RIYADH: Camel owners had the chance last week for the first time to showcase their animals in a camel beauty contest during the annual King Abdulaziz Camel Festival in Saudi Arabia. But they weren’t the only women to play a prominent role at the event; others contributed by providing the impressive props that helped the camels catch the judges’ attention.
Noura Al-Ghannam, for example, owns Safayef, a company that specializes in making custom camel capes, blankets, collars and other accessories.
“I started my business two years ago, in 2019, but a year before that, we studied the local market and the problems of traditional products and how they are limited,” she told Arab News. .
She came to the conclusion that traditional camel capes were very simple and lacked style, so she decided to liven them up with the addition of colorful embroidery and a variety of fabrics. The company name, Safayef, refers to the decoration made of woolen threads that appears on camel accessories.
“I realized that we need different fabrics for camel capes that are suitable for winter and summer, and some are only suitable for formal occasions,” Al-Ghannam said. “We are also working on necklaces and medals.
Sewing has been one of her passions since a young age, she added.
“I loved to embroider and add accessories to fabrics, and although most designers tend to design traditional clothing, I wanted to differentiate myself from them and decorate camels, because they interest me,” he said. she declared.
One of the challenges she faced when setting up her business was the bespoke nature of the accessories she provides, which require precise measurements to ensure they fit perfectly on the camel they are for. are made.
“One of the reasons we don’t have a retail store is because these clothes are specially designed and customized for one camel at a time,” Al-Ghannam said. “When we receive an order, we have to take the measurements of the camel so that it fits the clothes perfectly.
“One of the biggest challenges we had was taking the measurements of a camel. However, after a year of working with camels, we overcame the problem and now it has become easier to do so.
Al-Ghannam said it wants to expand its business to all Gulf countries and aspires to become the leading brand specializing in camel accessories.
Her clients include camel owners and organizers of camel festivals, and she revealed that she also receives many requests for horse accessories.
“I know a lot of horse owners want accessories for their horses,” she said. “However, Safayef is a camel accessories only business – and in any business it is very important to focus on what you do best.”
Al-Ghannam said that when she launched her business, she contacted Kingdom’s Camel Club and explained her business plans to them. They welcomed her with open arms, she added, and this year she took part in the King Abdulaziz Camel Festival for the first time, providing flags, necklaces, scarves and embroidered blankets.
Safayef also provided camel capes and team uniforms to the Eid Caravans initiative, organized by the Ahyaha Humanitarian Foundation in cooperation with the Saudi Camel Club, the Diriyah Gate Development Authority and the Imam Mohammad bin Saud Charity Society. The initiative involved a convoy of 14 camels loaded with gifts which were distributed to over 400 households. Besides, Safayef participated in other special events including Saudi National Day and Eid.