Lessons In How To Scale A Jordanian Fashion Business
What are the similarities between agriculture and artisanal weaving? And we are not talking about textile farming, “agro-textiles,” or Mycelium technology, mind you. We are talking about the business aspect of the industries, niche hydroculture and eco-luxe-craft design. At first thought, one draws a blank, since there seems to be no common thread that entwines these two businesses together. Nothing that meets the eye. But when a serendipitous childhood friendship meets a vision, and collides with a dream, a link is created.
Once, Sharif Hajjar, an avid business investor and entrepreneur who has extensive experience in business development, cozied-up with his childhood friend Basma Abdul-Hadi, the founder and creative designer of the eco-luxe brand Nosouj, a meeting of minds was established. The business savvy duo envisioned catapulting Nosouj toward its highest potential.
Nosouj, which means weaving in Arabic, was born out of Abdul-Hadi’s passion for artisanal weaving and sustainable living. Hajjar plans to level-it-up.
By word of mouth, Nosouj attracted Hajjar’s attention, “knowing that a lot of family and friends really liked the product” sparked his interest prompting him to delve into a parentship with Abdul-Hadi and step into the fashion industry. Hajjar was able to identify the unique quality and design of Nosouj’s products and was able to envision its growth.
“I could see the added value I could give Basma, by streaming production, through e-commerce and team building. Allowing her to focus solely on the design and quality side of the business, while I focus on the other things. Transforming Nosouj into a company instead of a one man/women show.”
Entering into a new partnership, albeit exciting, could be stressful and overwhelming. Uncertainty can take over and not having a clear picture of the future can create anxiety. But this is not the case with Hajjar and Nosouj. According to Hajjar’s entrepreneurial mindset, “business is business; production, HR, logistics, costing etc. is the same in most business settings, it’s just a different end product. Initially, I have had to learn a few things about the process and the industry, familiarizing myself with the lingo and techniques, that will be an ongoing process. But on the operations side its business as usual.”
For Hajjar the business interest in Nosouj rests in laying the foundations for the company’s operational process and creating a strategy to enable growth by, “accessing old markets and finding possibilities of growth within them. Cultivating wider brand awareness online via social-media, e-shops, and high-end boutiques. There was always a demand for Nosouj products, but no futuristic visibility.”
Also looking into expanding internationally by examining “untapped opportunities and expanding design production into clothing, accessories, and home décor. Creating a demand across the world and growing our service provider network to benefit the local communities of women across our production zones. Looking into the future the success of the company would also provide a business opportunity for my daughter Lana, if she chooses a career in fashion.”
Nosouj’s success will be determined by Hajjar’s business insight and Abdul-Hadi’s dream of catapulting her vision for Nosouj into international markets. They both took a leap of faith and merged their friendship and aspirations into a business venture.
Nosouj is very dear to Abdul-Hadi’s heart, “every bag I’ve ever made was out of a passion for the creative process and nothing more. The artisans I’ve met along the way from the master weavers to the crochet queens have taught me that the past and the present are intertwined. To be completely honest I’ve always thought that the future of Nosouj would be in the hands of someone I’d eventually meet. But as life goes on, the future of Nosouj is in the hands of someone from my past. And I’ve never felt more at home”
Together they will propel Nosouj into a new market position within the ready-to-wear eco-luxe industry, not only by attracting the beach goers who crave the seasonal beach bag but allowing Nosouj to fall into the realms of a must have it bag in a capsule collection.
At the moment the dynamic duo are, “a bit overwhelmed with orders. And that’s a good problem to have.”