//by: Aisha and Hind AlSanad//
“Sharing is our favourite word”
Nouriya and Hanadi know the importance of teamwork and firmly believe in a ‘never give up’ attitude. This positive mindset has seen them through the difficulties of starting up a new business and is now guiding them through the vastly growing printing word.
Please introduce yourselves to our readers.
Nouriya and Hanadi from Makbas Print Studio. Hanadi works in the corporate field, specifically in finance, and Nouriya works in the creative industry as a freelance designer/illustrator.
Tell us about your education.
We both have a Masters degree in business administration, that’s where we met. Hanadi has a Bachelors in accounting and Nouriya has a Bachelors in industrial engineering.
How and when did the idea of opening a Print Studio originate?
Nouriya was already in the design field and was frustrated by how the printing business was going. Hanadi always wanted to start a venture that initiated trends, instead of following them. So, during our Masters mid-term study session, we discussed our future career plans and realized how complementary they were to each other. That’s how the spark ignited.
Tell us about Makbas Print Studio. When did it officially open?
Makbas is a boutique print studio that offers specialized printing services and solutions for small to medium business owners. We are here to design, conceptualize and customize print all of your business and celebration needs (and, more importantly, in small quantities). Makbas is here to walk the client through the whole process for them to enjoy it, live it, and appreciate it.
Makbas is in its soft launch phase. Research started at the beginning of 2017 during our ski trip to Switzerland. Once we got back to Kuwait we started contacting suppliers and traveling to meet and explore the printing industry. There was a lot of back and forth when choosing the suitable business model for us and the market in Kuwait.
What was the hardest thing starting out Makbas?
This field specifically is rarely run by the youth and creatives in Kuwait, so for us to enter this industry was challenging and not easily accessible. It was hard to communicate our vision with fellow peers in the same industry. Gathering information from the market in Kuwait was a hassle due to differing outlooks, the environment being very enclosed and private, and competition being aggressive. Gender also played a role in some of the obstacles faced, where two young women entering such an industrialized field was seen as rare.
How’s it been since opening compared to how you expected it to go?
We are still in the opening phase. During the research phase, countless presses told us that this venture is too big for us, too strong and too complicated for us to handle. But thus far, we are passing obstacles together as a team and hustling through the vastly growing printing world. We still have a lot to face but are diving in with a ‘never give up’ mindset.
What are the main services offered at Makbas?
We categorized our services into printing and design. For printing, we have services for ‘your business needs’, ‘personal occasions’, and ‘marketing needs’. We also do design services for brands, and on the latter, they have the option to print their designs in our studio as well.
What do you love about the process of silk-screen printing?
We love the fact that it is one of the oldest processes in printing and how versatile it is. You can basically print on anything! You can produce a variety of prints and products with such a basic process. Also, the finishing touch and feel of the ink – it sits beautifully on the surface – and the enjoyable hand-made process.
What’s the best mistake you have ever made?
At the beginning, the plan was to get funding with minimal risk. That being said, this would leave us in our comfort zone and the business would possibly not thrive. Our funding was rejected so we decided to fund ourselves and dive into it with our own money (with no life jackets!) Getting funding and staying on the safe side would have been a mistake, because now, we are putting all our effort into Makbas and are appreciating every minute of the process. From sweeping the floors to cleaning the bathroom, to being managing partners simultaneously – that’s the beauty of it all.
What makes Makbas unique?
Makbas is a ‘studio’ in its own line, wanting to do things on a small scale, by hand, with passion and with positive and energetic spirits. We experiment with our clients, give them solutions, and enjoy the printing process with them through communication, concept development and simplified methods. Makbas is composed of the experience we want to give and the process we want people to appreciate.
What’s next – can you share with us your vision and some of your goals?
Our vision is to make the printing environment in Kuwait a friendly and accessible one. We would love to spread awareness and educate the society on the beauty of the printing processes and how valuable they are. ‘Sharing’ is our favourite word, as we strongly believe in sharing knowledge, interests and feedback. Last but not least, communication. Our goal is to make communicating with printing presses smooth and less hassle.
Your message for entrepreneurs.
Avoid staying on the safe side and jump in and take the risk you’ve constantly been thinking about. Believe in your idea. We cannot stress how important this is, because your ideas will be attacked and shut down by people. You need to do the research and believe in it, for people to believe in yours. Research is key! Read, ask, go to people, travel around and see what other countries are doing in the same industry if required. And be patient because that phase takes time.
Choose business partners that complement you, and that come from different backgrounds. Find someone that replaces your weaknesses and encourages your strengths. You and your partners should have the mentality of ‘We’ll figure it out together, there is no way out, we’ll find a solution.’
Your message for us at CP Magazine.
We would like to thank CP for giving us the opportunity to talk about our new venture with their readers. We hope our words gave you some encouragement to pursue your aspirations and start planning and executing your dreams!