As much as the city’s murkiness can take a toll on one's daily life, specks of color can perk it up.
And Drumstick aims to do just that by producing electricity socket covers and tile stickers bearing intricate, colorful designs. “Drumstick designs aim to add color and depth to your kitchens and bathrooms,” says the company's founder and designer Sherine Abdel Rassoul, who graduated from the American University of Beirut in 2003 with a BA in business entrepreneurship.
Dressing up kitchens and bathrooms made sense to Abdel Rassoul. “Once you’re stuck with ugly tiles, you’re stuck with ugly tiles," Abdel Rassoul said in reference to first moving into a rented apartment.
Applying a variety of colors and designs inspired by Egyptian art, Drumstick stickers provide a quick and creative antidote to ugly. “You might not notice the sticker the second you walk into a room, but when you do, it puts the space in a completely different light,” says Abdel Rassoul.
The young entrepreneur was, ironically, inspired by ugliness. Walking into a friend’s "hideous" kitchen, which was in stark contrast to the rest of his rented apartment (otherwise decorated beautifully), a light bulb switched on inside her head.
Cooking up an easy and lasting solution to inexpensively personalized space became Abdel Rassoul’s obsession. In the summer of 2008 she left her job as G-mag editor-in-chief, and started toying with the Drumstick idea, naming the company after her favorite part of chicken. Struggling with tying the loose ends associated with setting up a company from scratch while mixing product quality with popularity, Abdel Rassoul faced the challenge with enthusiasm.
With plans for a new career, she studied a graphic design course, and set out to color homes and lives. Starting with Islamic design, Abdel Rassoul aimed for each of her collections to stem from a different aspect of Egyptian art, design or inspiration. She says that it is the country’s “age, it’s authenticity, it’s vast solid and grand history, and the fact that no one sees these things anymore,” that drives the Drumstick enterprise.
“Over time, this country has gone through so many different artistic eras, such as the Islamic, Coptic, Fatimide, and Pharonic, each truly and genuinely Egyptian,” says Abdel Rassoul. But the designs emanating from such eras “are not merely pretty colors and motifs.”
In order to unravel the history behind one motif which, untangled and mysterious, adorns the city, Abdel Rassoul started delving into the literature behind the design.
Research is not an obligation, but a welcome pleasure for Abdel Rassoul.. “I go through a lot of literature and design books so that I’d get a good feeling of the theme and understand it inside out,” she says. She then sets the books aside in order to translate the Egyptian motifs into her very own garnish for life. “I play around with them, coming up with many more versions than I need, select my final designs, and I’m set to go.”
Affordable, hip, and vibrant, Drumstick products are tailored for young adults living in rented spaces, those who are budget-conscious, or those who seek to invite some color into their lives.
With a variety of innovative designs to choose from, Drumstick products are available in different shapes and sizes at a reasonable price range (between LE35 and LE70).
The Drumstick label also offers postcards created by a number of professional and amateur Egyptian graphic designers and photographers. The range of postcards aims “to promote these artists, and promote how Egyptians see Egypt.”
The postcards differ from the traditional postcards floating around since the 1980s, which exhibit the pyramids, camels, and the Nile ad nauseum. “There is so much more to Egypt than that,” Abdel Rassoul stresses. The postcard artwork conveys a contemporary Egypt through the eye of a talented and enthusiastic community of contemporary artists. “Egypt is in the wrinkles of every Egyptian, in the layered cascades of its streets, and in the konafa.”
Passionate about anything genuinely Egyptian and everything colorful, Abdel Rassoul’s approach seems to be all about conviction. “I’m 'carping my diem,' and enjoying myself while I’m at it,” she says.
Drumstick products can currently be found at Volume 1 bookstore in Maadi, Om al-Dounia shop downtown, and online at www.souq.com. Later this month the stickers and postcards will also be available at Diwan bookstore in Zamalek and Virgin Mega Stores in City Stars.