Start-up of the Week: MagiCup aims to become a global online store

Updated 19 September 2018
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Start-up of the Week: MagiCup aims to become a global online store

People usually start their days with a cup of coffee or tea — and they would certainly enjoy their hot beverage more from a creatively designed cup.
MagiCup is a mug-designing Instagram store. It offers cups with various designs, colors and sizes, magic cups that change color with heat, and travel mugs.
It was established in May 2018. Customers can customize their own cups with their desired designs.
The co-owner of the store, Futoon Saif, explained the inspiration behind creating the store from her background in interior design.
“When I was a student in the interior design field, I realized how good designs have an affect on our lives; they affect everything around us, even the small products we use daily like mugs.
“Me and my partner Majed started MagiCup because we know how lovely it is for people to start their morning with their favorite cup that is designed.”
She said that mugs will always sell no matter what. “We choose to design cups because these are the things that are never going to be replaced by technology, and people for sure won’t stop using cups, so we want to keep on making wonderful designs for people to start their days with.”
Designing mugs is quite a process.
“In the beginning, we start by deciding which kind of mug we are going to use, the normal sized or small sized one, or the travel mug. After that, we start making the design that is going to be printed on the mug, and when we finish the design we create a mock-up for it to make sure it’s going to look good. The last step is that we print the design on a custom paper and print it on the mug itself.”
MagiCup wants to expand its reach and become a global online store.
“We will not open a physical store, but our store is going to be an online store that will serve you much better than a physical one. It is also an advantage that we make our store come to you rather than you come to it.”
She explained the connection the designs on the cups have with their owners. “I learned that designing is storytelling and I just want to make our clients day happy by designing their stories on their lovely cups.”
Saif said that MagiCup strives to achieve customer satisfaction.
“We take our customer’s idea and add our own twist to it. Even if it was a ready-made picture or design, we adjust it, consult and follow up with the customer,” she said.


Saudi home-bakers cooking up sweet business on internet

Nada Kutbi started baking from home for family and friends before setting up her Sucre De Nada pastry shop to expand her home business. (Photos/Supplied)
Updated 22 May 2019
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Saudi home-bakers cooking up sweet business on internet

  • Thanks to social media, business is booming for Jeddah’s cake and pastry makers

JEDDAH: Enterprising Saudi home-bakers have been turning to social media to help cook up some sweet business success.
The Kingdom’s food producers are proving to be some of the rising stars of the internet, and none more so than 53-year-old mom Nada Kutbi.
Her Sucre De Nada pastry shop in Jeddah has become one of the go-to places for homemade desserts and cakes, and the online side of her business is also booming.
Kutbi’s daughter, Nassiba Khashoggi, told Arab News: “She has basically been baking all her life, especially after having children. She used to make cookies for us and whenever she tried a dessert somewhere else, she would recreate it.
“In restaurants or gatherings, she would always analyze sweets and make them at home for her family. That was how she started baking.
“I don’t think she ever thought she could pursue it as a career, but everyone loved her baking and one of her closest friends encouraged her to start her business when she was a stay-at-home mom.
“It was in 2011-2012, and her friend basically forced her to start by telling her, ‘yallah! make a cake and I will buy it from you now.’”
Khashoggi added: “In the beginning we just went by word of mouth, but when Instagram came along, we made an account and started posting pictures and the customers loved her creativity and uniqueness. I don’t think many people knew what banoffee was before my mom promoted it.”
Although Kutbi’s unique takes and touches went down a treat with customers, it was not until Ramadan last year that she officially opened her bakery in Jeddah.
But stepping up from running a home business presented new challenges. “When you are running a home business there are few staff and it is easy to control,” said Khashoggi. But expanding requires you to put more trust in other people and that was difficult for my mom. Also, when we increased the number of our products it became harder to maintain the quality of goods.”
Kutbi aims to avoid storing, pre-baking or freezing her products and is not a fan of mass production and blast freezing, according to her daughter. “In short, she is against commercial baking,” said Khashoggi. “What is unique about my mom is that everything she makes is made the same day from scratch. It makes it harder for her to redo everything but that’s what makes her special.”

HIGHLIGHtS

• The Kingdom’s food producers are proving to be some of the rising stars of the internet, none more so than 53-year-old mom Nada Kutbi.

• Kutbi’s unique takes and touches have been a hit with customer, but it was not until Ramadan last year that she officially opened her bakery in Jeddah.

Sometimes customers even send pictures or pieces of dessert to Kutbi asking her to recreate their favorite foods.
Another Jeddah-based bakery thriving on the internet is Ganache. Run by Anas Khashoggi, 58, and Jamila Ali Islam, 48, the pastry business has been operating for almost 20 years.
Khashoggi supported his wife after spotting her talent for baking and took a leap of faith by giving up his job and starting an online bakery.
“At that time, there was no social media, but we made an introductory website, which helped us gain popularity,” he said. That was in 1996, and the couple’s first store opened later the same year.
“Ganache has its own unique spirit as a family business, and it is run by Saudi youth who are managing the bakery and understand the Saudi market. The family committee is the one that approves the products,” added Khashoggi.