Spotlight on Dar Beida Morocco Living
Today's spotlight is Bushra and Ishwar of Dar Beida Moroccan Living a company selling beautiful handmade Moroccan homewares that they have grown organically from home. I have one of their pom pom throws in my spare room and I can testify that their homewares are beautiful and unique.
You can shop their homewares through the button below.
Hi, we are sisters Bushra and Ishwak and we are from Liverpool, we have 7 kids between us from ages 2 right through to 17 making for a busy life but we love it we also love interiors especially handmade, we launched our homeware business Dar Beida Moroccan living in 2016 and we haven't looked back.
1. What was the reason behind you starting your business?
We started our business for a number of reasons, first off, we absolutely love interiors! We’ve spent most summers in Morocco since childhood and fell in love with its laid-back bohemian style, almost everything is made by hand; for example, the imperfections in a Berber rug is what makes them unique. We wanted to share our heritage and love of Moroccan textiles so we started our own business Dar Beida Moroccan living doing just that.
2. How did you start up?, kitchen table? Mum’s garage, renting premises?
We cleared out one of the rooms at home as a base to run literally everything; the photography the packing of orders and all the other day to day runnings. However, now that our stock is growing we rent a space to keep stock in but all the admin and product pics are still done at home.
3. How did you fund your business?
We funded the business with savings that we had between us which wasn’t much. We had initially applied for a business loan but unfortunately with the economy the way it is, lending firms thought it was too much of a risk so in the end it turned to our advantage, we decided to start the business with a lesser amount of stock and let the business grow organically. We did draft a business plan which helped us because it acts as a management tool that can be referred to regularly to ensure the business is on course with meeting goals, sales targets or milestones.
4. What was the most difficult part of starting up your business? Access to money, advice, finding people to buy, marketing etc?
The hardest thing for us was trying to get funding it took time to draw up a business plan which was needed to apply for a loan, we would jot down things whenever we had time in between breast feeding babies and doing the school run! So, this time was definitely the most testing.
5. What help was missing for you?
Some sort of mentoring would have been nice in the beginning just being able to have access to somebody who had been in a similar situation in starting a small business. On a positive though, we feel that through social media especially Instagram we have been given the support needed to help small business like ours and we are eternally grateful for that!
6. What went wrong in your first year? Few months if you haven’t been trading that long?
We are fortunate to have not had any real major mishaps but when we first started we did make the mistake of not considering the actual time it took for items to be shipped over and custom cleared, which resulted in a couple of customers waiting a little longer for stock than they had anticipated, a lesson learned!
7. What have you learnt?
I think we have learnt to compromise more with each other. Initially it was hard even though we are sisters who are close we weren’t used to working together and also having to give in a little on certain ideas that one of us may have had but the other wasn’t so keen on. Being able to give and take has definitely helped in making both our business and relationship stronger.
8. What is the most important piece of advice that you could give others thinking about starting a business?
Do what you love. If your heart isn't in it, you may not be successful you have to be happy managing and growing a business day in day out. It isn’t a 9-5 job but a business that has been built around your strengths and talents will have a much greater chance of success.
9. And what do you enjoy the most?
We both love traveling to Morocco to source our products it’s so inspiring when we visit all the local artisans there, we feel privileged to be surrounded by all the beautiful textiles and it gives us a real buzz bringing back goods that we have personally chosen to share with customers who we know would love these things too.
10. On a scale of 1-10 how hard do you find it to run your own business?
It depends on the day but overall, we would say a 4 because there are two of us so it can make things a bit easier as we can share out the work load, however if we didn’t absolutely love what we do then it would be much higher!
Nicola says " I love that even though these ladies failed to raise a loan to get their business started, which is unfortunate but not unusual in the current climate, they have a business plan which they use as a tool to monitor how well they are doing, which is something I recommended doing here. Like a lot of my spotlights the ability to access customers through social media has played an important role in allowing this small business to grow, something I predict we will see more of."
Sound advice from these two "It isn’t a 9-5 job but a business that has been built around your strengths and talents will have a much greater chance of success. "
Thanks for sharing.
The Girl with The Green Sofa