Startup of the Week: The Saudi startup in the homemade crafts craze

Startup of the Week: The Saudi startup in the homemade crafts craze
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Startup of the Week: The Saudi startup in the homemade crafts craze
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Updated 05 January 2021

Startup of the Week: The Saudi startup in the homemade crafts craze

Startup of the Week: The Saudi startup in the homemade crafts craze
  • Bisat provides services for designers to make special carpet orders based on their desired design, color and size

Despite the latest technology and global knowledge available to young people in Saudi Arabia, many are launching startups to promote traditional handicrafts and homemade products.
This phenomenon is not unique to the Kingdom and is becoming a global trend.
Bisat (@bisat.ksa) is one of the many Saudi startups that is not shying away from experimenting by offering homemade decorative items.
Bisat, which translates to floor mat or rug in Arabic, was established in October 2019 by Saudi travel enthusiasts Nouf Al-Sultan, 31, and Ahmad Al-Omar, 40.
Al-Sultan works as a psychology lecturer at a local university and Al-Omar is in the diplomatic service. They joined their passion for culture, travel and handmade products to establish Bisat, where they collect finely handcrafted products from around the world and sell them online.
“Our team loves traveling and collecting handcrafted products that reflect the culture of the country they visit, we have the most beautiful handmade pieces from each country in one place,” they told Arab News. Through their travels, they formed friendships and partnerships with many craftsmen.
They noticed that there are few Saudi stores that collect handmade pieces from different countries, so they decided to create their own.
“Every piece and product we have has a story from a different country and is made with love by craftsmen from around the world,” they said.
“By placing a carpet made by a Berber lady in the Atlas Mountains, or a wooden table made by a man in a village in Indonesia can completely change the spirit of your place,” they added.
The Riyadh-based startup offers handmade carpets in all shapes and materials, and other accessories like cushions, embroidered pillow covers, and throw blankets.
Bisat also provides services for designers to make special carpet orders based on their desired design, color and size.
The company’s biggest goal is to reach the largest number of people and spread the culture of handcrafted products and promote their beauty.
But the startup is facing a common obstacle for local businesses: Competition with mass production factories.
Since the crafts market is still in its infancy locally, Bisat took on the responsibility to spread awareness about the value and beauty of handmade products.
They warned that not everyone is prepared for handling locally produced goods, which can be delicate. “Carpets and various handmade products are not suitable for everyone,” the business partners said, adding: “Some may be bothered by the mismatched knots or the threads hanging on the edges of the carpets, so we had to clarify the nature of the handmade products and the materials used in their making and how to take care of them.”
Bisat’s products can be found at bisatksa.com. They offer worldwide shipping.


Review: ‘Outside the Wire’ stays inside the box

Anthony Mackie cements his leading man status in an uncomplicated Netflix sci-fi thriller. Supplied
Anthony Mackie cements his leading man status in an uncomplicated Netflix sci-fi thriller. Supplied
Updated 17 January 2021

Review: ‘Outside the Wire’ stays inside the box

Anthony Mackie cements his leading man status in an uncomplicated Netflix sci-fi thriller. Supplied

LONDON: Seemingly overnight, Anthony Mackie has gone from supporting player in the sprawling Marvel universe to one of Netflix’s most bankable action leads, appearing in such diverse shows as Charlie Brooker’s “Black Mirror,”  season two of “Altered Carbon” and the ambitious 2019 sci-fi epic “IO.”

Leading man status is hardly a surprise since Mackie has proven himself capable of dramatic heft in films such as “The Hurt Locker” and sardonic camaraderie when playing Sam Wilson, Captain America’s friend and sidekick.

But it makes it all the more disappointing when a film doesn’t give him enough to do. In “Outside the Wire” Mackie plays Leo, an android super soldier embedded in a European war zone who recruits a naive drone pilot to help him prevent nuclear armageddon.

In what could have been a fascinatingly paradoxical (maybe even cerebral) spin on the genre, Leo is a weapon with an anti-war stance. He is designed to win hearts and minds, but is capable of shockingly efficient bouts of violence. And, in another potentially fascinating narrative move, he is partnered with rookie soldier Thomas Harp (British actor Damson Idris), who has never seen conflict up close.

These ingredients could make for an altogether different take on the standard military action thriller, but Swedish director Mikael Hafstrom opts for the safe, spectacular path instead. All of which is done very well, though a little long.

“Outside the Wire” is nicely paced, well choreographed and avoids any narrative lulls by knowing precisely when to ramp up the action. Mackie packs a (literal) punch when called for, but is never given much more to do than scowl and kick terrorists through walls.

The movie is perfect middle-of-the-road sci-fi — it asks a few interesting questions, but never really troubles itself trying to come up with the answers.