe.
The most recent and renowned is a French decorator who is working on a hotel in Spain and ordered products from Chacur.
This year the products made by the factory will also be exhibited at the famous Plaza Athené.
“So as to begin the Brazilian year in France, a hotel suite was decorated with Brazilian articles and our material was used in the room,” explained Silvia.
The products are also decorating castles in Germany and England. The famous clients were opened by Silvia’s father, Julio Chacur, who passed away in March this year.
The factory was established in 1918 by Syrian immigrant Wadih Chacur, who came to Brazil in 1908. Before producing trimmings, he had a women’s clothes store in the city of São Paulo, in southeastern Brazil.
Aware of tendencies, Chacur noticed that factories of curtain accessories were lacking, and he established his company.
In 1945, his son, Júlio, who had worked at the company since the age of 12, delivering material, became the head of the company. He remained in charge up to March this year.
With the death of their father, Silvia and Magda Chacur, who already worked for the company, started running it.
Functions were divided: Silvia, a “happy former lawyer”, as she calls herself, takes care of the creation, sales and production.
She always walks around the factory paying attention to details, to cuts, to loose threads.
She teaches the new employees the art of making the products and keeps at the company people who have much to teach, like an employee who is 62 years old and has been working at the company since the age of 13. “That is how we maintain the quality of our products,” she said.
Silvia is also demanding with suppliers, following the teachings of her father. “I only purchase cotton, viscose and pure silk,” she explained.
Polyester and acrylic do not enter Chacur. Magda takes care of the finances and of the administrative part.
The factory currently has ten manual looms and employs 50 people. For this year, the target is to increase exports, open new markets. The Arab countries are in the company plans.
“We do not yet know the Arab consumers. I travelled to the Middle East in the 1970’s, to visit relatives, but I believe that my product will be well accepted there, mainly due to the fact that it is artistic,” stated Silvia.
ANBA – Brazil-Arab News Agency – ww.anba.com.br
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