Seventy-five young enterprising Qataris have showcased their start-ups at 30 pop-up stores set up at Mall of Qatar as an important feature of this year’s Shop Qatar organised by Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA).
The participating start-ups display a wide range of products from arts and crafts to chocolates and gifts to perfumes and clothing.
One of the unique start-ups is university student Maryam Al Maged’s Wrapping Station which she established over a year ago to fill a gap in the marketplace.
“I do gift wrapping, customised cards, wedding invites and greeting cards. It’s a new business I started one and a half years ago because this is something we lack in Doha. We don’t have a proper wrapping shop where people can have their presents wrapped decently and creatively,” Al Maged told local media recently.
This is the first time Al Maged, who is in her senior year as fashion design student at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar), has participated at the event to showcase her passion for gift wrapping she developed at a tender age.
“I do fabric and paper wrapping. I learned paper wrapping by watching YouTube when I was a child while I picked up the idea of fabric wraps when I had a trip to Japan; there they use fabrics to wrap lots of their gift items. After that I started inventing my own wraps,” she said.
Currently, she does everything alone by hand, but plans to have her own staff and put up a shop once she finishes university.
“I do everything by hand. Even the designs I make are done by hand. I don’t like to just take from the Internet. like to do everything from scratch,” she said, adding she sources materials from overseas like India.
“So far it’s so successful that it gets so busy that I have to sometimes decline orders. Hopefully, I won’t face this problem once I have my own staff,” she said.
On her expectations at the festival, she said: “I’m not aiming for profits. It’s mostly for exposure. I want people to know about my business and what I do.”
Patrick H. Chahine, PR and Marketing Manager at Mall of Qatar, which is hosting the pop-up shops lauded the QTA initiative as a crucial step towards diversification of the country’s economy.
“We want to support the local community by offering a lot of space in our luxury area for the 30 pop-up stores for one full month. It is very important for the diversification of the economy to support the local talents and it is also important to Mall of Qatar as it carries the name of the nation,” said Chahine. “The idea was to gather the pop-up stores in one area so people will have a complete experience of the local brands and for the convenience of the visitors. We are hosting more pop-up shops compared last year which is very good because there are more choices for every taste,” he added.
Shop Qatar has definitely brought footfall to Mall of Qatar, he said, adding there are more tourists from Kuwait and Oman that visit the mall compared to the previous edition of the festival.
He praised QTA’s strong marketing campaign and positioning of Qatar as a preferred destination on the international level evident in the increasing interest generated from countries beyond the region. The Pop-up shops run until February 7 at Mall of Qatar. (Source)
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