How I Started A $10K/Month Arabic Clothing Platform

Published: March 22nd, 2020
Shaden Abushaera
Founder, Hera Closet
Hera Closet
from Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
started March 2018
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Hello! Who are you and what business did you start?

I am Shaden, 33 years old. I can define myself as a Mom, Feminist, and Entrepreneur. I simply look at fashion as an art. My dream is to create a new world of self-expression for independent designers and to help them sell their creations in a meaningful way. In Ancient Greek mythology, Hera represents women, nurturing and watchfulness, while possessing luxury and beauty.

HeraCloset focuses on helping you discover, shop and share the latest products and trends. Amazing finds. Expert tips. Fresh, fast and at your fingertips. In other words, HeraCloset is an online platform that connects customers with their local brands. It's a place where shoppers can discover their local brands and sellers can sell their products.

HeraCloset is a platform for emerging brands and inspired goods made for women. It’s a place where you can launch a custom store and discover local artisans, offering one-of-a-kind products not available on the market elsewhere.

We want to create a home for brands with stories to tell. Brands you’ll want to know about because of what they stand for. Whether you are here to buy or to sell, we are pleased to offer a healthy online business environment that meets your needs and desires.


What's your backstory and how did you come up with the idea?

The idea I had in mind when starting HeraCloset

People have become impatient and want quick results from everything in their lives. This is because of all the gadgets and rapidly advancing technology that have engulfed our lives. Customers want high-quality service that is efficient and does not waste their precious time. It is this thinking that gave birth to the concept of HeraCloset in my mind.

It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.

Like ordering your favorite cuisine in Talabat without any delay. And an Uber cab that is at your doorstep in no time, I thought of HeraCloset where women could get a beautiful abaya that reflected the unique and beautiful Arabian culture whenever they needed one. I knew HeraCloset had the potential to spread the Arabian culture in a click of a button so I went ahead with the idea.

HeraCloset tries to fill the vacuum

There is no doubt that e-commerce has developed at a very fast pace in the Greater Middle East region but it is also a fact that there is huge potential in this industry. Even in real-world stores, there is a dearth of Arabic clothing to fulfill the requirements of the customers.

If one looks at the vast region of the Middle East and GCC, he finds that there is no single platform dedicated to serving the customers searching for Arabic and Khaleeji Fashion


Selling on social media platforms has its own limitations

To fill this vacuum, many designers and local brands have taken to social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook where they are selling Arabic clothing to cater to the taste of their followers. They are also using instant messaging apps like Whatsapp for this purpose.

These are not shops or stores in the real sense of the word and customers complain about several issues like refund, warranty, payment options, consumer rights, and so on. Delivery and shipping is also a big problem for these social media stores.

Give your brand the standing it deserves

If these social media local brands try to expand their reach and register their presence in physical stores, they have to compete with big global brands. This is a situation where these small brands have practically no chance to win. This is where the concept of HeraCloset comes handy. It gives a chance to the customers to find and buy their favorite local brands without any difficulty.

HeraCloset online stores have been designed to simplify the customer experience and to make available choices of local brands for them. And it provides a dedicated and focused platform for the local designers/ Labels which can give them the opportunity to differentiate.

HeraCloset strives to be a dedicated platform for women desirous of fashionable items of clothing, especially the brands that are local and emerging. I have a mission to make it a one-stop-shop for local brands that reflect Arabian and Khaliji look, personality and taste.


Take us through the process of designing, prototyping, and manufacturing your first product.

The ideation started in 2017, where the initial idea started with 5 categories: Women, Kids, Lifestyle, Home decor, Organic lovers. Through operating testing and feedback collection we have decided to focus on apparel only as a niche market we chose Arabic fashion and Khaleeji style.

The soft launch for HeraCloset in 2018 with these 5 categories and delivering to UAE Only. Onboarding UAE-BASED local designers. In October 2018 HeraCloset has been launched officially with 5 categories: Abaya, Kaftan, Modest wear, Mommy and me, Bisht, dresses. With GCC Shipping Now, HeraCloset is shipping worldwide and onboarding UAE and Oman based local designers.

Since launch, what has worked to attract and retain customers?

HeraCloset was launched in October 2018 with 10 local brands that were being shipped all over the UAE. Today, there are more than 80 brands selling on our Platform and products are being shipped globally.

We launched HeraCloset with 5 Categories which are Women, Kids, Lifestyle, and Organic Lovers. Taking into consideration what has succeeded the most we decided to pivot to be specialized in Apparel and to focus as a niche market on Arabic Clothing and Khaleeji style.

