BKM Total Office of Texas Unveils ARZU STUDIO HOPE, Rugs with a Social Mission

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Partnership of women business leaders from Dallas and Chicago provides income and hope for Afghan women weavers.

ARZU Afghan women weavers

Each rug has a story that connects the buyer with the artisan who wove it.

BKM Total Office of Texas, a leading provider of commercial furniture and related services, today announced a partnership with ARZU, Inc., a nonprofit “social business enterprise” that empowers Afghan women by sourcing and selling the rugs they weave. Through this alliance of women business leaders, the new ARZU STUDIO HOPE contract collection is now available to contract designers, architects, and corporate clients in the Dallas/Fort Worth area exclusively through BKM Total Office of Texas.

Each ARZU STUDIO HOPE rug is created by highly skilled Afghan artisans using traditional techniques passed down for centuries. ARZU weavers use the finest hand-knotting techniques, making every piece one-of-a-kind. Each rug has a story that connects the buyer with the artisan who wove it. The rugs in this new contract collection feature contemporary designs as well as traditional patterns and can be used as area rugs or as wall art.

“We are proud to be selected by ARZU STUDIO HOPE as their exclusive commercial distributor in D/FW and are looking forward to being a part of their social mission to provide hope for the women of Afghanistan,” said Carol Roehrig, co-owner and president of BKM Total Office of Texas. “The ARZU STUDIO HOPE collection represents a growing trend of ‘conscious consumerism’ that is a perfect fit for savvy Dallas/Fort Worth designers and corporate clients.”

ARZU, Inc. was founded in 2004 by Connie Duckworth, a retired Partner and Managing Director of Goldman Sachs, after she visited Afghanistan with the U.S. Afghan Women’s Council and was inspired to change the impoverished conditions for women and children like those she met during her travels. ARZU STUDIO HOPE takes a holistic approach to sustainable poverty alleviation through artisan-based employment that empowers women and provides them income and access to healthcare and education.

“At ARZU STUDIO HOPE our mission is to aid the reconstruction of Afghanistan by empowering women, their families and their communities,” said Duckworth, who serves pro bono as ARZU STUDIO HOPE’s chief executive officer. “In partnership with BKM, we can now make these exquisite ARZU rugs available to a new market, resulting in more income-generating opportunities that will support sustainable economic development, instill personal worth and build gender equality for Afghan women weavers.”

ARZU, which means “hope” in Dari, helps Afghan women weavers and their families break the cycle of poverty by providing them steady income and access to education and healthcare. While structured as a 501(c)(3) in the United States and an international NGO in Afghanistan, ARZU operates as a “for-benefit” corporation, using private sector practices to create jobs in desperately poor rural villages where little opportunity exists. ARZU was founded by Connie Duckworth, a retired Partner and Managing Director of Goldman, Sachs, & Co., where she was named the first woman sales and trading partner in the firm’s history during her 20 year career. Ms. Duckworth was named a 2008 Skoll Foundation honoree for Social Entrepreneurship. For more information visit http://www.arzustudiohope.org.

About BKM Total Office of Texas
BKM Total Office of Texas, a woman-owned enterprise, provides “total office solutions” to meet evolving workplace needs in corporate, educational and healthcare environments. Co-owned by Carol Roehrig and Carlene Wilson, BKM offers a wide variety of quality furniture lines, styles and product types and is the premier distributor in North Texas of Steelcase products. BKM’s client list includes Baylor Healthcare System, AT&T, Southwest Airlines, Atmos Energy, and University of Texas, at Arlington. For more information visit http://www.bkmtexas.com.


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