As I sink deeper into my blankets to get cosy, another pot of tea begins to whistle. The fresh scent of Jasmine and Cherry Blossoms fill the air with every flicker of the melting candle beside me. I look up from the slightly discoloured page of my cherished book, managing to catch the last glimpse of a few runaway raindrops on the window. I can't help but smile. These are my favourite kind of days - the Whistle & Page days.”
Oh hi there! I'm Nawsheen, the founder and owner of Whistle & Page ("us", "we", "our"). Established in 2014, it was created to capture snippets of my mind's happy places. It's a platform which allows me to be creative, get my hands dirty and give back in some way. Our products are predominantly handcrafted with a lot of love, passion and thought.
Whistle & Page is a family affair. My little brother, who’s not so little anymore, helps me with the day-to-day. He is everyone’s best bud, and you just can’t help but fall in love with him. My dad not only helps me source beautiful pieces from all over the world but he is also always there to encourage me. He’s been a businessman almost all his life, and although I have a business degree, there’s nothing more valuable than experience. My mum is the most creative and practical person I know. She sees the world in a different light, and she is my biggest asset when I’m in a doozie. My in-laws are the most incredible people. They are just always there without question, armed with love and support. Lastly, my darling husband and daughter inspire me to be better and do better every day. That’s my clan, and you’re all invited to join the beautiful madness.
I live in an old country town on the outskirts of Canberra. To me, its serenity – she gets me. But before I called Australia home, my heart belonged to another, Bangladesh. Across the sea, about ten thousand kilometres away and almost three decades ago in a concrete jungle, I took my first breath. This tiny fertile country in southern Asia is surrounded by the largest river deltas and cradled by magnificent mangroves which I was utterly oblivious to until I was about six when my dad took me to visit his hometown, Podamdi.
I always recall the same memory... I am running through the sugarcane fields, a forest full of mango and jackfruit trees scattered with patches of palm and bamboo. Suddenly I stop, I find myself in a clearing with a cluster of little clay and straw huts. The villagers invite us to share tea. It’s served in the most elegant brass tea set with desserts representing a pastel rainbow, each one a different colour. It's monsoon season, and the rain starts to pour, so we take shelter in one of the larger huts. I look around; it’s unlike any other house I’ve ever been to. No doors or windows, just large openings. On the floor, there are beautifully laid hand-stitched nakshi kantha (traditional tapestries and blankets) with scenes of old tales for future generations. There was so much beauty in the simplicity of the village that you couldn't help but get cosy.
I sit by the large window opening, clasping my hot tea with both hands. A little old lady greets me with a lovely little blanket, which she places on my bare knees. I smile and thank her. The gorgeous pattern set in red and black stitches against the white cotton reminding me of the blanket my nanu (grandmother) made back home.
I look out the window to watch the rain. The wood in the communal outdoor stove has begun to smoke. Through it, across the courtyard, I see her. Sitting completely still by the window of a smaller hut while her long ebony hair dances with the breeze.
With a similar blanket to keep her cosy, she has a half-read book in one hand and a clay teacup in the other. As the raindrops kiss her tanned skin, it glistens like little specs of diamonds. She, the nameless girl, was the perfect vision.
This sweet memory is forever locked in time and eventually became the foundation of Whistle & Page.
Our pieces are produced with the charming Podamdi in mind. Using mostly neutral tones and natural materials, I wanted to capture the true meaning of comfort and cosiness.
I hope you enjoy your visit and find something wonderful that fills your heart with joy.