Maghrebi by Sheenaz Fazreen
Every month, we share a little insight about our members here at District6. This month, we shine our spotlight on the beautiful Sheenaz Fazreen, Director of Maghrebi, who has been a part of District6’s community since December last year. Sheenaz left the banking industry and followed her passion. She initially joined us as a team of 2 but has since expanded and relocated to our private office together with her team of lovey ladies. She also has a killer fashion sense!
D6: Tell us more about how Maghrebi came about.
S: I was initially from the banking industry but I left because…there was just too much politics! Haha. I wanted to do what I love and what I’m passionate about. I was travelling around Morocco for a month and it was love at first sight. I fell in love with everything while I was there, from the people to the food and all the handicrafts. And then I realized that there was not a single market for North African products in our region. Sure we have Turkish, Lebanese items in Arab Street but there’s no North African market not only in Singapore but in our neighbouring region as well. I saw a gap and I decided to bring the market in and now Maghrebi is the first North African boutique in Asia Pacific. So yes, Maghrebi started purely out of passion.
And no, Sheenaz does not have any North African ethnicity. I had to ask. 🙂
D6: That is amazing. Does that mean that all handicraft pieces are made and shipped directly from Morocco?
S: Yes, all our products are authentically handmade and shipped from Morocco. It feels like I’m bringing a small beauty of Africa into Asia. I wanted to breach the negative misconceptions that people might have when they think of Africa. I wanted them to experience and see another side of Africa that not everyone gets a chance to see. Our vision is to open an understanding and appreciation for the North African culture in Asia Pacific by connecting people of different cultures and regions through fashion and interior decoration.
D6: Did Maghrebi begin as an online store?
S: At first, I was planning to open just an online store because it required less investment. But I realized since it’s a brand new market, People don’t know much about Moroccan handicrafts so it will be better for them to be able to see and experience the pieces in person. We currently have an online store, a boutique at Alexandra Central Mall and we will be opening another boutique at SingPost Centre later this year.
D6: You have a wide range of products, from Men & Women’s clothing to Home Decor pieces. Which product is currently the most popular in the Singapore market?
S: The home decor pieces definitely. They are exotic, nobody has seen them, not many have them in Asia. We have, however, been approached by a few people who knew about Moroccan handicrafts like Tagine, most of them being expatriates.
D6: I personally love the home decor pieces too! You first joined District6 as a team of 2 and now you have expanded to a bigger team so quickly. Thank you for choosing to grow with us. What do you like about being at District6?
S: The natural light! I love the natural light that peeks through. I went to another co-working space (we shall not name who) and I did not like it because it feels like you are stuck in an office. When I first came here, I was like WOW I like it already. It just feels like a very conducive environment to be in.
D6: Do you plan on organizing any fashion show or private exhibition of your exotic handicrafts or new product launches here at District6?
S: I would love to! Having a fashion show here would be great. We are actually planning to collaborate with Expat Living to showcase our Moroccan pieces, but everything is still under discussion. We did mention to do it here at District 6! I would love to have it here, it will look very beautiful! Haha.
D6: That’s exciting! I think all of us here would be excited to host a Fashion Show. Last but not least, do you have any tips and advice for young aspiring entrepreneurs?
S: You have to give your 100%. You’re still young so take the risk! Some people are afraid to take risks. To be successful you cannot stay safe. It’s never going to be smooth sailing and You will definitely face some setbacks along the way but see them as growth opportunities instead of failures. When you look back in life you will regret the things you didn’t do more than the things you did. So get up and chase after your dreams!