Seeking comfort

Published On: January 26, 2018 09:19 AM NPT By: Swasti Gautam

Beanbags can be the perfect place to curl up on while reading a book, playing video games, or just resting after a long day at work.

In the recent times, beanbags have become an inevitable part of décor in most urban households. These not only make a space look cozy and chic but they are so comfortable that everybody just needs one. The good news is they are now easily available in our market and that too at reasonable prices. Rajdip Bhusan Mahat, a pioneer in the beanbag industry in Nepal, had an interesting story to share as to how he initiated this business. 

When Mahat was younger, watching Hollywood movies used to be his favorite pastime. While his friends were more interested in the story and actors of the movie, Mahat would rather pay attention to beanbags in the background. At that time, he did not have his own bedroom. Like most Nepali children, he used to share a room with his parents. But as a child he used to dream of building his own house and decorating his living room with beanbags.  

“During my school days, I used to love scribbling and designing different kinds of beanbags. And, as you can see, I’m still obsessed with it,” says Mahat, owner of Urbanluxy Bean Bags. This young entrepreneur established a retail beanbag outlet at Maharajgunj right after his graduation in 2016. 

“The concept of using beanbags for comfortable seating is popular in American and European countries. But you couldn’t get different kinds of beanbags here,” says Mahat. “You would have to bring beanbags from India, China, or Thiland for almost double the price. So I wanted to open an industry and make these comfortable bags available in different designs, colors and sizes for those who wanted it. After all, why should Nepalis be deprived of a comfortable experience at an affordable price?” he adds.

Before starting the business, Mahat researched a lot about the demand of beanbags in Nepal. He also used different survey methods to understand people’s opinions about beanbags. “The initial phase was certainly not easy. We did not introduce all the designs at once as we had not understood the market well. Also, importing raw materials for the beanbags was a huge problem. Due to road and transportation issues, it used to take more than a month to get the raw materials delivered to Kathmandu,” adds Mahat. 

The raw materials and fabrics for these beanbags are imported from India. And these luxurious beanbags are designed and made in Nepal. They use polystyrene for the beans and fabric for the cover of beanbags. “Now we have also decided to manufacture quality and comfortable beanbag Chairs in Nepal. These chairs are certainly a new concept and I am sure people are going to love it,” says Mahat. 

According to Mahat, customer satisfaction is their first priority. That is why they focus on making high quality products with attractive colors and outstanding finishing. Not only do they have different types of beanbags but they also customize it according to the customer’s requirements. “We want to take this business outside Kathmandu to Pokhara and Dharan as well,” he says. 

Versatile and luxurious  
Beanbags are extremely comfortable and versatile and can be put to various uses. This is one of the reasons why they are so popular. “It is an unknown fact but beanbag chairs can be a respite for pregnant ladies. Beanbags can take the shape of your body and change as your body posture changes. So beanbag chairs at our shop are especially designed pregnancy furniture,” says Mahat. Furthermore, kids also love beanbags. And they are much safer for kids as compared to other hard furniture.

“I would also suggest beanbags for all book lovers out there,” says Indra Khadka, partner at Urbanluxy Bean Bags. “You can sit comfortably with some tea and not worry about sitting in the same position for long hours,” he adds. Also for all those café owners who are designing a book lounge, there can be no better and cheaper furniture than beanbags. There are also waterproof beanbags that can be the perfect poolside accessory. 

Keeping your beanbags looking new
All of us who own beanbags know that they are susceptible to some damage over the years. But they can last for a really long time if you know how to maintain them well. Khadka gave us some pointers to maintain our beanbags. 

The first thing you need to do is to avoid dust and dirt. The surface of beanbags may be damaged by dust so it is not a bad idea to wipe your beanbag with a clean and dry cloth every once in a while. You may also cover it with a bed sheet if it is not in use. If you have the habit of lounging on your beanbag right after you exercise or come home from the gym, then your beanbag will probably stink of sweat over time. “The best way to reduce the smell is by mixing baking soda in some water and wiping your bag with it,” says Khadka. 

Not sweating on your beanbag is another way of ensuring its longevity. When we precipitate we excrete natural acids and salt that may damage the outer covering of a beanbag, if not regularly cleaned. Also, lighter colors fade more easily than darker colors if exposed to the sun. So don’t keep your beanbag where direct sunlight falls on it for long hours.

After a year or two, beanbags have the tendency to go completely flat. There is no need to discard it when it does. In fact, transforming it into a fresh looking piece is very easy. Beanbags are filled with expanded polystyrene. These beans have small pockets of air inside them. When used for a long time, these pockets get compressed. “When your beanbag loses it plumpness, you can easily refill it with new polystyrene beans and it will look brand new,” adds Khadka.

To avoid any kind of scratches on your beanbag, try not placing it on rough surfaces. In case of a spot on your beanbag, you can always use mild detergent or soap to scrub it clean. And finally, understanding what material your beanbag is made up of can also help you maintain it. Some materials are washable while others are not. Ensure you follow the directions on the label while cleaning it.

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