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Having been in the UAE for a long long time, there is nothing more I love than seeing new concept design stores open. One particular shop I have come across recently was Ashyaa meaning 'Things' which is situated in the Souq Alshanasiyah - Heart of Sharjah.

Founded by Noura Al Shamsi, the concept store displays a collection of different items from Homeware, to fine jewlery, leather goods, kids books and cosmetics; all of which are exclusive in the region, of great design & quality and/or are handmade. 'I've always enjoyed owning different, quirky items!' she says.

Through her travels to Europe and South Africa she always took pleasure finding those quirky items in standalone boutiques rather than the big chains. And with the upcoming development at the Heart of Sharjah she decided to venture and start something similar.

'Every product on my shelves is something I've either tried, own or love. I make sure that the products are exclusive, of good quality and are good value for money.' says Noura. 'Some of the products came through personal experiences as with Dear Rae jewelry; others are through research and social media, such as fig&yarrow cosmetics.'

The boutique curates various collections of illustrated books, artisinal cosmetics, kids clothing, stationery & phone accessories. If you are particularly on the hunt for the perfect gift, I recommend looking into their jewelry collection by Dear Rae & the Luxury collection. They also have the ultimate statement handbags from PB 0110 by Philipp Bree. From totes to shoulder, clutch, travel & satchel. These bags are crafted by international manufacturers that finid the bags to the highest quality in a range of leather and linen.

Yet my favorite is their collection of international Homeware. The beautifully designed products are carefully selected with interesting angles, new materials and beautiful form of which HAY is an ultimate product.

When asked about what inspires her in and about Sharjah, she says that it's city's coziness and authenticity and its offer of great opportunity for startups. She loves driving around the old souq and its surroundings and trying some of the good kulfi around the area and recommends browsing at Al Amiri textiles in the Central Souq.

Her one tip to other entrepreneurs is to love what you do and offer, give it time and never give up, invest smartly and take risks,





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