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A lifestyle brand and boutique, focused primarily on homeware, apparel, accessories and jewellery, Island Bazaar is a well-known brand within the community. With their clientele spanning Maldivian locals, tourists and resorts, the brand seems to have something for everyone and every occasion.
Island Bazaar was founded by Ms. Fathimath Salah and Mr. Hassan Rameez. Their business values are rooted in respect for local culture, heritage and tradition. Their brand supports local arts and offers its platform as an avenue for creatives to expand their market outreach.
The proprietors created the business to pursue their interests in design, travel and island lifestyle. Island Bazaar initially starting out exclusively on Instagram by introducing a limited product line. “We started as an Instagram page with a few product pictures, running exclusively on Instagram for nine months before opening the boutique. As there were no large investments initially, we were able to grow the business on earnings and personal savings,” the proprietors elaborated.
On deciding to expand beyond the virtual walls of Instagram and on opening the boutique shop, Ms. Fathimath and Mr. Rameez began facing the heavy burden of operating a shop in the capital city. Expensive overheads, lack of local manufacturers, and the shipping cost of materials were challenging to manage. When asked what advice they would give to younger entrepreneurs, they said …
“Find your niche and understand your market.”
Despite the challenges they faced in operating the boutique shop, the brand has now successfully secured resort orders and have started supplying for the airport duty-free shops. Island Bazaar expressed their appreciation to the Authentic Maldives team for helping them stay in business during the Covid lockdown.