Jubilation. The perfect word to describe the way we feel about Saffron Souk.
Today, our new platform is live and we couldn’t be more excited to share Saffron Souk’ new home with you.
Since the launch of saffronsouk.com in 2012, there has been a steady stream of changes and updates but this new platform is a culmination of months of work and years of experience and ensures that we’re well prepared to meet the needs of our growing creative community now and moving forward.
What sort of products do you market? Modest and fashionable designs.
When and why did you decide to start your own business?
I’ve always wanted to start a business of my own – don’t we all dream of financial freedom?
When I moved to Dubai in 2011 the idea grew stronger and became more persistent, I believe it had something to do with the fact that Dubai was fast becoming the preferred hub for business in the Middle East but it was also because right after I quit my job in 2013, and didn’t have another position lined up, I had plenty of time to think of what I wanted to do with my life, my thoughts kept circling the idea that I wanted to launch my own business, to do something I am passionate about, something that makes me happy and gives me joy…something ARTISTIC!
That’s when I met Aya Al Ashi (who became my best friend and business partner later on). We had so much in common from our love for colours, arts and designs to the fact that we both were facing the same challenge whenever we go shopping at the mall, we noticed that finding fashionable clothes that didn’t require many layers but at the same time are in line with our values as Muslim ladies was just a daunting task.
Recognizing the opportunity, a year later in 2014 “Naya Nova” launched its first collection of modest and fashionable designs, aiming to fill the gap in the market and inspire women with clothes that made them feel beautiful and confident without having to compromise their sense of style.
1. Showing the love – best friends and business partners, Nada and Aya set up Naya Nova last year
What’s the best thing about setting up your own brand?
First and foremost, I love being my own BOSS 😉 I also like the personal freedom, the opportunities for professional growth as I got the chance to wear a lot of hats (Sales, Marketing, Business Development…etc.) which gave me insight into and experience with all the aspects of running a business. I consider launching my home-based business a creative outlet that gave birth to my creativity, passions and hobbies.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced?
I would say that personal challenges are on top of the list. I think that overcoming our own fears of being incapable, facing our doubts and worries when contemplating a major life change is the key to conquer external obstacles, like when we first started – we had no one to guide us, no one to ask questions to see if we were doing things correctly or not, it was a lot of trial and error. Sourcing suppliers for high quality materials that are reasonably priced was challenging as well, not to mention finding professional tailoring master to manage and deliver our work on time.
1. Naya Nova’s ‘love me’ chaqueta in black with pink neon detailing 2-5. Nada’s designs are typically made from flowing chiffons in a stunning line up of prints and embellishments
What do you love about selling online?
1. Lower start-up costs and easier to maintain
2. Changes can be made on the fly
3. Potential customer reach – over 1 billion people worldwide are using the internet today, meaning with an online store you conceivably have 1 billion people with access to your store, or so we hope
What top tips can you share with other saffronsouk.com shopkeepers?
We found that sharing the news about launching our business along with high quality photos of our garments with our families, friends, neighbors, ex-colleagues and any one we could reach out to was a big help at the initial phase, by spreading word of mouth using emails, WhatsApp groups, showing up to gatherings wearing our own designs, we started selling even before posting our products on social media accounts which boosted our confidence, energy and charged our spirit. We also believe that the softer, flashier and more attractive your products look to shoppers in the photos the more confident they’ll feel about purchasing from you.
1. Nada looks stunning here – who can resist the combination of turquoise blue and hot pink!
Where do you get your inspiration to be creative from?
Myself and everything around me, simple things might trigger creative inspirations – magazine covers, a fashion show, nature, other designers work, brainstorming with my friends and family.
Tell us 5 words to describe yourself.
Calm, positive, loving, ambitious, practical.
What’s your favourite colour?
Green, the color of balance, harmony and growth.
Do you collect anything?
Yessss, SNOW GLOBES
Who is the best super-hero? Superman, Batman or Spiderman?
What are you reading right now?
Mindfulness (25 ways to live in the moment through art) by Christophe Andre.
What do you think you’d taste like?
Did you ever run away from home as a child?
Tried to once when I was 6 y.o my mother says I was upset and I told her I wanted to run away to look for a better family!! So I collected my stuff, unlocked the door, walked 10 steps forward then turned and went inside again.
When did you last laugh?
When I answered the previous question
Do you believe in luck?
I believe everything happens for a reason rather than things happening by chance.
Do you have a motto?
Life is raw material. We are artisans. We can sculpt our existence into something beautiful, or debase it into ugliness. It’s in our hands.
1. Some of Naya Nova’s orders, beautifully wrapped up and ready to go – Nada’s love of colour is evident! 2-4. Some examples of Nada’s work. Saffron Souk loves the ‘lady face’ chaqueta – what amazing fabric and a wonderful statement piece
What is your golden rule?
In Business: take action every single day in some way because until you “do”, you won’t know what’s going to work. In Life: Think Good, Do Good and Good Will Come To You.
What’s the best career advice anyone ever gave you?
Just keep going no matter what happens, don’t let anything or anyone stop you from reaching your goals.
What is the greatest mystery of the universe?
The Universe Itself.
1-2. Pieces from Naya Nova’s current collection and… 3-4. New designs from their upcoming Kuffiyeh collection – we can’t wait to see more! Keep an eye on nayanova.saffronsouk.com…
What is your greatest aim in life?
To inspire, to help, to make someone else’s life better.
Did you have an imaginary friend as a child?
Hmmm, does talking to myself in the mirror counts as one?
What would you name the autobiography of your life?
The Longest Ride.
Why do you find the saffronsouk.com website appealing to shop at?
The fact that it’s all about handmade and supporting local small businesses is just AWESOME! I like the variety of shopping categories, bringing together different creative talents offering diverse and unique goodies all in one place.