Startup of the Week: The Koshk: Caps that creatively speak your mind

Updated 22 April 2019
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Startup of the Week: The Koshk: Caps that creatively speak your mind

  • The Koshk offers distressed baseball caps with rounded brims, and include their trademark small-scale texts embroidered onto them

JEDDAH: Millennials and Generation Z are known for their sassiness, dark humor and love of aesthetics. At the Koshk, based in Jeddah, youngsters can find caps that communicate exactly that. 

It was established by two 23-year-old Saudi entrepreneurs, Jumana Binshihon and Jawaher Al-Esayi, when they were still in high school.

“We actually needed community service hours, so we decided to take part in a bazaar trading clothes, caps and phone cases that would appeal to adolescents. We participated around three times in different bazaars when we noticed a high demand for caps and all we had to offer were Westernized ones. So, we decided to design our own,” Binshihon told Arab News.

The Koshk offers distressed baseball caps with rounded brims, and include their trademark small-scale texts embroidered onto them. The store is planning to design and develop even more styles to appeal to a wider variety of people.

The caps are usually made from cotton, though the store has produced a few suede caps, and are planning to use different materials in the near future.

The texts are available in both Arabic and English, and include humorous or trendy slogans.

“We would say our Arabic and English captions and designs are quite distinctive. They are funny and relevant. When people browse our caps they smile and tend to comment on how much they relate to it,” Binshihon said.

When coming up with a design, the founders start by analyzing their target audience.

“We ask, are they Generation Z or Millennials, what are their interests, and so on. It’s easier because we are targeting people our age. Both generations are outspoken, attentive to the latest trends and are bombarded with memes and dark-humored captions through social media platforms. 

“We gain inspiration from our daily lives, from gatherings with friends to our incessant scrolling through Instagram and Tumblr. We write down what we and the audience can relate to, for instance, the caption ‘Never Satisfied’ — which is popular and, unfortunately, a habit for both generations. When it is time for our next order, we go through our notes that we keep for months and see what works and what does not. It is an ongoing process.”

Their brand’s message is about embracing individuality and eccentricity, said Al-Esayi. “On a surface level, our message is ephemeral because our designs are continuously changing depending on our current perceptions.”

Customers can find the Koshk at CRATE in Jeddah’s Al-Salama district.


High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

Updated 18 June 2019
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High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

  • Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners

TOKYO: More than 300 government, investment and industry leaders on Monday took part in a high-level gathering aimed at further boosting business opportunities between Saudi Arabia and Japan.

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) welcomed key figures from the public and private sectors to the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 Business Forum, held in Tokyo.

Hosted in partnership with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), the conference focused on the creation of investment opportunities in strategic sectors of the Kingdom. Delegates also discussed key reforms currently underway to enable easier market access for foreign companies.

Speaking at the event, Saudi Economy and Planning Minister Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri, said: “Today’s forum is a testimony to the success of the strategic direction set by the Saudi-Japanese Vision 2030 two years ago, which seeks to drive private-sector involvement, both by partnering with public-sector entities.”

SAGIA Gov. Ibrahim Al-Omar said: “At SAGIA, we have been working on creating a more attractive and favorable business environment in Saudi Arabia, which is making it easier for foreign companies to access opportunities in the Kingdom.”

Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners. It is the Kingdom’s second-largest source of foreign capital and third-biggest trading partner, with total trade exceeding $39 billion.

JETRO president, Yasushi Akahoshi, said: “Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 has made great progress since it was first announced. Under this strategic initiative, the number of cooperative projects between our two countries has nearly doubled, from 31 to 61, and represents a diverse range of sectors and stakeholders.”

Since 2016, the Saudi government has delivered 45 percent of more than 500 planned reforms, including the introduction of 100 percent foreign ownership rights, enhancing legal infrastructure and offering greater protection for shareholders.

As a result, the Kingdom has climbed international competitiveness and ease-of-doing-business rankings, with foreign direct investment inflows increasing by 127 percent in 2018 and the number of new companies entering Saudi Arabia rising by 70 percent on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter of 2019.