Building a fashion and design empire in Qatar with Amal Ameen

The New Arab Meets: Qatari entrepreneur and fashionista, Amal Ameen. Having built her business by tailoring her work to an exclusive clientele, she talks about her contribution to the Qatari style and her advice to budding Arab entrepreneurs.

From clothes handpicked by discreet designers from Brazil and India to unique handmade haute couture pieces, spaces like La Boutique Blanche and Amici di Moda aim to meet fashion lovers according to their specific desires. .

These luxury stores are just a part of the empire that Qatari entrepreneur Amal Ameen has built for nearly two decades in the fashion and design industries.

Described as a “fashion icon”, Amal is now considered one of Qatar’s leading entrepreneurs and trendsetters. She has won numerous awards, including a Grazia for Lifetime Achievement, and recently became the first Lexus Qatar Brand Ambassador.

“Amal’s business portfolio includes Voute Business Solutions – creating concepts for restaurants and other hotel businesses – and Hair Couture, a beauty salon located in a five-star hotel.”

After graduating in Fine Arts and Interior Design in 2004 from Commonwealth University of Virginia, Amal worked in the semi-government sector for five years as an interior designer, gaining experience invaluable in large-scale projects including an exhibition at the 2006 Asian Games. With the trust and network she built, Amal eventually established her own company in 2007, Triple Trend Design House, specializing in design projects. interior, graphic and fashion.

“After I was successful in my projects, in such a small community, word of mouth did the rest,” Amal said. The New Arabic on his professional career. “I started to be known for my accomplishments and clients started to come to us. I was passionate about my job and made every effort without thinking too much about what I was getting in return. I think I have the chance to do what I love the most and that my group will grow soon, thanks to the reputation that we have gained in the market.

His passion for design and the discovery of talent led to the launch of The White Shop in 2015. “My research was based on niche brands that were not yet sold in Qatar, especially young designers who are very talented and in need of encouragement,” Amal said.

“I traveled for long periods from Paris, Milan, Madrid and London to Japan, Brazil, India or New York. I found so many brands on the back roads, with very talented designers that I decided to support by bringing them to Qatar.

The result is a “fashion universe that brings countries together under one roof,” where niche brands share tracks with more established designers.

The success of the Amal-inspired boutique in targeting more exclusive pieces, and it opened a Haute Couture fashion showroom, Friends of Moda, at Al Hazm Luxury Mall in Doha in 2017. “We identified customers who had a different understanding of fashion and appreciated high-end brands and their craftsmanship, and they were very interested in the idea of ​​owning unique pieces or limited collections ”says Amal.

At the heart of the boutiques’ success are two things: working with designers to tailor the clothes to Qatari taste and style – which is “culturally influenced and very rich in detail, material and quality” – and providing service. customer in which “nothing is impossible”.

“It’s a priority for us,” Amal said. “We tailor any dress, we place specific orders, we deliver door to door and we are used to working under pressure in high season to keep our customers happy at all times. In addition, our team is well trained in customer service, materials and brands.

Amal’s business portfolio includes Voute Business Solutions – creating concepts for restaurants and other hotel businesses – and Hair Couture, a beauty salon located in a five-star hotel. “Getting organized, working on time management and prioritizing work is as important as having the right professionals around you,” she said. “You have to trust your team if you want to have a balance and enjoy both your professional and private life. “

Yet even the most successful business empires have suffered setbacks during COVID-19 restrictions. For Amal, she has seen fewer clients, especially since the events for which they want to find the perfect outfit have been put on hold. But Amal believes that she can always count on a loyal following of forward-thinking clients. “Thanks to our well-established database and loyal customers, we are successfully surviving this situation, even though customers are spending less than before.”

She said her plans for the next few years are to “expand intelligently” and “expect the unexpected,” advice she passes on to other women dreaming of taking on the business: “I think that it is very important to know what you want to target your goals and put in place the right plan and the right actions. My advice is this: believe in yourself, don’t be confused, just focus and dare to move forward with what you have in mind, and remember that failures along the way are an important part of all success because they provide you with experience.

Shams Al-Shakarchi is an Anglo-Iraqi journalist interested in Iraq and women’s rights.

Follow her on Twitter: @shams_shakarchi

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