The growing demand for stores in a highly specialised areas such as gift-wrapping has prompted a young female Qatari entrepreneur to turn her passion into something profitable. “I started a customised cards and gift-wrapping business a year and a half ago, I did it because we lacked this in Doha,” Mariam al-Majid told reporters at a recent press briefing. “I do paper and fabric wraps.”
“We don’t have a proper wrapping shop or where people can wrap something decently,” she stressed.
A fashion design student at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar, al-Majid is one of the 75 small and medium entrepreneurs (SMEs) who were given the opportunity to showcase their works through the 30 popup shops at Mall of Qatar this year.
The initiative forms part of Qatar Tourism Authority and Qatar Development Bank’s efforts to support SMEs, giving them ample exposure to further promote and market their products. Al-Majid, now in her last semester, mulls opening her own shop in the country in the near future. “I’m not sure if it will be a shop or a kiosk but I think it would work better in the mall,” she pointed out.
The Indian-born Qatari entrepreneur noted that her ‘Wrapping Station’ has been receiving a lot of orders from customers in Doha. “I try to balance business and studies. I try to make things perfect and also plan to expand,” she said.
“So far it is so successful that I have to tell people ‘I can’t take any more orders I’m really busy’ because I can’t juggle between university work and business.” “Probably, if I have my own staff, I will not face this problem,” she added. “But for now I want people to know my business and what I do.”
Al-Majid said she gets her fabrics (such as raw silk) from India, which offers good-quality materials at a reasonable price.
About how she learned her skills, she recounted watching paper-wrapping on YouTube when she was younger. For fabrics, she tried reinventing the way Japanese wrap things after visiting Japan. “I do everything by hand, even the designs I make they are all done by hand and then digitalised and then printed on the cards. So I don’t just take something from the Internet, I like to do everything from scratch,” she stressed.
“Why I got into wrapping? I don’t know. Just one day I just felt like why don’t I wrap, I have lots of these wrapping papers at home,” al-Majid said.