We are excited and happy with the kind of response we have received from our customers and plan to launch an Arabic version of the store very soon. We are also working hard on making the shopping experience more pleasing and secure for our customers.

If you want to succeed you need to cover the basic services but if you want to domain you need to differentiate yourself. Nowadays, giant marketplaces are selling everything (not any specialization), HeraCloset has chosen carefully their specialization and niche market.

HeraCloset strives to be a dedicated platform for women desirous of fashionable items of clothing, especially the brands that are local and emerging. I have a mission to make it a one-stop-shop for local brands that reflect Arabian and Khaliji look, personality and taste.

With Value-added services, success will be inevitable

At HeraCloset, we have made every effort to ensure a pleasing shopping experience for our customers. Towards this end, we have installed a highly secure payment gateway. We also offer multiple payment options to our customers like PayPal, COD, bank transfer, and so on. These efforts are much appreciated by our vendors as they get a chance to spread their reach on a global level.

It is our belief at HeraCloset that if we are able to provide essential services to both the customers as well as our vendors, it is possible to keep both of them happy and satisfied. We understood the importance of having the items to be tailored to fit the customer’s needs, with this attention, we have introduced customization to order products, where the customers can give order according to their own measurements rather than ordering from a few standard sizes.

We are aware that all people have become fashion conscious these days and they know how to look presentable and attractive in front of others. They know that their appearance matters a lot and helps in creating a nice impression on others.

The success of your business is hugely dependent upon the team that you have chosen for it.

It is a complete shopping experience

However, very few people know how to wear the correct outfit and mix and match things to look fashionable and different from others. This is why we have included a section of expert tips on our store to help people in looking and feeling at their best in their chosen outfits. HeraCloset also carries a blog section where customers can find large numbers of blogs containing Arabian fashion tips and the latest fashion trends. These blogs can help women in choosing the right outfits to bolster their personality on various occasions.

We know how sensitive sellers are about the space they get to display their products on any online store. We treat all our partner brands as equals and give them optimum space to showcase their products. We allow them enough space to describe their products so that their customers have every bit of information when buying their products.

To make selling easy for the local brands, we have streamlined all the processes. This includes providing seamless logistics and highly secure payment options. We also market their products aggressively. The best part of the deal is that these local brands are not required to manufacture and store products on a huge scale as we give them sufficient time to prepare the orders we have accepted from our customers. This allows our partner brands to take stock of the situation and know which of their designs are selling in large numbers. We provide them with a statistics dashboard to know which of their products are being clicked and purchased by our customers more than others.


How are you doing today and what does the future look like?

HeraCloset serves as a hub where the designer can showcase and sell their products and Heracloset will connect the customers and designers together and take care of the logistics and operation against agreed fees.

HeraCloset has witnessed several growths in the business which proved the success of the business model and all strategic decisions made through the journey.

HeraCloset is currently onboarding UAE-based and Oman-based Fashion designers with a plan to expand to Saudi Arabia as a next step. And deliver to GCC, Europe, USA, And Australia and some other Arab countries such as Jordan.

The concept of HeraCloset is new which allow us to be a market leader in this domain

Products and Categories:

  • Abaya
  • Kaftan
  • Bisth
  • Dresses
  • Modest Wear
  • Mommy and Me
  • Organic Products

Through starting the business, have you learned anything particularly helpful or advantageous?

Definitely, many entrepreneurs believe their close friends will make perfect partners in any venture they wish to start. They think that family members and friends will remain loyal and honest to them. This proves to be a big mistake business and relations do not go together well. In fact, the chances of relations going sour are so high that they eventually impact the business in a negative manner.

Yes, the success of your business is hugely dependent upon the team that you have chosen for it but choosing your family members and friends to be a part of this business is a mistake that you should avoid at all costs.

What platform/tools do you use for your business?

While working on online business we need to work on many tools & apps. Out of those I personally like, Moz Pro, Analytics, Udemy, and Freelancer. Etc.

What have been the most influential books, podcasts, or other resources?

Advice for other entrepreneurs who want to get started or are just starting out?

Like other entrepreneurs, I have my own share of disappointments and challenges. But I never allow them to stop or slow me down in my mission of making the leader in Arabian clothing and Khaleeji look.

My advice to new entrepreneurs is It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.


Are you looking to hire for certain positions right now?

As a startup stage operation cost is very sensitive at this stage, and optimization is essential, for that and due to the fast-changing business environment, we depend a lot on part-timers and freelancers, who are easier to pivot and faster to produce.

Where can we go to learn more?

Rana Yaghmour - Creative Director

Aya Massrii - Fashion Blogger & Fashion Designer