The Amanqi Edit brings you the latest fashion, beauty, and pop-ups with an aim to support & promote emerging brands and designers.
Founded by Manal & Amani Waqi, purveyors of style and sisters, The Amanqi Edit is a comprehensive fashion destination for all contemporary style lovers. In other words, it is a carefully curated shopping list and an eclectic mix of ‘must-have’ designers.
Cofounder Manal Waqi shares with us, their vision for Amanqi, challenges they faced as an early startup and her key driving force to become an entrepreneur.
How did the idea for “THE AMANQI EDIT” come about?
We wanted to create a platform to allow customers to discover the emerging brands which lead to the creation of the website. The additional services came about from the brand requirements.
The need to help other individuals to develop their brands was the key driving force for me to take the entrepreneurial route.
Can you please give our readers an overview of “THE AMANQI EDIT”?
At the heart of it all, ‘The Amanqi Edit’ is a hub for emerging brands to develop and grow, whether it’s through the daily features/editorials we publish, our bespoke marketing packages or our pop-ups, ‘The Amanqi Edit’ is designed to help emerging brands grow and prosper.
In recent times, our focus has been more towards the strategy development for brands, as brands find this to be more useful for them.
How does ‘AMANQI’ work with fashion retailers?
The Amanqi Edit has a large database of retailers and press we work with and thus we have built relationships where we can share information about our new brands with them and eventually develop substantial relationships.
What meetups, local entrepreneur events, and accelerators do you recommend that have helped you grow?
One of the key ways I grew my network was to reach out to individuals on social media that I admired or appreciated. You’d be surprised how kind, friendly and helpful people are.
Alongside this, I was also very active in attending any events or workshops that were relevant to my field and industry, just making the effort to go out there and meet people is important.
What’s the best style advice you can give to our readers?
It sounds cliche, but be yourself. I know how easy it can be to want to follow trends and adhere to the dressing style of others (especially with the prevalence of social media), however, the best way forward is always to wear what works for you best and makes you feel comfortable yet stylish.
How difficult was the start and what challenges you had to overcome?
I think the start was the easiest part of the journey as when I started there were no expectations or standards to live up to.
The platform was fresh and the experience was new, so I was open to taking on any learning opportunities and trying my best to grow. I think the challenge for us has come more in recent times, where we’ve had to find a particular stream to emphasize and build a proper monetization strategy.
Can you describe your typical workday?
No two work days are the same. Usually, I wake up in the morning and answer my emails first thing and then take on any tasks of the day and my day usually compromises of meetings, a lot of emails and back and forth communication, some classes (as I’m completing my degree) and ends with a workout.
I always make a daily to-do list and aim to complete it before the end of the day.
What is it like to start a business with your sibling? And how has the journey been so far?
My sister is my best friend and we get along very well, thus working together is great.
Although we have different takes on many things, we are able to come together to work cooperatively and challenge one another to take innovative steps forward for The Amanqi Edit.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
I think it’s very important to believe in yourself and pursue the idea you see gain traction amongst your target customer.
At times you may not know how to push a certain idea forward, but if you see that people are interested and there is a potential, go for it.
What are your goals for ‘AMANQI’ for the next 3-5 years?
In the next 3-5 years, I’d like The Amanqi Edit to be an incubation hub for emerging brands.
We’d like to be a one-stop-shop for brands to build their strategy, discover the ideal contacts and find a community in which they can grow.
We’d also like to particularly focus on bridging the gaps between GCC fashion brands and the international fashion scene.