QL Exclusive: An interview with Qatari visual artist, interior designer, and fashion executive Amal Ameen
Qatar Living speaks to the business owner of La Boutique Blanche, Amal Ameen, to learn more about her journey to success and how the COVID-19 situation has impacted her business.
This year has seen huge changes, as many businesses have been negatively impacted because of COVID-19. Most businesses are still suffering from the economic fallout. While many people lost their jobs, many businesses have found it hard to survive in difficult times.
Qatari businesswoman Amal Ameen, who is also a well-known visual artist, interior designer, and fashion executive is the founder of Triple Trend Design House and many other projects.
Recently, Amal was announced as the first-ever Qatari woman to be the brand ambassador for Lexus. She has also been nominated as a luxury influencer of the year 2020.
She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar) in 2004, with a bachelor’s in fine arts and interior design.
Amal’s passion in designing led her to set up her first project, the luxurious La Boutique Blanche in 2015, and only after two years of its opening, in 2017, the boutique was recognized as the Best Luxury Boutique in Qatar by Grazia Style awards.
Amal gets her artistic talent in designing from her mother, Hissa Almuraikhi, one of the first Qatari artists in the country who helped teach many of the Qatari artists we see today.
“I am an artist by gift, because of my mother and designing is in my DNA, it is in my blood,” she said. The inspiration behind her designs comes from “everything beautiful and positive,” she adds.
Amal is a recipient of several international accolades and is a prominent personality, who is popular for her special designs and her love for art.
She recalls her step-by-step journey to success. “I started as a freelancer from home for almost a year and eight months after my graduation, and once I had saved money, I started my own business.”
Among Amal’s many projects was Amici Di Moda, which was located in Al-Hazm mall. This project was her latest fashion concept, which was declared the best Luxury Boutique by the Luxury Network International Awards 2018 and the Best Independent from Grazia Awards 2019.
When asked about her biggest challenge during the COVID-19 pandemic, she said, “who would expect such a thing would happen.”
Amal the optimistic, ambitious, and positive owner of many businesses experienced tough times when the pandemic started.
“I was dying every day, I cried in the beginning because it is a big responsibility,” she described.
Eventually, Amal had to make some tough decisions to cut expenses. She had to choose between firing fifty percent of her employees or to close her shop.
“I was asking myself every day, how am I going to survive with my shop at Al-Hazm mall? I had to decide between the two choices: to give up my shop, the one which is the best luxury boutique in the Middle East or I fire fifty percent of my employees, so I decided to give up my shop.
“I knew that I will lose a lot of money, but I preferred to lose my shop and not my people who supported me and worked for me and because each one of them has a family,” she said.
“In the beginning, I felt down because I consider my projects as my babies, and giving up one of my kids was not easy for me. But I always think positively. I can build new projects in the future since I still have my employees. We worked 24/7 hours a day and we never quit,” she said.
Amal is still optimistic and positive about her business, she said COVID-19 was perhaps the biggest challenge she faced in her business, but she did not let this challenge destroy her.
“I started new ways and strategies in marketing and delivery to make it easier to reach people,” she said.
Amal looked for new ways to deal with the tough situation. “COVID-19 taught me that I can build a new vision by having online shops in the future, as the platform was the only thing that worked during this period.”
Amal advises all the business owners and entrepreneurs to hold on to hope. “I advise everyone who has a business to never give up and be patient, it is a matter of time and it will pass,” she said.
To know more about the designer Amal Ameen you can check her website.
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