Every Thursday, ILoveQatar.net features a different startup in our ‘Startup of the Week’ segment. Qatar has some of the most creative, unique, and impactful startups in the region, and we cover them all across a variety of industries in Doha—from fashion and beauty to food and dining, health, education, technology, and more!
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This week, we're featuring SOUQTI - a marketplace that encourages a more sustainable lifestyle by allowing anybody to buy, sell and rent pre-owned fashion. Founded by siblings Ariane and Paul-Denis, SOUQTI came from the struggle of finding an easy way to sell unused fashion items as well as purchase unique fashion.
SOUQTI allows you to easily browse unique pieces, as well as sell your own in a few clicks. Sellers are able to get back as much as 80% of their item’s original value, while buyers are able to access great pieces at the fraction of the original price.
You can buy pre-loved authentic luxury items and even pay for them in installments or layaway. You can choose from brands such as Dior, Coach, Chanel, Dolce & Gabbana, Burberry, Yves Saint Laurent, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Gucci, Versace, and more depending on the availability.
SOUQTI also provides additional services such as authentication, cleaning and appraisal.
Ariane, one of the founders, shared that she liked the idea of the word “Souq”, which means market in Arabic, and played around with the word in her mind until she came up with “Souqti."
She has always been passionate about pre-loved and vintage fashion from a young age. She shared, "It's not only sustainable but also a great way to carry pieces that have a history and that you can’t find anywhere else! When I came to Qatar, I realized that there was no easy way to do this! And from this, SOUQTI was born."
I think what sets us apart is the overall vision that we have for SOUQTI, we want to convince every person that has unused clothes or accessories that they can sell them in a way that’s, easy, safe and stress-free. We initially started on Instagram, and we now have a fully-fledged website! We are constantly looking to improve and complete our offering as we learn more from our already loyal customer base. - Ariane
Speaking about the customer response, Ariane mentioned that so far they've had great responses and early adopters. They were able to get great feedback which in turn helped them in the decision-making for SOUQTI.
SOUQTI has been operating officially since December 2020 and was initially part of the Qatar Business Incubation Center LeanStartup program. Being part of the program helped them test their idea and experiment with different versions of the concept. They were then able to validate their idea by creating an MVP (Minimal Viable Product) and had to pitch in front of investors. They were then selected to be incubated at Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC) and received seed investment for the startup.
When we asked what was the hardest part in the early stages of the company’s growth and their current achievements, Ariane answered,
I think that garnering the right skillsets around you is essential. One doesn’t know everything! So building the right team is essential! So far, I’m really proud of the customer feedback we have received, as well as being able to put together the first version of our platform in such a short amount of time.
Ariane shared, "We are always testing out and trying out new ideas! But you can look forward to cool collaborations and exciting new features very soon!"
Cover image by ILoveQatar.net; Images sourced from SOUQTI Instagram account
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