At a time when regeneration is in full swing and the general mood amongst Bradfordians is positive, more so now as the much delayed Westfield Shopping Centre finally opens its doors next month, Bradford it seems, is finally moving in the right direction after a decade of troubles and struggles.
The opening of Westfield will no doubt act as a catalyst for other investors to find their place in Bradford and encourage a new wave of young entrepreneurs to invest in the city. It is already apparent in North Parade, which has slowly become one of Bradford’s most vibrant spots offering a unique selection of independent shops and cafes.
As most of the focus is on Westfield and the ongoing work at the Odeon twin domes, there are certain individuals who creating their own mark in the city.
Mohammed Rasul is a young and dynamic entrepreneur who like many residents, is desperate for Bradford to find its former glory. A successful high-end menswear fashion retailer for 25 years, Rasul partnered with Tehreem Rasul and Fuad Khan to bring an unconventional store to life in the city of Bradford.
Artz-i is a stylish new lifestyle, interiors and gift store which designs and manufactures their own wall art and retails both modern and traditional high quality gifts, artworks, including hand crafted items from different parts of the world such as Cairo and the markets of Istanbul.
The quirky mini department store is located on the corner of Kirkgate and Sunbridge road, opposite the old TG Hughes and offers a unique experience for its customers as it retails a wide range of fine quality gifts including pottery, jewellery, oiled paintings, and unique wall art travertine stone tiles, brass and copper lamps as well as furniture, clocks, mirrors, lighting, flowers, novelty gifts,
Artz-i is without doubt a unique and alternative shopping experience for the people of Bradford and beyond. Eloquent and contemporary interior décor complimented with a calming ambience, the store is meticulously designed offering three floors of matchless products for the individual who appreciates art and individuality. Perceived by many to be expensive or not knowing what the store offers, after visiting the store, most have come back as they found it affordable as well as desirable.
Mark Smith from Leeds told Urban Echo, “I can’t believe that Bradford has this shop. I usually shop in Leeds but after visiting some friends in Bradford and visiting Artz-i, I instantly fell in love with the shop. The greeting cards, wall-art, lighting and modern interior furniture are totally unique but more importantly for me, it is all affordable. I picked up a gift for as little as £1.99 and I now visit the store on a regular basis.”
As Artz-i’s reputation is spreading around the city, the store is attracting customers from all over Yorkshire and at times from other counties.
Speaking to Urban Echo, Mohammed Rasul states, “Bradford as a city has a lot to offer. Since opening our doors several months ago, the feedback has been fantastic with the merchandise and the in store experience. We pride ourselves on the excellent customer service we provide as well as the products we sell. We are hoping to make Artz-i one of the main attractions right here in the city centre.”
With tunnel vision and hard work by Rasul and his dedicated team, Artz-i is now one of the main attractions in the city centre and the £500,000 that has been invested in its six storey building (formerly TDF), has added a much needed boost to Bradford and its plans to create a unique shopping experience in the city.
As well as providing a number of jobs, Rasul further states, “We are also looking to offer the sort of arts and crafts found in the likes of Harvey Nichols and Selfridges, but at more down-to-earth prices. Artz-i is a store for all art lovers regardless of race, religion or culture.”