Fashion and Lifestyle Blog by Nageen

Exclusive Interview with Amal Ashoor – Face Behind Sulafah

Are you looking to invest in a shoe brand which will never disappoint you? Focus on, Sulafah. Yes, Sulafah has to be the most reliable and trendy shoe brand in K-town. They provide you with the best of the quality and designs leaving all their customers satisfied.
Today, Vogue Amour brings you the exclusive interview with the face behind Sulafah who creates all the masterpieces by her self and run a renowned brand giving us major women empowerment goals.

NM: You have become a style icon for all of us, tell us about your journey.
AA: My entrepreneurial journey started right after I took my final semester exams at IBA towards the end of 2011. My father gave me a responsibility to help him salvage one of his investments that had gone terribly sour. That investment of his was in a shoes retail business with his cousins that failed miserably. I took it upon myself to bring back as much lost capital as I could and turned the tables around over the course of 6 years. I made my father break up all professional ties with his cousins and ventured out solo with no knowledge, no skills about retail business or shoemaking process. People called me too bold, too daring, too stupid, too much of everything to venture in this male-dominated industry all alone.
Luckily, those people did not include my parents. If one has a family by one’s side, nothing else matters.
Here I am today. I think I did pretty well Alhumdolillah:) Today, “Sulafah” is successfully designing and selling quality footwear for the urban woman of Pakistan.
I think I am not a style Icon by any measure. I hardly make public appearances or post my pictures. My work, however, represents my style which is very minimalistic most of the times. I do take some liberties now and then and play bold and beautiful with my designs.Mostly,  my brand is known for its elegance and simplicity.
NM: Do you design every piece your self?
AA: We have a commercial business catering to masses. You will see 20% of my designs that are heavily inspired or blatantly copied from Valentino, Gucci etc. Those are designs that are sold at a huge price tag and most of the middle class or upper middle class would never buy them yet want to wear them. So we cater to them. 80% of the designs are however my own creation. I take enough time to make them in my design lab. Interestingly, we end up selling everything from our own collection and have to really push out the copies in SALE during the end.
 
NM: Which is your best creation and favorite so far?
AA: I think a mother cannot choose her favourite child. I love all my pieces. Currently, I am in love with my fringe and tassel collection.

NM: What measures should be taken in the shoe business?

AA: Shoe business is tough. It’s extremely capital intensive. Shoes are bulky and messy and occupy space. You have to have a lot of patience to make and sell shoes to Pakistani women who do not like to experiment with footwear.

My best advice would be to do extensive research and find your game plan before venturing into it. It’s definitely doable but it is not for the faint-hearted.

NM: What are your next projects and are you opening up more branches?

AA: We expand sluggishly. We are still in process of streamlining our processes. We have 5 stores in total so far but all are at amazing locations in Karachi and Hyderabad. Customers wish we were in Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi etc. Since  I am all alone in this business, I take it slow. I would rather keep things slow and manageable than expand and create a mess.
More than expansion, we are into innovation. The year 2018 will see our brand’s USP as comfort synced with style. This is a killer combination that is easier said than done. We have been working endlessly to engineer shoes that beat every brand when it comes to fusing comfort, style, value all at once. MashaAllah.
NM: What should we look into a shoe brand? 
 
AA: It depends. You cannot really pin down the factors. One woman’s set of priorities will be different from other. Generally, one should look into comfort first and foremost. Shoes have got to be comfortable no matter what followed by its design and aesthetics.

NM: What makes Sulafah different from all the other local brands?

AA: Love. Our brand loves our customers and our employees. We keep them central to every move we make. We serve them like no one’s business. We are humble, we know customer and employee are what keeps us alive and we acknowledge our dependence upon them.
We love innovation in design and manufacturing. We design with sheer passion and devotion. We have thrown in a lot of good vibes in everything we do as a team and I have realized that it shows in the whole experience our brand gives to our customers.
NM: How was your experience with Vogue Amour?
AA: I would like to take this moment to thank Vogue Amour for promoting my brand always. Also, I hope it keeps growing and hopefully we can collaborate on an amazing project with some meaning in future.

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