Every week, ILQ features a different Qatari 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 -- fashion and beauty, food and dining, health, education, and many more!
This time, we're highlighting the essence of sentimentality with Sama Store, an online concept store in Qatar that sells unique products from all over the world. These products showcase shared values and appreciation for nature, people, culture, art etc.
It’s a platform that hosts products created by artists from Qatar who share its common values. Sama Store brings in a diverse community in the country with great appreciation for the myriad of cultures and art. They make available on their store a unique range of products from all over the world.
Each individual product has been handpicked by the founder herself –- it is her way of sharing the beauty of the world to her customers in a personal and convenient way. Every product is one-of-a-kind and has a story to tell –- who made it, where was it made and how. Sama Store’s philosophy is centered around sustainability, artistic and cultural appreciation, sharing, and creating opportunities. It is for this reason that every product sold at Sama Store has been handcrafted by emerging artists and traditional craftspeople using all natural materials.
In October 2017, Sama Store held its soft opening when they collaborated with Flat White coffee shop for their first year’s anniversary celebrations. It was a truly magical night as Sama Store had a pop up stand right inside Flat White's The Pearl branch.
Qatari founder Sara Mohammed Al Safar said the unique concept is something they're really proud of. She also pointed out that besides selling, Sama Store is also creating opportunities for artists to have a platform to share their art and sell their products without having to deal with business operations.
Sara has always been consumed by daydreams of faraway cultures and their traditionally artistic representations. From an early age, art and travel have had a meaningful influence on Sara’s life, and as she grows older, they are the only two things that continue to bring her true joy. Sara’s love for mental serenity and well-being, which is apparent in her tranquil and poised demeanour, is something she is always looking to share with others. In all aspects of her life, be it at home or while travelling, she is always on the lookout for unique, handmade products that celebrate culture and nature.
"The response from our customers is very positive! It’s really overwhelming to hear their feedback and words of encouragement. As Sama Store's founder, I really appreciate it," said Sara, who added that they hadn't sought assistance from either the Qatar Business Incubation Center (QBIC) or Digital Incubation Center (DIC) in the development of her start-up.
When asked if start-ups like Sama Store are beneficial to Qatar's economic growth, she had this to say: "Yes, because we are creating opportunities and encouraging Qataris to produce local brands and locally-manufactured products."
Sara noted that for starters, they should first have a clear vision of the overall business and also be passionate about everything they do.
She also stressed the importance of legacy and momentum. "You should be able to imagine yourself growing the business in the next five years, for example. I would also advise them to start from somewhere and even if it means taking baby steps toward achieving your end goal, what matters most is that you keep on going!"
It is Sara’s combined appreciation of art, culture and self-care that inspired her to start Sama Store. Her hope is, through this initiative, she can tell a story about the thousands of cultures in our world and their artistic traditions. And in doing so, she aims to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those creating the products, as well as those buying them.
To know more about Sama Store, check out their contact details below!
Contact number: (+974) 50155573
Email: [email protected]
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(Images courtesy of Sama Store's website)
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