Adnan and Rizwan Qadeer are two brothers living the American dream of prosperity through entrepreneurship and hard work. They are, however, doing it in Pakistan by making whips and corsets for kinky Americans.
Their factory, as profiled by Adam Ellick for today's New York Times. employs a mixture of men and women and specializes in fetish and bondage wear, strictly for export. And many of their employees don't necessarily even know what they're really making.
The brothers have taken extreme measures to conceal a business that in this deeply conservative Muslim country is as risky as it is risqué.
It helps that the dozens of veiled and uneducated female laborers who assemble the handmade items - gag balls, lime-green corsets, thonged spanking skirts - have no idea what the items are used for. Even the owners' wives, and their conservative Muslim mother, have not been informed.
"If our mom knew, she would disown us," said Adnan, seated on a leopard-print fabric covering his desk chair.
In a video that accompanies the article (which you really ought to watch), one male employee explains that a sex swing is really a beach chair; another says that the fetishwear is used as a joke. But designer-turned-sales-executive Aasifa, a 25-year-old woman, knows exactly what she was designing and is now selling, and has favorites.
The Qadeer brothers aren't interested in anything but profit, however.
"We really believe that if you are persistent and hard working, there is an opportunity, in any harsh environment, even in an economically depressed environment like Pakistan," Rizwan said.
A major perk, they say, is attending international fetish shows to see how their products hold up in action.
"I go to Sin City every year," said Rizwan, referring to Las Vegas in a sheepish laugh. It's all business, he said. "Clients know our country and culture, and they don't invite us to participate. We're a little bit shy."
Aw, look, it's globalization, sexual tolerance and an ascent out of poverty all bound up in one neat little (leather) package!