Times of Oman
Jun 25, 2017 Last Updated at 11:49 AST
Boutique Muscat: An Omani retail empire
May 10, 2017 | 6:47 PM
by Salim Al Afifi
Boutique Muscat. Photos by Salim Al Afifi
 
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Like most successful entrepreneurship stories, Boutique Muscat started from scratch, and now it’s here to stay in the game for good. I’ve always been fascinated by talented, business driven individuals who do the impossible to make their dreams a fruitful reality. This week I had the pleasure to meet two lovely sisters, Hazar and Hanadi Al Zadjali, who dived into the retail industry full of sparkling passion and bits of skills only to become one of the largest Omani brands in town.

Boutique Muscat was the first concept store to open in this glorious land back in 2008, the time when owning a boutique was not in everyone’s agenda. The sisters felt that fashion had to be introduced to Muscat in a different way, a way that would offer buyers varied choices outside the big brand names.

As they decided to work their way up to fill this fashion gap that Muscat had then, as well as to support local talent, Hazar and Hanadi decided to take a trip to land of glamour and elegance, retail business that is, and introduce brand new concepts to town with items sporting top-notch quality and creative touches that were not to be found anywhere else in the city. “We wanted to support upcoming designers who were serious about their craft,” explained Hazar. Eight years later, the concept remains, a home for multi-brands that merge style with elegance in an eco-system of its own.

While Hazar is a passionate businesswoman who pushes boundaries when it comes to running a venture, her younger sister Hanadi is a marketing specialist who leaves no stone unturned when it comes to advertising and promoting the brand. Together they journeyed hand-in-hand and skyrocketed to new heights.

In 2008, Hazar graduated from Carleton University in Canada with a degree in psychology. After coming back to the country, she took her internship at Ibn Sina Hospital. At that time there was nothing in terms of entertainment in Sohar and so Hazar would finish her work at 4pm and head home to stare at the four walls. Days of boredom spiked an idea for the young entrepreneur. She thought, “why not start an online shop?”

With vivid images of fashionable items that she had seen abroad, and knowing about the limited options in this part of town, the whole idea started to make sense. She got herself a domain for just eight rials and called it ‘Boutique Muscat’, and that’s how it all started.

Surprisingly, she had no plans of walking down the road of retail or fashion. Instead she wanted to start a coffee shop. But the fortune was awaiting her in the retail industry.

Hanadi graduated from a university in Malaysia with a degree in marketing. As she witnessed the excitement that her sister had on starting the boutique, she immediately felt that it was only right to be a part of it, and with her sharp marketing skills, she knew she’d be right at home.

Hanadi is still an employee at a local bank, yet she manages to handle all marketing aspects of the boutique effortlessly.

Soon after they got the domain, they started exploring their favourite brands around the globe and stocked items in small quantities. The struggle was real, as they delivered each and every item to the customers.

The name started to grow and items started to quickly sell out. It was then the sisters came to a decision of opening a physical store.

They did not have most of the necessary skills to run an actual business but the passion was unbeatable and soon they dived into the lake of SMEs in town before owning a boutique became the new trend.

They opened the shop in Madinat Sultan Qaboos in a cornered house, stayed there for three years before moving to Jawharat Al Shatti for another three years, and finally settled at Al Mouj, in a Manhattan-style street-front boutique that looks super.

Boutique Muscat slid into the retail scene with an aim to add a bit of sparkle the way women dress and to give fashion lovers a place they can call home. Today, it’s a home not only to fashion, but it has a hugely successful home collection that ranges from imperial-themed to more quirky and whimsical goods. The store has a beauty corner and a kids section. Inside the boutique you can find brands from the UAE, Qatar, and the United States, to name a few.

The brand also does events such as fashion shows and shopping trades. Their first fashion show was organised at an old garage. In 2013, in Jawharat Al Shatti, their second event Peeloh took place, with guests from around the Gulf such as the ever-popular Ascia (instagram.com/ascia_akf). It was a major networking event with locals and those from the region.

In 2015, they participated in Mohammed bin Rashid awards, and got to semifinals, competing against huge business forces. This only shows how determined these sisters are, and they mean business.

Boutique Muscat has became a platform rather than a store, where they offer services such as branding and business strategies too.[email protected]

Boutique Muscat

The Walk, Al Mouj, North Al Hail

+968 9569 2280


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