CRAFT & COMPANY :: EVERYTHING BUT ORDINARY
I know a great store when I see one, even if its in cyber space! Craft & Company caught my eye via social media and it was their impeccable selection of products topped by their presentation of gift packaging that really wowed me! Their products are perfect for filling up an empty corner on your shelf, personalising a gift or simply sending a thank you with a heap of character! Now who wouldn't love this? especially that they offer worldwide product delivery!
I interviewed Farah & Haya who are the masterminds behind this up & coming brand all the way from their headquarters in Kuwait.
Farah & Haya, can you please introduce yourselves? Who are you and what do you do for a living?
We are Farah and Haya Al Anjari, the sister duo behind Craft and Company. If we were to take a shot at creating job titles for ourselves, they would go something like this:
Farah : Co founder and crafter of Design. With a graphic design background and a knack for making everything look pretty. She’s the creative force behind our store’s overall look.
Haya: Co founder and crafter of calculations. She has spent several years working in the banking sector before becoming the business lead for craft and company.
Together we curate products, ideas, and images that cluster together to form the DNA of what we consider to be a well-designed life.
Tell us about your business and what inspired you to start your business adventure?
When we were younger my sister and I spent so much time in the land of make believe, where we particularly loved playing shop owners. Little did we know this little passion of ours would travel forward to our current reality.
As our families, careers and responsibilities grew and threatened to put a little distance between us, we desperately searched for a way to align our dreams and aspirations, and create something together. We both had this strong desire to combine our skills sets, and fondness for good design, and in the early winter of 2013 we decided to stop dreaming, and start doing.
This is how Craft and Company began. Without much intention we decided to pursue this dream. We did not know where the store would stand two years later, but we did it through a genuine affection for one another and design, as well as a strong desire to carve out a shared fulfilling experience. Together, we are living this dream and taking everyday as a chance to keep designing the life we love.
How do you select your products and where can we find them?
We hate picking favorites, but in the race of shop duties -product selection is gunning for a top spot. There is no method or science behind it. We simply follow our hearts, it might take us to Seattle Washington, or Seoul South Korea. Wherever we unintentionally end up, it is often within grasp of some ordinary gift-able item with extraordinary design.
What inspires you in/ about Kuwait?
The people. We have such a wonderful array of entrepreneurs that are incredibly inspiring with fresh concepts and ideas as well as impeccable design aesthetics. Kuwait is slowly becoming a vibrant start up hub. From independent coffee roasters, to local designers and independent shop owners there is an intoxicating amount of craft in this small country and you cant help but get inspired by someone everyday.
Favourite thing to do in City?
Oh goodness, that’s a tough question. There’s so much to do. As we have mentioned above, we love discovering the latest start ups and visiting old favorites. During the cooler months all the independent stores, cafes, and restaurants gather together in numerous outdoor markets. A personal favorite is Qout Market which runs between the months of November and April.
Here’s a short list of a few favorites, stay tuned for a city guide on the blog soon.
For independent stores: visit Al Tilal Center and Lilly Center
For a local caffeine fix try out: Volume 1, Arabica, and Caffeine among many
For some healthy eats: Healthy Feast, Gia, and Pick are our favorites
For yummy comfort food: Solo Pizza, Al Makan, and Slider Station
For a scenic walk: Al shaheed park is a wonderful escape from the city, and the walk along the scientific center has a gorgeous view of the city
What's your favorite way to spend the weekend?
The weekends are all about family, sleeping in, and brunches. In the summer weekends might be all about the beach, ice cream and nights spent indoors playing card games with the AC blowing. Wintertime weekends might involve outdoor games in the mornings, coffee and cake in tents and grilling at night. Or in any particular season it might be spent hanging out in shopping malls, going to the arcades, shopping, or catching a movie. So I guess we both agree that the favorite way to spend the weekend is with good company.
A Kuwaiti store you could spend hours browsing?
We absolutely adore AlOthman. It’s a multi-brand complex with the most exquisite collection of designers, from old favorites to-up-and-coming designers. The fashion buyers have a really good eye. So good in fact, that we could easily and willingly give up a month’s pay-check. Also, tucked in the corner between all the big names in fashion is a local gem with massive taste; Ecru a Home-ware brand founded by one of the fashion buyers.
A LITTLE EXTRA...
Things you can't live without?
Farah: Family, breakfast, my command center (aka my phone), music is such a big influence in my life; from singing silly songs with my kids to singing along to the radio its always positively present, and speaking of positivity, it’s the thing I can’t live without. I believe in becoming, and attracting positive energy.
Haya: Family, Friends, a warm cup of coffee, early morning workouts, salads, dark chocolate, and a good book.
As an entrepreneur please share some tips that help you set up?
Passions are hard to come by and comfort zones, are well comfortable. Nobody likes the unknown, but if you truly believe in something keep pursuing your passion, the how might be grey and muddled, but in unexpected and unintended ways, it will all work out.
Do you have a life motto?
Farah: “Happy mind, Happy life”. I truly believe that happiness is not a thing or a destination it’s a state of mind.
Haya: I have no particular life motto, but I love a good quote. Here’s one of my favorites by the magnificent Maya Angelou "I've learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life."